The Basics

Age: 17
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Sydney, AUS
Occupation: High School Student/Part Timer
Industry: Tourism
Salary: $6,000
Household Income: $350,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 5

What bags are in your collection?

  • Coach backpack
  • Givenchy Antigona Small
  • Givenchy Horizon Mini
  • Chanel Boy Small
  • Yves Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Small

How much is your collection worth? Roughly $14,000

What is your most expensive bag? My most expensive bag is my Chanel Boy Small, which was given to me as a present from my parents when I was elected Vice Captain of my school.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I consider all of my bags to be special as they all hold meaning, but my most important brand in my collection must definitely be my Givenchy bags. Givenchy has always been an absolute favourite brand of mine, especially Claire Waight Keller’s beautiful designs. I find that you can never go wrong with any item from Givenchy, and constantly find myself drawn to their bags.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I got my first designer bag when I was 13, and that was my Coach Backpack. My Mum has always been a lifelong fan of Coach, so for Christmas that year gifted me with the prettiest navy blue Coach backpack, and my love affair with bags started since then. Although I don’t think my mum expected me to become as crazy about bags as I am today.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My most special bag has got to be my Givenchy Antigona. Last December I went on a solo trip around Japan visiting friends and family, and had to spend Christmas without my family in Tokyo. I was feeling a little homesick on Christmas Day, so I went over to the Omotesando Givenchy and fell head over heels in love with this box calf Antigona in black, and bought it as a Christmas Present for myself, mostly to make my day a little brighter. It’s also the first bag I ever bought with my own hard earned money, which makes it extra special.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Definitely. I walked into the Gucci store in the Sydney CBD one day with my Coach backpack and was treated so horribly by staff that I’ve been apprehensive about going in to Gucci stores ever since. Just as a test the next week I walked back into the very same store the next week sporting my Chanel Boy, and lo and behold, I was treated very differently.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Just because I’m quite an impulsive buyer and not amazingly good at saving, I’ve given myself a rule that I can only purchase bags while on holidays, so essentially, overseas. I’ve found that this works quite well for me as it means I’m only buying one or two bags a year, and that each bag comes with a special and unique story belonging to that country. The only exception would be gifts from my parents of course.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Most definitely stores that I feel have the best customer service. I’ve found that Givenchy and Balenciaga stores typically have very good customer service in nearly all of their stores, so I tend to browse there. I also tend to frequent my favourite designers, such as Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. I’m sure not all stores are the same, but I’ll tend to stay away from brands where I’ve had bad customer service experiences, or I find that they can become extremely crowded, such as Louis Vuitton which is often packed whenever I go.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I’ve never bought a second hand bag, purely just because of fear of it not being authentic, or being damaged. But as designer handbags become more popular, I’ve found that the number of reputable websites for second hand bags has increased and become much more trustworthy, and I often frequent websites such as the RealReal and The Vestiaire Collective checking out some of their bags. Hopefully one day I’ll take the plunge and purchase one!

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No, I’ve never sold any of my bags. It’s probably a smart idea, but I just can’t work up the courage to do it. All of my bags, regardless of designer, price or age, are precious to me and hold so many stories, that I just don’t think I could ever let any of them go. I’d probably cry if i had to.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, not at all. That’s actually one of the things I love about bags, they’re timeless. Unlike clothes which we’re constantly buying and chucking out, bags can be kept forever if maintained and work with almost any outfit. In fact, I’d probably get judged more for buying more bags just because of my age.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No not really, but that’s probably just because I’m still young, so I don’t really need to think about that yet. Once I get a little older and start being able to purchase bags such as a Hermes Birkin or Kelly, then I might consider them investments, but until then, I won’t.

Who influences your buying decisions? I don’t feel that anyone really influences my buying decisions, except for maybe my mum. I typically pick my next purchase based on which ever bag calls out to me and makes my heart race, or the bag that I just can’t stop thinking about. Its a very personal experience for me, so I guess the only influence would be my mum’s budget and reasoning.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Definitely. If a sales associate is extremely friendly then I’ll definitely feel more confident in purchasing something. I’m quite a self-conscious and nervous person in shops, just because they can be quite intimidating, so if a sales associate is able to make me feel welcome and less intimidated, then I’ll definitely spend time choosing out a bag. I don’t buy handbags from here (although I wish I could), but as an example, there’s a certain sales assistant at Tiffany and Co that I’ve become so close to, I’ll only purchase from her, and every time the family and I are headed in to Tiffany’s, we make sure she’s there. If the sales associate isn’t friendly, then I’ll probably walk out and not walk back into that store again until the near distant future.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? There’s a thrill to shopping, especially for bags, that I’m sure every PurseBlog Reader understands. Every time I walk into a shop with the intent of discovering my next bag, there’s this rush. My bags are extremely important to me, and part of this is the experience of shopping and discovering them. I also love seeing the diversity in bags. It amazes me how there can be so many different shapes, sizes and styles and the versatility of them all.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Definitely. I’m a 17 year old Asian girl who’s still got the looks of a 14 year old, so walking in to a store often means I’m attached to the stereotype that I ‘can’t afford anything in here’, which is made blatantly obvious by the looks on some sales associates faces. I’ve even been asked to leave the store on several occasions. I often feel like I need to either be carrying one of my handbags with me, or be with my parents to be able to receive proper service.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Mostly my parents. I’m still quite young, so can’t afford to pay for most of my bags. I feel quite fortunate to have the parents I do, and I will admit that although all the bags they’ve bought for me where bought for a reason, either as a reward for doing well at school or for a birthday, I am a little spoiled. I’ve read an email from my Dad to a colleague saying that I’ve ‘got him wrapped around my finger’, which I will admit has prompted a few more bag requests for my birthday soon.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I don’t, but typically I don’t touch any of my pay from my part time job, and instead save it towards future holidays, which in turn mean for purchasing a bag on that holiday. I saved up $5000 for my previous trip to Japan, which was also where I purchased my Givenchy Antigona using my own money. I’m currently saving up for a trip to Japan after I finish high school, which includes hopefully purchasing this new Burberry bag I’ve been eyeing!

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No. I am strongly against counterfeits, because of how damaging it is to the fashion industry. I’d feel guilty if I ever bought one, knowing that I’d fueled the counterfeit industry with my money. I feel that even if you’re unable to afford the uber-expensive brand name bags, there are so many slightly cheaper brands with just as nice designs instead.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I’ve never been in a relationship, but if I was I wouldn’t. Honesty is key, and hiding them would never end up well. I’d much rather be open and honest.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Does working double shifts while in the middle of exam period at school to be able to buy a bag with my own money count? Hopefully once I leave home and get a job after university I’ll be able to have some more interesting stories to share.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No not at all. I purposely moderate my shopping and the amount of bags I buy in a year, to ensure that I don’t become addicted. I’m definitely addicted to handbags, but not to spending copious amounts of money on them. As long as I don’t bankrupt my Dad I think I’m okay.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Oh yes. I’m absolutely crazy about Tiffany and Co, so much so that alongside handbags I make sure for every birthday and Christmas there’s a stop at Tiffany and Co beforehand for some presents. If there’s one thing I love just as much as handbags, it’s Tiffany and Co. I had my 16th birthday party at Tiffany and Co, and ever since then I’ve been crazy about collecting as many robins egg blue boxes as I can. I’m also quite into watches, particularly Tag Heuer watches. My younger brother and I bond over them, and we’re slowly building up a substantial collection, including some vintage pieces.

Anything else you would like to include? I’d just like to say thank you! PurseBlog and PurseForum is the place where I realised that my passion for handbags was shared, and your website is my go to when it comes to discovering new bags and designers! Your website has shaped me and my life as a handbag enthusiast, and I’m incredibly inspired especially by your closet confessionals, which make me wonder about the long journey I have ahead as a handbag lover, and how I’ll never fall out love with my bags.

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