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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