In our latest confessional we’re introduced to a mid-twenties bag lover who recently moved back home to embrace a slower paced lifestyle. She favors Celine over most other luxury handbag brands, though being home this confessor also has begun to appreciate multi-branded boutiques that carry more indie brands. She’s eyeing a Celine Classic Box bag as her next big buy, and though she loves shopping for handbags like the rest of us, she recognizes that her shopping can become a problem. While she’s extremely self-aware and admits she’s trying to “figure out my identity and my needs”, today’s confessor is sure about one thing: her bags are more than just bags. This confessor enjoys learning about them and she appreciates the quality and construction behind them. Read the full CC below and be sure to submit your own!

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The Basics

Age: 25
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Jakarta, ID
Occupation: IT Consultant
Industry: Technology
Salary: $16,000
Household Income: $16,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 11+

What bags are in your collection?

Celine Vertical Cabas
Celine Bicolor Edge
Celine Bicolor Frame Clutch
Celine Maroon Clutch
Celine Small Trio
Mulberry Lynton Bucket
Longchamp LGP Pouch
Longchamp Nendo
A.P.C Demi Lune
A.P.C Grace Bag

Unbranded Backpacks
A boxful of sturdy cotton/canvas tote collected from events.. for free!

How much is your collection worth? $5,000 when bought, probably around $6,500 retail price

What is your most expensive bag? My Celine Bicolor Frame Clutch, even my SA was surprised that’s more expensive than my Vertical Cabas.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? This is super hard! I think I tended to favour Celine the most, but A.P.C suit my style lately

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was gifted a Coach SLG when I was 21. But I bought my first designer ‘bag’, Celine Bicolor Frame Clutch at 22. It’s seen kinda reckless, but at that point I had a very good system set up for my investments and savings for my much larger income, I also didn’t worry much about house purchase (unlike my peers at that point), nor I had other dreams or milestones that I wanted to achieve at that point, so buying luxury bags, learning about the designs, the production, how the sales system works, could be seen as one of the way I explore things that I like, even though… VERY costly. (writing it down, it does seem kinda shallow….)

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I always wanted a Celine Classic Box, as it truly is the answer to all of my bag itch, but I’m ok with waiting a bit more time to be able to afford it again. Other than that, I think I have enough bags to rotate at this point, probably a new backpack once the straps are finally broken

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Everything actually holds a sentimental value as I worked hard to be able to afford them, and most of my bags are either no longer in production or a limited edition, or doesn’t have any store or retailer in my area. Which makes it so hard to get by again. But if I have to choose the ones I could not re-sell at all are my Celine Vertical Cabas, and clutches. Those are super useful

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? When I was still living abroad, it’s kinda the norm to see branded bags even on the public transports, so I don’t feel out of place. When shopping it does kinda made a difference, as SAs knows that you carry actual designer bags, and you were actually able to make purchases especially when you’re younger and shops alone. They were nicer to me, and regard me a bit more seriously. There was an SA at Dior who actually regard me as a future client, inviting me to launch events, even though that I was only there to look around and haven’t made any purchase! But, one time I got catcalled when walking to the bus stop after purchasing my Celine bag, some salespersons from the streets knew it was expensive so they kinda teased me along the way. So from that moment I’m kinda embarrassed after making a purchase, I brought my own shopping bag everywhere

Moving back home, it also made no difference, but for different reasons. When I was in public space I don’t have to worry about being noticed, thankfully, because everyone thought that my bags are either department store brands, or fake, or coming from the brand that copy the style. (I had my A.P.C Demi Lune called out as the other brand’s bag, which were popular among the local people at that time). Which honestly kinda disheartening, as I was really proud of the craftsmanship of my bags…

My friends always amazed when I confess to them that I like spending money to bags, at first they always remind me of minding the purchase, but at the same time they highly regarded my knowledge of luxury items and we had quite interesting topics to talk about because of it.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? I’m ashamed to say that I used to purchase new bags or SLG every new fashion season/sale season. But now I only buy what I need and if it’s a limited edition

Which stores do you frequent the most? I’m parked at Celine. But moving back home it’s kinda nice to visit the multi branded boutique that carries indie/niche brands, as the local people have “stereotypical” taste so the stocks and the store selections are not always interesting.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes, I got my secondhand Celines from Carousell (which allows person-to-person transaction) and secondhand store which I found through extensive googling and instagramming.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No, unfortunately I like keeping the inventory even though it’s counted as a cost. I have sold 1 which I rarely used. I wouldn’t sell the rest yet, as of yesterday I’m still undecided which bags I rotate this week. I got bored easily.

I sold it through another secondhand boutique nearby.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not really, but at one point yes. I was trying to keep up with trends as I follow the fashion seasons closely and I’m a sucker for unique shaped bags. But now I’m having the societal pressure of having too many bags haha!

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? NOPE at ALL. They’re a cost, always a cost. I used to not understand people saying that they were investments, but I only now know the theory of bags as an inventory, so probably I understand more that some bags still have value even after the purchase, if you see it from cashflow point of view

Who influences your buying decisions? Any fashion magazines or blogs. But my partner always said to me that I already had things made up in my mind, only asks around or research to enable or support my decision

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Yes, I have very good SAs at Celine, my favorite SA knows that I like some colors, she took notes about the items I mentioned when we discussed about new season release, and kinda let me know beforehand once the item comes, I was kinda sad that she moves to another division (writing this only makes me misses her haha)But in general yes, as once I moved back, all of my purchases were made through a personal shopper (because the brands and the item is not available in my country) and I had quite niche taste and very particular about the items, so it’s kinda important to be nice to make them comfortable and able to go through miles to get my order.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I think it’s the personal instant gratifications. At some point acquiring something makes me happy, researching about it makes me happy as well. I gain “knowledge” even though I’m not able to use it correctly.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes. One time, I was visiting a Coach store on the weekends looking for an SLG, where I got a very good service. I got back a couple weeks later after hours, I was asking for a not-realeased-yet item in the store, my country gets items usually very late and only particular items will be coming in. As I’m not familiar with the system (I don’t do luxury shopping again when I moved back home), I wanted to make sure whether it will be available or if I’m able to pre-order one.

So with my beat-up backpack, and disheveled appearance after work, I checked my phone to show them the screenshot of the latest Coach campaign, But I get dismissal, they were asking me that I’m there to purchase for other person just because I check my phone for which item I wanted to buy and their mannerism changed a bit, which kinda disheartening. I’m always doing the same way back and nobody bats an eye when I did that. They only asks me if I’m purchasing for myself or others once I let them know which items I wanted to look for. I know it seems so small and so unimportant, but perhaps it just hurts when you know you get judged because you don’t look like you’re able to buy it yourself

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me (technically)

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Not regularly, but I usually plan a purchase, and set aside some budget based on the bag’s price.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No, but I was gifted a fake Louis Vuitton backpack by my parents when I was a teenager. I grew up comfortably in a struggling family, so I kinda get it if my family could only afford counterfeited items. Even though I hated it the fact that it was a clearly-counterfeited bag and mad that they don’t know that I don’t prefer anything with logo, I’m still kinda thankful that they bought me one and I actually use it a lot on the last days of schools where I don’t have to bring a lot.

Some people who really can’t afford the real thing (let alone a genuine leather bag) might find happiness from those counterfeited bags. It serves the function and it looks like the real thing, and it’s in their budget. I might not support counterfeited products and try to campaign the idea of purchasing only original products, but I try to be respectful for their personal taste.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? YES. I hid 2-5 of my bags purchase and only get caught by my partner when I was moving back. My parents doesn’t really know much about my bags, but they know that I’m bored easily and I changed bags every time I visit. They didn’t tell me but I guess they know those bags are expensive due to the craftsmanships, but not THAT expensive.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? My card is not activated for overseas purchase yet, so I got panicked and bought my Celine trio with my partner’s credit card, I paid him the converted total amount once I’m back home. Other than that, I have many times reserve bags once my salary come in and waited until 2-3 days where all automated billing and saving account transfers are done to purchase the bag. I also reduce my meal budget if the bag’s price is higher than disposable income I have. God I was literally crazy.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Yeah, so I mentioned several times that I moved back to unwind and have a slower lifestyle with a sever pay cut, I also found out that I do have Borderline Personality Disorder, where one of the coping mechanism is the shopping addiction. I have therapy (lately not able to attend due to pandemic and movement limitations now) and the slower lifestyle makes me evaluate and appreciate things clearly.

On the other hand, I’m always struggling with my financial condition where my main problem is shopping, where I really need those automated billings and transfer in order not to use the money I have and at some points my friends suggest that I regard my investment purchase as ‘shopping’. I’m just being honest, I do have issues with it, and I’m still trying to keep it under control. But I’m proud that I now able to differentiate the needs and wants, and it helps quite a bit, especially in these difficult times.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I like to travel but I didn’t have the luxury of time when I could afford to travel anywhere, so I liked to go on festivals or concerts as it’s not as time consuming as travelling. I always like to cook and indulge in good food. I’m ok with spending $10 for an imported cheese to try out that good Grilled cheese recipe I found the other day that could feed me 10 grilled cheese. My online courses is also kinda expensive at this point, I’m saving for a further study, but at the same time trying to game up skill wise, costs a lot as well.

Anything else you would like to include? I think like I might sound too careless at this point, but I somehow have to add everybody’s different. My experience is probably different than yours, probably I f*cked up at some points, I’m still trying to figure out my identity and my needs, which perhaps kinda sad, but at least it’s honest.

Beauty Buys

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