I’ve told this story before, but it’s one worth revisiting, especially on our 4th Annual National Handbag Day. I’m constantly asked, “Why bags?” and the truth is I’ve loved bags since I was young. Everyone assumes I came from a family where my mom was a bag lover as well, but that wasn’t the case. Sure, she’s come around now, but growing up, my mom was busy shuffling four kids to and from school and sports and making dinner every night. (Yep, she’s super mom, and I’m fairly certain that even though I’ll be a good mom, I won’t be able to match her mothering excellence.)

A lot of my love for bags has to do with growing up in South Florida, where the bag game is strong, and trying to find something that would make my outfit stand out. I went to private school and wore a typical uniform, and before and after school every day I was at swim practice, so my hair was always slightly green, smelled of chlorine, and in a messy bun. Having a nice handbag made me feel like I would be able to show my personal style a little and dress up my typical look. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the Coach Pochette, I was in seventh grade and became obsessed. (Also, I bet many of you had this bag too, so let me know in the comments below!) It was the first bag I wanted, and I started to cut it out of every magazine I saw it in and take trips to the mall to stare at it.

My mom and dad eventually broke down and bought me the bag in the classic tan Coach hue with the old signature C pattern, and in the interest of fairness, they got one for my sister, too, even though she wasn’t nearly as interested. I carried that bag everywhere with me, and on the weekends, after swim practice, I’d go with my friends to the mall to eat an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and “shop,” that little bag perched proudly on my shoulder. That Coach bag started it all, and fast-forward nearly 20 years later and I’m still a handbag lover, still a Coach girl, and still talking about my love of designer bags daily.

Coach Rogue Bag

It’s fitting then that not only is Coach a brand I still adore, but also have the pleasure of working with. From that tiny little shoulder bag in seventh grade to the brand’s new collections under Stuart Vevers, I’ve stuck with Coach. Lately, I’ve been carrying the Coach Rogue Bag, and I am obsessed with the deep jewel-hued fall colors and the Coach Varsity Jackets–for real, if no one ever gave you their varsity jacket in high school or college (hands up over here), doesn’t this seem like the most fashionable nostalgic piece?

What was your first designer bag ever and how did you end up loving bags?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Saf!

    I’ve always been into fashion, I remember being young and going into my mother’s closet to try on her shoes, bags and jacket, fast-forward to every September when I went all over the place trying to buy the perfect school bag, get me to tenth grade when Louis Vuitton first released their white multicolored collection and I was OBSESSED! I was dying for wallet on chain but it was out of my league-I was only buying Guess purses at the time. I got my first designer bag in college- it was a Gucci, classic with he print and I loved it, carried with me everywhere and anywhere, wore with everything and anything; the same year my sister and I bought together the Fendi baguette and from there on my love and obsession and spending on bags is on a craze :) I still have that Gucci bag and wear it every now and then….

  • Alex R

    I was a late bloomer as far as designer bags are concerned. I’ve spent my last 2 years of high-school in England, and discovered Mulberry at the airport store in Heathrow. They looked so elegant, felt and smelled so good! It became my dream to own one, but back then I couldn’t afford one, so it remained a dream for a long time ( till I was through with university and started working), and now– thank God– I have my very own collection. My time in England turned me into a die hard anglophile, so I intend to stick with Mulberry through thick and thin. No other brand over the years could give me the same feeling. Like any girl, I would love an Hermes Kelly or a classic Chanel flap one day, but Mulberry has a special place in my heart.

  • Sandy

    Like most of us it started small and grew from there. I had a Coach bags, cannot even remember which ones, and an LV Speedy and up from there to Chanel. I am not sure I will ever play the Hermes game as I do not have a local store and on vacation I do not see me lowering myself to beg a SA to go in the bag and get a Birkin… I love Chanel so I will happily stick with that.

  • Ellen Peters

    It started when I moved downtown and sold my car. I needed a convenient bag. My first bag brand love was Bree. They are durable, well designed and I still think they look nice. Then I became obsessed with different types of fine leather and bag design.

  • My first premier designer bag was a Gucci medium vintage boston. I felt like a superstar every time I carried it. Prior to that, I had a bunch of Guess bags and two Coach bags. One was a blue and white hobo with the small c’s on it. I think the smell of that particular Coach bag and the way they wrapped it contributed to my love for bags.

    As I went more expensive, the packaging got nicer, the service (usually) got better and the smell of leather was more divine. I feel like a grown woman with a bag that’s worth staring at. Every once in a while I’ll place my bag on a table and see all eyes shift to my bag. Love it! Men have their watches and yachts and whatever else they have, and I have my fancy bags.

  • Irene

    I’ve had my eye on the rogue in that same color and size. Your link sends me to the rogue 25. Is that what’s in your photo? Also, is that color called “denim”?

  • buffmom33

    Same one of my first designer bags was the Coach pouchette I was in 8th grade and my parents got it for me for Christmas I was obsessed with bags from then on!!!!

  • Megan Michelle

    Ahhhh! The Coach Pochette. I was 13, my mother bought me a fire engine red one. I still have it for memories. (Despit it being ALMOST ruined) That purse ignited my love for handbags. I have since ‘graduated’ to my love affair with Prada, but still respect Coach as a brand that started it for me. Happy National Handbag Day!

  • Maya

    Holy crap, my first luxury handbag was a D&G black Lily bag with all the zippers, I still love it to this day!! Since then, it was the beginning of the end….bags, bags, bags, I’ve sold some, given away some and over the years became very specific about the bags I like:))

  • Rashmi

    Mine was a mini Coach bag too gifted by my darling hubby 8 or 9 years ago. Then I came across Purseblog and the rest is history. I have so many bags now some which I have not even carried yet. The beauty of the design, color, functionality everything about designer handbags is so captivating that one fails to control oneself.

  • Josh Cohen

    My first designer bag that I bought was a vintage Gucci bag. From there, I’ve quickly spiraled! Haha. Anyone else pumped to find good bag deals on Black Friday in about a month?

  • Ivy

    My mom is a bag lover, so that’s one of her traits she’s passed onto me! My first bag was also a Coach monogram pochette in middle school, which was handed down to me from my mom. The next one she gave me was the LV monogram pochette. I remember carrying that around the mall, but being slightly embarrassed since I considered myself too young to be carrying a designer bag.

  • Vlee

    My first designer bag was an orange PS1 that I got for my 23rd birthday. I still find myself falling in love with it everytime I use it (not very often, but each time has certain magic)

  • Candace

    My first designer bag was a Gucci camera bag that my favorite uncle bought for me and one for my cousin. We were the talk of our small town high school with those designer bags. It was the early eighties and designer jeans were just becoming the it thing. I still have that bag…

  • kk78

    I have been obsessed with bags since I was a little girl. The first one I remember getting as a “big girl bag” was a little leather pouch with fringe that my Mom got at Saks in NYC and I thought it was magical. It was a little bit funky and at 12 years old, it might as well have been a Chanel bag for the joy it gave me. Around 13-14 I became obsessed with Chanel starting with their red nail polish. Since then, I dreamed of having a Chanel bag of my very own and a few years back on a trip to Paris with my Mom I picked up the black lambskin WOC with silver hardware. I am hoping to get a classic bag for a big birthday coming up. In any case, I think for many of us bags have been “it” since we were little. And I don’t think we could’ve picked a better obsession!

  • ToniP

    My first bag was a small Gucci bag. I cannot remember the style, but it is the size of a small cosmetics bag. Had the standard blue GG’s on it. I begged my Mom each and every time we passed the Marshall Field’s designer hand bags. After a year or so she finally caved in. I was in high school and it was a proud day when I could hand that bag in my locker. From then on it went everywhere. I still have it. Today it IS my cosmetics bag! My love for Gucci continues to this day as they are one of my favorite designers.

  • blueskies16

    Coach bags are probably as “designer” as I’ll ever get, but I love them.

  • crescent

    For my college graduation my sister promised me that she would give me my first designer bag as a graduation gift. I’ve always loved the girly bags from Kate Spade and thought that I would ask for one but I also kept my options open, visited boutiques and researched other brands and styles. It is through researching bags that my love for it developed. In the end, my sister gifted me with a Gucci Jackie O bag for my first designer bag. After a couple of months working, I did buy a black hobo bag from Kate Spade which I used for years and years using my first couple of paychecks.

  • Vicky

    Yes, I do have that Coach pouch. :) Still have it now in all-leather wine color. :)
    My first designer bag is MJ Stella and I still love it to bits. ;) And I just love bags because no matter what happen, it fits and it helps me carry my stuff all day long without losing them. What not to like about our little helper? ;)

  • emily

    I got my first designer bag at sixteen it was a sort of sixteenth birthday gift, it was the Michael Kors large Hamilton tote in vanilla I got it two months after my birthday when we were on a holiday in the States. I adored the bag, I only just parted ways with the bag recently I used to use it as my bag for school in year 11 and 12. The only regret I had with the bag was getting it in Vanilla, that was just silly. I have had a number of Michael Kors bags since and I will soon be purchasing my first high end designer bag, either the Gucci soho or Gucci marmont. I hope when I finish uni and get a full time job I can grow my collection, I want to own Balenciaga, Celine, Chanel, Dior, Valentino and YSL bags. I’m hoping my parents will get me the Balenciaga mini city bag, the YSL sac de jeour nano bag or a YSL monogram bag of some sort, I don’t see myself ever owning a Hermes even if I was wealthy. Maybe I would consider buying the mini one if that were the case as I prefer mini bags being quite a petite person, but I’ve just never been one to fawn over them.