In today’s installment of closet confessionals we meet a beauty junkie hailing from San Francisco after spending time living on the East Coast. This handbag lover’s collecting journey began almost 10 years ago with the purchase of a Rebecca Minkoff bag. Since then she’s explored various designer brands and has a solid collection spanning many important brands such as Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Chloé and Chanel as well as a couple of other trendier pieces from buzzy brands like Telfar and Yuzefi. Though there was once a time that this confessor felt pressure to purchase certain things or wear items of a specific caliber, she’s finally at a place where she no longer feels the need to “keep up”. It’s important to point out and recognize the disparity that some shoppers experience in service, and as a “plus size and brown” woman this beauty guru has unfortunately been the victim of poor service. Overall this confessor loves bags and collecting but is incredibly down to earth when it comes to her attitude towards fashion. Read the full CC below and don’t forget to submit your own.

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The Basics

Age: 30
Gender Identity: Woman
Location: San Francisco
Occupation: Supply Chain
Industry: Beauty
Salary: $130,000
Household Income:$295,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 15

What bags are in your collection?

Chanel Boy Bag Old Medium in black
Gucci Dionysus in chartreuse satin
Givenchy Pandora Pure Satchel in black
Telfar Small Shopping Bag in beige
Yuzefi Daria in ivory
Louis Vuitton Eva Crossbody in Damier Azur
YSL Cabas Chyc in taupe
Dries Van Noten Padded Velvet Tote in black
Fendi Fendista Pochette Crossbody in pink
Chloé Faye Medium Leather Shoulder Bag in tobacco
And some trendy pieces I’ve bought at Target, Zara

How much is your collection worth? $12-$14K

What is your most expensive bag? Chanel Boy Bag for sure

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? The Givenchy and the Chloé. The Givenchy was my “cool girl” purchase when I landed my first six figure job. The YSL SDJ was waning in popularity and even though this wasn’t as common and its sister Antigona was having a moment, I loved the soft feel of the bag. The Chloé because it was the a gift from my then-boyfriend, now-husband. He is not at all familiar with brands so the fact that he caught me drooling over this on PurseBlog no less and bookmarked it for later meant the world to me.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was 21 and I bought myself a navy Rebecca Minkoff quilted shoulder bag on a super sale for like $130? That price tag was WILD to me then but I had set aside money from tutoring and was ready to treat myself. I was so pleased with finding an amazing deal and was incredibly cocky about not buying the MAC crossbody that everyone else had at college. Too funny!

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’ve had my eye on the Loewe Hammock for awhile but also love the Emerald Croc Elizabeth Bag by Mateo. But I haven’t had a chance to take my entire collection out for a spin yet! I enjoy bags and wear them to death when I get them but the walk from my bedroom to living room and back isn’t the debut these pieces deserve.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Answered above.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes! People either assume I’m shallow or spendy in other facets of my life when that’s just not true. I’ve had the same basic clothes for years, wear sneakers almost all the time, buy shampoo at Costco. I mean the reality is that it doesn’t fucking matter! Even if I were spending the rest of my paycheck on commissioned art or truffles, who cares? Or people assume that my bag isn’t real. They’ll ask pervasive questions in an uppity way as if I can’t answer them – “what style is that, where did you get it?” What’s your deal – you haven’t seen plus size, nerdy brown women geek out over pretty things? What a dull life!

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? It used to be at the start of a new job which was always a great treat. Now it’s whenever something catches my eye and seems reasonably priced.

Which stores do you frequent the most? I’m always looking for deals so Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, and MyTheresa.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes! I love The RealReal, Tradesy, and Fashionphile. Also there are some incredible consignment stores on IG. My fave is LuxeduJour who is based out of Canada. I’ve seen items sell in literally seconds of posting. She’s incredibly reliable and has amazing stuff. Secondhand bags are just more sustainable for the environment too. The fashion industry is responsible for creating billions of pounds of waste annually and 10% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Imagine making yourself happy and taking a little less weight off the planet – win win 😉

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I have never sold any of my bags. I’ve been thinking about selling the Cabas Chyc but then I picture myself fifteen years later in life, lugging it to a PTA conference for kids I don’t have yet…incredibly sappy.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? I did when I was younger. When I lived on the East Coast, people were too obsessed with brands and trends. Peer pressure can be so expensive. But I haven’t felt the need to “keep up” on the west coast, especially San Francisco. It could be a matter of just growing into my own or socializing with different people. Still, in most parts of the Bay Area, nobody blinks if you’re wearing Allbirds or ALLSAINTS. Most days I’m just carrying my card case. This is a super functional city. So in lieu of tote bags, you’ll see backpacks.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes and no. I used to fawn over the classic luxury houses and was like, I’ll only buy bags that have stood the test of time. But there is no fun in that. I love emerging and contemporary designers and want to pump money back into my local communities. Of course I have some classic pieces in my collection but they were bought with the intent to use and enjoy them.

Who influences your buying decisions? Well I’m recently married so I do think twice about whether or not a purchase is the right decision, based on the amount. But I’ve bought all my bags with my money and don’t really discuss it with my husband . We keep some of our finances separate to indulge in our hobbies – cooking, reading, skincare and bags for me, golf, skiing, skincare for him. I’m more likely to send some girlfriends multiple screenshots before making a purchase lol!

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Nope. To me it’s just uncomfortable because I am so impressionable and am learning to assert my boundaries better. If I had an SA I liked, I would throw all my money at her and that’s an easy way to rack up debt. I try very hard to not get emotional over a purchase.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I used to be a shopaholic, big time. It was just the social circles I was in and I had this false illusion that you had to wear wealth to get somewhere in life. It turned out that in impressing others, I was incredibly unhappy. I recently bought a home and have felt so much joy growing into it and decorating it. It’s brought me more joy than anything else. Buying anything functional and observing the ease it adds to my life (like stainless steel pans or new insoles for sneakers) makes me way happier than that rush of excitement opening up a carefully wrapped up purse.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Big time. Especially when I’m shopping by myself. I’m plus size and brown so somehow, despite the space I’m taking up, I’m invisible to a lot of people. It’s uncomfortable to be followed, to have your questions be ignored. For this reason, I shop almost exclusively online.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me!

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No I’m very much Ariana Grande about this. “I see it, I like it, I want it, I think about it.”

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? YES! I was 14, shopping on Canal Street in NY.. begging my mom for a Coach scribble tote.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Nah, we share a closet and live in a tiny apartment. It’s too much effort to keep my hobbies hidden. Plus when I share my interests, he gets to surprise me with something for a special occasion 🙂

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Girl, paid my bills on time LOL I wish I was more interesting than this

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Answered previously.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Spices and skincare. I will only buy salt from the grocery store. Every other spice that I have, I buy directly from farmers or from folks who have equitable relationships with farmers like DiasporaCo. I work in beauty but skincare has been a passion since I was 14. I love my tubs of Aquaphor and Cerave but can’t resist Skinceuticals, Tatcha, Dermalogica.


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