Today’s confessor hails from Manila, and though she now pays for her own purchases, when she was in school her parents funded her designer bag purchases. Being able to share in a love of luxury goods with both her mother and her father has been sort of a bonding experience for this 30-something who favors Louis Vuitton over most other brands. The bags that mean the most to her are ones she received as gifts, and her father purchased her first Chanel Bag as a pre-wedding present. Read the rest of this confessional below and be sure to submit your own!

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The Basics

Age: 34
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Manila
Occupation: Consultant
Industry: Research and Development
Salary: $54,000.00
Household Income: $150,000.00

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 15

What bags are in your collection?

Louis Vuitton
– Hampstead DE MM
– Neverfull DE MM
– Iena DE MM
– Saumur Mono 25
– Speedy B 25 monogram
– Pochette NM in DA (I use it as a bag rather than as SLG)

– Baby sac du jour in dove grey
– North south tote in black

– Double flap medium GHW

– Wallet on chain

– Pochette logo mania pink

– Blue label handbag

I also have some Kate Spade bags, including a nylon document/ laptop bag, Longchamp and Lacoste totes

How much is your collection worth? Maybe less than $15,000?

What is your most expensive bag? Chanel classic double flap medium size in GHW. By dad got this for me before I got married. We were in Tokyo for a family vacation and I said I wanted to look at the Chanel WOC in the Omotesando boutique. When the SAs brought out the WOCs (black and red), my dad’s eyes wandered to the classic flap bags and asked the SA if we can take a look.

Of course my eyes got big… deep in my heart I knew I wanted that but at the moment, I could only afford the WOC (wedding prep is expensive!). When my dad saw my face light up as I tried on the classic flap, he said he would get it for me as a present. Teary eyed, I thanked my dad for the wonderful present and the rest was history =)

The most expensive bag I purchased on my own was the YSL baby sac du jour. I had been lusting over it for a few months… and when an opportunity presented itself (meaning the boutique had the size and color combination that I wanted), I bought it.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Those that were gifted to me:

LV Hampstead MM DE – my first LV bag, gifted to me by my mom when we were vacationing in Singapore. I wanted a tote but not a Neverfull (it was everywhere at the time). I loved the plate detail as well as the more structured style compared to the Neverfull

LV Speedy B 25 – It was sold out everywhere! The waitlist in Manila was crazy and I knew it would be impossible to get one at my home store. When we were vacationing in London, Harrod’s LV had one in stock. So lucky! My dad bought it for me.

LV Saumur 25 – The only way to get it was in the pre-loved market so when my hubby and I were vacationing in Japan, we came upon a designer “flea market” in Himeji (of all places!). The Saumur 25 was a good deal. And we knew that Japan does not tolerate counterfeit products. My husband got it for me, since he knew I was lusting for it… and the fact that we went to around 5 pre-loved stores in Tokyo and Kyoto (Brand Off and Komehyo are the more popular ones).

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Bvlgari logo mania pochette in pink – this is my first designer bag (no, my Coach bags from outlet stores don’t count) and it was a graduation present to me by my dad. After completing university, we went shopping in Singapore’s Orchard Road and I got a “budget” for my graduation gift. At the time, I wasn’t so much into designer goods so I decided to split my budget to get an iPod video and a small pochette from Bvlgari. The first thing I did when I got the bag was to wear it to Church!

Always be grateful and give thanks!

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Probably the Bvlgari pochette (from my dad), the Hampstead MM (from my mom) and the Saumur 25 (from my hubby). Those 3 will never leave my collection.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes. There will always be stereotypes wherever you go. What I do is I dress for the occasion and the destination! If you want to be treated nicely, dress nicely. Sorry, that’s how it is in this world!

I work in the R&D sector so I’m mostly at site or in the labs, I prefer to wear my Longchamp totes or Kate Spade bags in case of accidents. Spill happen often in busy labs.

If I’m going out with friends or family, I usually choose a nice small handbag, depending on where we’ll go or what we’ll do. If there’s a lunch or dinner at fancy restaurants or hotels, I wear my Ferragamo WOC or Chanel classic flap. If I’m travelling, I prefer the Iena MM as it has a zipper that makes my belongings more secure.

I wear my bigger totes when I’m out shopping or going the mall / movies with hubby.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Not often. It depends on what catches my eye and how long I stalk or read reviews about the bags. Right now, I’m not looking for anything new.. I am contented with my current collection. I have a tote, WOC, work bag, evening/ fancy bag and crossbody for my lifestyle.

But I currently have a renewed interest in the pre-loved market.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Right now… LV, Chanel and Salvatore Ferragamo

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? It’s nice to look at the pre-loved market for vintage styles and models not anymore made by fashion houses (case in point: Saumur 25). I play it safe and look for pre-loved bags in Japan, where they have strong laws against counterfeit / fake items.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I’ve never tried. If I ever try to sell old bags, it would be for other purposes like us needing the money badly. But never to purchase new bags. Each bag has a history for me.

If ever I would sell them, I would try to sell them with family and friends first.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not really. I’m not high up in the social levels to have the pressure to have a different bag every time I’m out and about. I like wearing my bags down, enjoying them and creating memories with them.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? As an investment to be passed on to my daughter, and nothing else.

Who influences your buying decisions? My mom. She likes classic styles and those that fit her lifestyle. Surprisingly, my dad also has a keen sense (that Chanel classic flap caught his attention more than anything!).

For reviews, I go to Youtube to watch reviews (what fits, wear and tear, first impressions, etc.). I also check the purse forum for feedback from other members.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not really. When I go to boutiques to purchase something, I usually have a bag or two in mind. And I have read a lot of reviews and watched a lot of Youtube videos about those bags already!

It’s a bonus for me if they are extra accommodating, like show me other sizes or prints of the models I asked for. I call extraordinary service if they recommend me a similar style for me to try on if the particular model I asked for isn’t available. I like that I am given options.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? When I wasn’t earning yet (aka student), I love that my parents are also into luxury goods, and you could say it was bonding time for us to go shopping. When we were a bit younger, we just had enough for the necessities. My dad had a career break when I was in high school and we slowly had some comforts here and there. Primarily, we would travel as a family. Then the shopping (with the tax refunds of course), came with it.

When I started working, it took me a good 10 years to be in a comfortable state to start buying luxury goods on my own. It was my gift to myself for the hard work.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes. Especially when I have impulse visits to my local boutiques when I’m not dressed well enough. SAs usually profile people who visit their stores. I don’t blame them, it might be the training that they get. Abroad, SAs seem to be friendlier to tourists (at least from our experience).

The Money

Who pays for your bags? When I was studying, it was my parents.

When I was working, I pay for my purchases.

When I got married, it was a mutual decision with my husband. Thank God he also appreciates my fashion sense!

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Yes. I usually obsess over bags for a few months, and along with that, I start saving for that purchase (whether I decide to purchase it or not). If I decide not to purchase it, I deposit it in our savings account. I don’t have an exact % on how much I set aside. It depends if a bag catches my fancy.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Unfortunately, I unknowingly purchased a counterfeit when we were still living in Jakarta. I was in high school then and didn’t know much about designer goods. We went to this flea market called Mangga Dua and they sold all kinds of fakes. I liked a particular crossbody without knowing it was a knock off Gucci. I wore it a couple of times in school but as soon as I learned about it being a fake, I gave it away.

If you read about the counterfeit industry and what it does, it will really shock you.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No. I’m very open to my husband about my purchases. I respect his opinion and I do not want to break his trust. He also confides in me about his expensive hobbies too. We help each other LOL.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing really crazy. The most was an impulsive purchase, Iena MM. I just came to the boutique to get the LV Tahitienne mini pochette and the zippered tote caught my eye. The money I used to pay for it was supposed to be deposited to my time deposit. LOL

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Not really. I am very open to my husband and my parents about my spending habits. They usually ground me especially when I was having thoughts about having a Birkin (when I clearly cannot afford it at this time!)

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love Ferragamo shoes! Their Vara and Varina models always get me excited and I love how they fit my shoes. I got my love of shoes from my dad. He has a LOT of Ferragamo and Bally leather shoes for work. I always admired his sense of quiet fashion. He doesn’t look screaming fashionista. He always kept it classic yet sophisticated. He is 68 by the way!

I also came from a family who loves to travel. Our motto was “Visit a new place every year!”. Traveling is a good teacher. It teaches you to be more open to different cultures. It also teaches us to appreciate nature.

Anything else you would like to include? =)

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