Although there are theoretically a lot of entry points to an obsession with designer handbags, for Americans in a certain age range, one is far more common than others: Coach. Because Coach offers a particular combination of accessibility and name recognition, the brand is often patronized by shoppers in their late teens and early 20s, clutching paychecks from after-school jobs and hoping to buy their first little piece of the fashion industry. Coach was how both Megs and I got started in handbags, and it’s also the first, currently, and only love of the subject of today’s Closet Confessionals.
We’re always looking for people from different backgrounds, financial situations, personal styles and points of view, so if you think your bag buying habits should be represented, fill out the form at the link below for a chance to appear in your very own Closet Confessionals!
Gender Identity: Male
Location: Orlando, Florida
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 26
How much is your collection worth? $12,386
What is your most expensive bag? The most expensive bag that I own is between two styles. I have my Coach Saddle Bag in colorblock python, which was $995, as well as my Crocodile Embossed Swagger Bag, which was also $995.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? The most important brand and only brand I own for bags is Coach. It’s so important to me because it has been a part of my life for six and a half years, from my very first Coach wallet down to the 26th bag.
The most important pieces in my collection are my Saddle Bags, as well as my new Tote 34. The Saddle Bag in Tabac specifically is one of the most important because it was the first bag I bought during New York Fashion Week. I was in New York for the first time EVER and I remember treating myself to this bag and having it monogrammed with my initials, right after it walked down the runway back in 2015. The color and the leather are just so beautiful and soft that I always find myself going back to this bag.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was eighteen years old when I got my first designer bag. It was a Coach men’s sling pack in all black pebble leather, and it was $378. I still own this bag and could never imagine parting with it, as it was the first real piece that began my obsession!
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Yes. It is my Lenox Bag.
I remember calling my grandfather and telling him about this bag that I really wanted. He didn’t understand my obsession with bags, but he didn’t question it either. He knew that if it made me happy, that’s what mattered. He agreed to treating me to this bag, if I assisted him on my days off with some office work. Every time I pull this one out of the closet, it always reminds me of him.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I definitely think the bag on someone’s arm changes the perception of them, depending on where they are. I also believe that a bag should not wear the person and the person should wear the bag. That’s why I love Coach. Compelling price points and superior craftsmanship. The styles have definitely come a long way, and the fashion relevancy falls within today’s trends.
I don’t necessarily want my bag to change people’s perception of who I am or treat me differently, as I am a person, and all people should be treated equally, however, when I have a kick-ass looking bag on, I definitely don’t want it to go unnoticed.
How often do you buy new bags? I often buy a bag(s) once a quarter.
Which stores do you frequent the most? When it comes to buying bags, I always shop Coach.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I have purchased second hand, and it has been through Mercari and, shockingly, Etsy.
I do often browse through Tradesy, The Real Real, and Grailed to see what pieces they have that may have been an exclusive for a certain country or maybe wholesale, but unless it is at a really good price or something that absolutely wows me, I don’t typically bite.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I have never sold an old bag to pay for a new one. I cherish all of the bags that I own, even if I may not use them all.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Always! Normally I am the one pressuring friends or colleagues to purchase. However, I work in the fashion field! Fashion is always changing and trends come and go. I hop on board before the doors closes and the trend fades away. Hence why I typically buy quarterly.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Absolutely. I never buy a style that will always be sitting on a shelf. You’ll typically see me going for the styles that are limited edition/quick to sell out.
Who influences your buying decisions? I am usually influenced by friends/colleagues as well as my mama. (Even though she will ALWAYS yell at me, saying I have TOO many bags! Which is not a thing.)
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? I think that building relationships with the customer is the most important part of “sales.” The “customer” doesn’t need the “associate.” The “associate” needs the “customer.” We could all simply shop online and do this from the comfort of our own homes, otherwise. (Unless you’re seeking a Birkin or Kelly or after some Chanel.)
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I enjoy shopping because it interests me. I love seeing the new colors for the season, or the new designs and trends. Again, the world of fashion is always changing, and with me being in the fashion market, I love to be a part of it and follow the change.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I believe I have received inferior service at a store due to my appearance in the past. I don’t believe on judging people by their appearance, gender, or ethnicity. I have worked in a field with many individuals that come from different backgrounds, and I identify ALL as equal. Just because you may be dressed in sweatpants, identify yourself as a certain gender that you weren’t born with, or have a certain skin tone, doesn’t mean that you should be punished. PERIOD. At the end of the day, again, the customer is not there because they need the associate. The paying customer, no matter what she or he may look like, dress like, or act like, is putting money in their registers, which keeps their doors open.
Who pays for your bags? I pay for my bags. Occassionaly I have received gift cards from friends and family, or family has treated me to a bag. But that’s a rarity. I have paid for the majority of my collection.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I sometimes will set aside a budget. Or if I know that a certain collection has my name written all over it, I will allow myself X amount of money to spend.
I have taken on extra work in the past in order to feed my addiction to bags and am not ashamed of it. My grandfather taught me to work hard for the things that I want in life. And as hard as I work, I do realize that I have certain responsibilities before I spending on luxury. (I have been known to put a new bag first before my cell phone bill, LOL. NO SHAME!)
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Have I ever purchased a counterfeit? No. Has it crossed my mind? LOL. Whose mind does it not cross?! However, I think of it this way: If I SAVE the money that I would be spending on a counterfeit and apply it the fund for the authentic, I would be SAVING myself money in the end.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? It’s just ME! So nothing to hide. 🙂
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Craziest thing I have done to afford a bag has been signing up for UBER!
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? My shopping is definitely a problem. I think I do have an addiction with shopping which isn’t a surprise to me. My family has had a long history of addiction, however, mine just seems to be the most healthy. At the end of the day, I know that my responsibilities come first. If my rent is paid, my car payment and insurance have been paid and there’s a little extra funds in the account for some fun, by all means! However, if all is not in balance…well..looks like I’ll be doing UBER again to get my hands on that bag!
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love to eat out. I HATE cooking.