In today’s installment of closet confessionals we meet a registered nurse hailing from NYC who has a strong love for handbags and a solid collection of them too! This new mom’s love of collecting began with the Signature Coach pochette she purchased for $120 at age 15 and grew from there. Over 15 years later this confessor has amassed a collection spanning some of the most coveted brands, from Chanel and Celine to Louis Vuitton and Goyard. Currently she’s got her eye on an Hermès Evelyn GM, which would be a great addition to her collection and perfect for her need to be hands-free and hands-on! Working in a hospital she’s often in scrubs carrying a nondescript tote because as she states: she’s there to take care of patients first, not show off what she has. A smart shopper, this self-proclaimed tote lover doesn’t exactly budget for bags per se, but she knows the importance of shopping within her means and has never felt that her shopping was a problem. Read the full CC below and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Household Income: $200,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 11
What bags are in your collection?
Chanel Caviar Maxi
LV Epi Alma in Myrtille
LV Cabas Mezzo
LV Keepall 50
LV Montouris GM
Balenciaga Graffiti bag
Prada Blue Saffiano Mini Camera bag
Goyard St. Louis GM in Yellow
Goyard St. Louis GM in Black
How much is your collection worth? $25,000+
What is your most expensive bag? Chanel Maxi double flap- currently retails for $7,700.00 ( yikes!)
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Although Chanel is my ultimate favorite because it’s timeless & classic, my LV Epi leather Alma is discontinued and such an incredible blue color. I always get compliments and have never seen anyone else with it.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was about 15 years old & I bought a tan Signature Coach pochette for $120.00. It was simply fabulous.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? As you can see, most of my bags are totes. I’m a mother of an 8 month old in NYC and I’m always on the run. I love totes because I can throw anything and everything in them, so I’m eyeballing the Hermès Evelyn GM. Ideally, I would love it in Emerald Green/Bamboo. I love crossbody’s- I need hands-free!
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Celine Phantom. My mother and I were window shopping in Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour, Miami. The Celine I spotted was the LAST of the Pheobe Philo collection which had the accent mark over the “e” in “Celine”. This was a big deal in the handbag world as that accent mark just gave it a French-ness, a sophistication that came with the bag. I always need my mom’s approval and she just absolutely loved it!
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Sometimes I feel that’s the case. I think people are surprised when they see me outside of work with a designer bag since I’m usually in scrubs, crocs and a regular tote bag. I will never wear a designer bag to the hospital- not only because I throw my bag into a locker, but because I do not want that high-maintenance perception. I’m there to take care of people, not show what I have. On my days off, people probably do perceive me as materialistic when they see me wearing designer bags which is ok. Am I hurting anyone? nope 🙂
How often do you buy new bags? Probably once a year, twice a year the MOST.
Which stores do you frequent the most? My ultimate favorite is Bloomingdales, but I love to browse Neiman Marcus & Saks. Especially around the holidays. There’s something about a fancy high end department store that is just so enjoyable to me. I am NOT an online shopper. I need to touch, feel, smell and examine everything. There’s an energy to high end department stores that is indescribable. It’s fun and just so glam. I am also in TJ Maxx and Target often!
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes, absolutely! I know of some EBAY sellers that sell items in mint-condition, so it’s totally worth it to me. Nothing wrong with pre-loved. I make sure to do extensive research on the buyer. I have friends that have purchased on the RealReal as well.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes! If I’m over a bag and feel it’s not practical with my lifestyle anymore ( handheld bags, small bags) then I’ll sell it on Ebay and put the money towards a new bag. It will only go to a new bag, never for bills, groceries, etc…
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Never. I never feel the need to keep up with people or trends. I have bought bags that are way out of season, out of style and just wouldn’t be appealing to most people. If I love it, I’m going for it.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Some, yes. You can’t buy a bag thinking you’re going to make a fortune off of it because that’s not the case. However, some items, I know for sure will have a great re-sale value- ( Chanel, LV bags I’ve had for a very long time)
Who influences your buying decisions? NYC ladies! Living in Manhattan, I’m a huge walker. I walk down Madison Avenue with my infant on the weekends, and it’s there I see NYC women with the latest bags, both classic and trendy. Lots of inspiration just on the streets, it’s amazing. Once I see something I like, I’ll go on PurseForum to further my research.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not at all. I have actually never formed any relationships with sales associates.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? Shopping to me is about the experience. It’s all aesthetic, but it creates a feeling. When I am in a beautiful, luxurious environment, I end up feeling the same way. It’s infectious. Not to say I don’t feel this when I’m not in a store, but shopping can be uplifting. When I say shopping, I want to mention that I don’t need to buy a thing. Most of the time, I leave stores empty handed, but yet so full. Window shopping, browsing to see what’s new and maybe scoring something on sale is part of the fun.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I am fortunate enough to have never experienced it, but I have seen it first hand myself in which I have left the store and made sure to never return.
Who pays for your bags? I do!
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Not necessarily, but my budget for a bag can change depending on what’s going on in life, expenses, etc…
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Never.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, I am grateful I never have to do that. I will always tell my husband what I purchase and how much it was. He knows I would never buy something we couldn’t afford as well.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I’ve sold multiple bags to purchase a single bag!
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Never a problem. Shopping is a problem when you spend what you cannot afford.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love great restaurants! Living in NYC, most restaurants are expensive, but we value great food and treat ourselves on occasion. I also love massages/spa treatments. I don’t go often, but probably more often than most people. Having a high stress job and being a new mother, it really helps me unwind which is invaluable.
Anything else you would like to include? If it’s within your means, I believe we need to treat ourselves to items we love because life is short. What do we work so hard for? Pay yourself first, put money in your bank ( s per my mom!) and then treat yourself to something that you love. It could be a lipstick, a handbag, a fabulous meal or a weekend getaway just to unwind. You’re worth it.