In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals we meet a lawyer whose bag love has come full circle. As a youngster visiting Hong Kong our, then 10-year-old, confessor purchased a fake Prada Nylon Bucket bag which catapulted her dreams of collecting. That was her one and only taste of the counterfeit world and today this handbag lover wouldn’t dream of buying a fake. Though ironically Prada re-issued a very similar style this year and our confessor was finally able to indulge in her youthful dream for real this time!
Aside from her affinity for pretty little Pradas, this confessor aims to keep her collection pretty diverse, and she loves to fully research her bag buys before they happen. While she loves bags just like the rest of us, it’s the thrill of the chase and the process that purchasing entails that this bag-buyer really enjoys. Though her most sentimental piece is a pre-loved Chanel Diana that she purchased in part with an inheritance from her late grandmother, the Givenchy Antigona remains her favorite bag of them all. Read the full CC below and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: London, England
Household Income: $132,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 11
What bags are in your collection?
Chanel Diana 2015 reissue
YSL uptown clutch
Prada double bag
Prada nylon bucket bag
Aspinal Marylebone Tote
Longchamp LePliage Neo
Polène Numero Un Mini
Kate Spade Cat crossbody
How much is your collection worth? £9,350
What is your most expensive bag? Chanel Diana Reissue, although I bought it preloved for a great price it’s still the most I have spent on a bag!
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Definitely my Chanel, I really felt like I had “made it” after I got that! But my favorite bag is actually my Antigona, I’ve never loved an inanimate object as much!
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I bought my Mulberry Bayswater when I was 23 with money I had received from my law firm that I was meant to use to support me through law school. I used part of that support money to splurge on the bag, and I felt quite sick making that purchase!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Chanel Coco handle mini. I have put off buying Chanel for so long but the price increases are getting silly and I want to buy one Chanel bag from the boutique while I can.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Probably the Chanel Diana. My grandmother died and left me some money, which I didn’t expect. It wasn’t a huge amount, but I decided I wanted to put it toward a beautiful special piece that would remind me of her and that I would never part with.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes and no. I definitely see it when I go to high end shops and department stores, but not so much in my professional life. I try to keep the labels quite discrete, and keep myself looking pulled together and neat but not flashy. I have on occasion turned my bags the other way to hide the logo, just so clients and colleagues don’t make assumptions about me (although there are certain circumstances where carrying, say, a Prada tote does make me feel very powerful).
How often do you buy new bags? It depends. I bought SO many this year, partly because I was bored/depressed at home. However before this year, I hadn’t bought a bag for 18 months, because I got married last year and all of our money went to funding the wedding. It’s nice to have disposable income again!
Which stores do you frequent the most? I like shopping at department stores because of the variety, and my favorite is Harrods because of the rewards card. The ground floor is awful, but it’s quieter in the boutiques on the first floor.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Absolutely! My Chanel and Prada double bag were both preloved and absolute bargains. I like Designer Exchange and a trusted Facebook seller as well. There are also a few Instagram sellers I would consider, as I know they’re trustworthy too.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not entirely. I have sold bags because they didn’t suit me or because I have grown tired of them, and the money is a bonus, but I have never made a good deal of money from selling. I have sold a YSL College bag and a Tod’s bag before, and tried in vain to sell my Chloé but the prices were so bad and Vestiaire is such a process I decided I would rather keep her.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not at all, probably the opposite! None of my friends or family are into bags, and although my husband is supportive he is definitely mystified by the prices I pay.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No, I think it’s very rare to make your money back on a bag, let alone make a profit. That only really happens with the big Hermes and Chanel bags, and even then with Chanel only if they are exceptional pieces or you bought so long ago that the price increases mean you make your money back by default. Selling is very painful though.
Who influences your buying decisions? Youtubers – I watch A LOT of bag videos on YouTube. My favorites are Chase Amie, Emma Anders and Kat L. I’m also a member of a secret Facebook bag chat group that is filled with wonderful people discussing bags and giving me inspo.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not really, as my strategy so far has been to try and diversify my brands as much as possible. I really want to have a bag from every major brand, and it’s sometimes a struggle (I really love the new Prada linen Mistolino tote, but I’ve bought so much from Prada this year I really need to cool off).
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I love the research behind getting a new bag and the anticipation. It’s almost like a night out, the getting ready part is sometimes more fun than the night itself! I get a real kick out of reading and watching reviews, doing research on a bag and discussing it with others. Buying the piece is the icing on the cake of a lovely process.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I used to when I was younger, but I think they assume young girls can’t afford anything. I am half Chinese, and I actually do think a lot of London SA’s treat me very well because I look asian. That said, I feel like at Bicester I have received worse service also because I look asian. Maybe it’s me being paranoid, but it’s like at Bicester they assumed I was a reseller who was buying loads of stuff to sell in China. Generally when I know I’m going to a luxury store I try to look nice and have a good bag, but honestly what gets me furthest is a smile and genuine enthusiasm for the brand.
Who pays for your bags? I do.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Yes, I have a separate bag fund I contribute to every month. If I don’t have enough then I don’t get the bag! I make exceptions for one offs, like the Chanel Diana which was an unmissable opportunity, and I was a bit naughty and borrowed from other savings (since paid back).
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Not knowingly! The only exception was when I was 10 and we visited my Aunt in Hong Kong. It was the 90s and I bought a fake Prada nylon bucket bag. I was obsessed with that bag, I carried it everywhere until it fell apart, and I never really cared if it was fake or real. Fast forward to this year, Prada started selling nylon bucket bags again and I snapped one up – a real one this time! 10 year old me would be so proud. Apart from that anecdote, I would never buy a fake bag now.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, although I don’t disclose the price!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing super crazy. I was saving up for my Antigona but really wanted it in grey, which wasn’t to be found anywhere. I was randomly on the Selfridges website at work and stumbled across the bag as a Selfridges exclusive. As soon as I got off work I went straight to Selfridges and basically ran into Givenchy to get that bag! My bonus hadn’t come in yet and I basically had to eat ramen noodles for the rest of the month before I could get the rest of the money but it was worth it.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No. I have a bag addiction, but that’s more like watching videos, looking on Instagram etc, I don’t actually buy that much (this year aside).
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? We love going out to eat, and so my biggest expense is usually food to be honest. We don’t eat at Michelin star places regularly or anything, but we enjoy a dinner in a nice restaurant fairly frequently, which adds up. Covid really helped in that department as we couldn’t do that for months, so more money for bags!
Anything else you would like to include? Do research on reputable preloved sources, as there’s more out there than just Vestiaire (which is massively overrated imo).