In today’s confessional we meet a young fashion editor with a lust for the finer things in life. While designer bags are a true passion of this mid-twenties New Yorker, it’s also RTW and shoes that inspire her collection. Working in the industry herself as a fashion editor has allowed this city dweller to pare down her shopping process as she’s well aware of the behind-the-scenes hustle and bustle.
While she completely understands the process of gifting and sample loans, this confessor also enjoys seeing how celebrities and influencers style the bags on her wishlist, though she admits she’s often well aware of what her seasonal purchases will be before they even hit the store. Living in one of the greatest, albeit most expensive, cities in the world, this collector realizes how lucky she is to have amassed the collection that she has. A candid confessor with a smart bag-buying approach, keep scrolling to read more from this CC!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Fashion Editor
Household Income: $58,500
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 25
What bags are in your collection?
Hermès Kelly 32 in Box with Gold Hardware (Black)
Chanel So Black Reissue 226 (Black)
Chanel Medium Boy in Caviar with Ruthenium Hardware (Black)
Vintage Chanel So Black Double Sided Flap (Black)
Vintage Chanel So Black Tote Bag (Black)
Chanel Caviar CC Pochette (Pink)
Chanel M/L Classic Flap in Lambskin (Pink)
Chanel Crossbody Accordion Flap in Lambskin (Red)
Vintage Chanel Patent Leather Vanity Case
Bottega Veneta Mini Pouch (Black)
Bottega Veneta Mini Pouch (White Intrecciato)
Prada Re-Edition 2000 (Beige)
Prada Re-Edition 2000 (Blue)
Olympia Le-Tan Box Clutch (Black/Pink)
The Row Ascot (Red)
Jacquemus Le Chiquito (Black)
Alexander Wang Crystal Clutch
Prada Cahier (Leopard)
Saint Laurent Kate (Black)
Saint Laurent Sac de Jour (Black Matte Suede Croc)
Proenza Schouler Tote (Black)
Proenza Schouler PS11 (Black)
Balenciaga City with Giant Rose Gold Hardware (Black)
Vintage Mini Lady Dior in Satin (Black)
Dior Granville Polochon (Black)
How much is your collection worth? $60,000? (Give or take the current market values.)
What is your most expensive bag? The most expensive piece is my Hermès Kelly, but since it was a gift (special thanks to my mother!), I’ll give it to my Chanel Boy Bag which was purchased entirely by me and still remains the most expensive bag I ever bought after six years.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I’m a Chanel girl, so I would say all my Chanel bags are definitely special and pieces that I never intend on selling. I also tend to buy a handbag when I hit a milestone — I bought my The Row Ascot bag with my first paycheck out of college, I got my mini white Intrecciato Bottega Veneta Pouch when I got my first raise, etc. — so those are also some of my favorites since they always remind me of those moments.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? My grandma introduced me to fashion at quite a young age (and was a fashionista in her own right!) and bought me a mini Burberry canvas round bag when I was 8. I think it was around $300 at the time and probably way too extravagant for a 3rd grader, but I carried it with pride well into my teens.
The first bag I purchased for myself was a Balenciaga City in high school. I worked for my parents and coveted that bag more than anything back in 2011/2012, so my mom finally agreed to let me buy one with my savings since the bag itself wasn’t too flashy or extravagant. Still have it to this day!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I like to keep my collection around 25 bags, so I have “purse peace” at the moment. I’m obsessed with the two Prada Re-Editions I got within the last year, so I’d be interested in getting a black one at some point (I know, I don’t need anymore black bags, but I’m a New Yorker!). I also am always perusing through the vintage Chanel market online since I refuse to pay retail for one of their bags and wouldn’t hesitate if I found a special piece at the right price.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? I think any of the bags I received as gifts — my Kelly, a Saint Laurent Kate, my Chanel pochette, my Chanel reissue — always remind me of the person who gave them to me.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I work in fashion and live in New York, so a lot of people I see on the street or at work functions (pre-COVID!) typically have a designer bag, so I don’t think my having designer pieces really affects any of the people I regularly interact with. I think this has a lot to do with working within the industry, so my opinion is likely jaded based on the the interactions I have. I will say that whenever I carry my Kelly, I do tend to get more dirty looks than when I carry any other piece which is why that one tends to stay on the shelf (also not the most practical for city living!).
How often do you buy new bags? It depends on the year and what new things have hit the market. As an editor, I’m privy to seeing a lot of things before they hit the shelves, so I have the chance to try things on and investigate, which leads to more informed purchasing decisions. I’ve gone two years without buying a bag, but then the next year I might buy 3 or 4. But if I ever have a big bag buying binge, I always sell an item I’m not using as much so I don’t have an overwhelming amount of handbags.
Which stores do you frequent the most? For Chanel, I almost always look for pre-loved and vintage pieces, so I find Rebag and Tradesy to be excellent resources for both selection and competitive pricing. When I buy new, I tend to either go to the individual boutiques or buy from independent boutiques in Europe for a bit of savings. I also love to buy designer items from Bloomingdale’s since I find their rewards program to be the best out of the major department stores. (Depending on the promotion, you can always get $100-$500 back in store gift cards.)
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes! 6 of my 8 Chanels were purchased second-hand, and I have absolutely no regrets about not purchasing from the boutique. I find the quality of vintage and even bags from the early 2000s to be far superior to what is currently on their shelves, so I think the savings and construction make up for not receiving the boutique experience. I’ve purchased from Fashionphile, Rebag, Tradesy, and The RealReal and always had great experiences.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I’ve never actually sold a bag to directly fund the purchase of a new one, but as I said earlier, whenever I buy a few bags, I always sell off a few pieces to justify the purchase. I live in a studio apartment, so if I kept everything, my place would end up looking more like a closet than it does already! I’m also a firm believer in getting rid of things that you’re not regularly using and letting it have a new life with someone else. I typically sell with Yoogi’s and Fashionphile.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Absolutely! With the influencer culture, it’s easy to see girls who seem to have a new bag for everyday of the week. And once you hit fashion week and see everyone with the latest pieces, it’s easy to feel like you would be more accepted with a crazy new piece for every show. But more often than not, a lot of that allure is due to gifting/loans, so it helps to know that people aren’t just going out and spending thousands on new bags every month. Overall, I think social media in general has made it easy for people to feel inferior about their lives and purchasing power in general, but it is a lot of smoke and mirrors, particularly from a fashion perspective.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? An investment in my wardrobe, yes. I tend to stick to classics whenever I spend upwards of $2k on a bag and always try to keep purchases under that for more trend driven pieces since those are the ones that will eventually end up in someone else’s closet. Obviously pieces from brands like Hermès and Chanel do hold their value and can be sold for more than retail, but those are the bags that I always plan to keep in my wardrobe since they’ll never go out of style.
Who influences your buying decisions? I have to keep a close eye on the new collections for work, so I would say the fashion shows and subsequent lookbook emails influence my purchasing decisions the most. Seeing those pieces eventually styled by influencers and celebrities definitely helps trigger the actual purchase, but I’m usually pretty set on buying something by the time it’s out on the shelves.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? I’ve done a lot of shopping at Bottega this past year, and I have an SA that I love there which is helpful since pieces usually fly off the shelves! But overall, the in-store purchasing culture doesn’t really appeal to me. I’d much rather save $1,000+ on a piece than get a fancy box and a glass of champagne when I’m shopping.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? When I was growing up in the Midwest, shopping was the only tangible way I could get up close and personal with the pieces I saw in magazines, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Even after days where I’m surrounded by fashion at work, I still enjoy hitting up the department stores on the weekend and seeing everything perfectly merchandised. It’s also always interesting from both a work and personal perspective to see what other people gravitate towards when they look for new things to buy.
I definitely consider myself to be a shopaholic and probably spend a bit too much on fashion throughout the year. But having new things and looking on trend is unfortunately a big part in succeeding in the industry I work in, so I think I’m able to justify the addiction. I will say that I definitely use the thrill of a purchase as a coping mechanism whenever I hit a rough patch, but I guess it’s better than some of the alternatives? 🙂
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I’ve had my fair share of judgmental sales associates over the years, but fortunately, no major horror stories. I’ve never had a particularly great experience at Chanel boutiques in the States but find SAs at Dior and Bottega to be some of the nicest. I don’t think it’s a secret that you will likely receive better service when you dress up to go shopping.
Who pays for your bags? I pay for the vast majority of my fashion purchases — but my parents do still help me with my general living expenses, so I have more discretionary income than a lot of other young people. I’m incredibly fortunate to still have help, and I’m forever grateful to my mother for always supporting me in career that is notoriously underpaid but still requires a certain look. That being said, I’m a very savvy shopper and always look for the best possible price on anything on I buy (bags, shoes, RTW, etc.), so I think I’m able to get the biggest bang for my buck whenever I get something new.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I don’t like to spend over $2,000 on any of my bags, which is why I love to go for secondhand or vintage. I’m still so young, so I recognize that having anything more expensive than that is really an extravagance that I don’t need to partake in at this stage in life.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I would really feel like a fraud walking into a designer’s showroom with a counterfeit piece, so the thought has never even crossed my mind.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No one will probably ever want to live with all of my stuff, so no significant other to note of! I’ve definitely dropped a zero when my mom asks how much I paid for something though. 🙂
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? When I bought my Chanel Boy Bag as a freshman in college, I didn’t have a personal credit card yet, and I knew that kind of purchase would definitely get flagged on my debit card, so I took out a bunch of cash and loaded up prepaid cards sporadically at Duane Reade. I think it was then that I realized that I didn’t need to be spending that kind of money on anything else.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? When you work in fashion, you honestly shop for a living which sounds like a dream but can lead to some self-destructive behavior. I definitely buy too much, and after the craziness of this year, I have recognized that it would be beneficial for me to stop spending so much on material items. It’s extremely challenging when you’re constantly surrounded by new tempting things, but I’m working on it!
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? My real fashion passions are RTW and shoes (I have over 130 pairs!) — I would much rather spend my money buying amazing designer clothing items than a few bags every season. The beauty of RTW though is that it’s so easy to get pieces on crazy sales, so I’ve been able to amass quite a collection through the years of pieces that I’ll have for life. Shoes are definitely where I have my fun each season (i.e. the plastic thigh boots from Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection), so I find that keeping my bags classic helps complement the crazy.