“Your bag is beautiful.” I heard from behind me while I was standing in line at Erin McKenna’s Bakery on the Lower East Side. It was a Saturday evening in late July, and I had decided against going out with my friends in favor of cooking myself a nice dinner and cuddling with my French Bulldog, Dudley. Instead of socializing, I figured I should at least get out of my apartment and get some fresh air, so I stepped out for a walk. My feet led me right to Erin McKenna’s, formerly known as Babycakes, an entirely vegan and gluten-free bakery in my neighborhood.
A haven for those with food allergies like myself, I was staring into the abyss of the pastry case, trying to decide which treat I would take home for my solo evening, when an older woman waiting for her order to be ready complimented my bag. I was dressed pretty casually in low-rise jeans, a black mesh tank, and my favorite Nikes. My Loewe Puzzle Hobo Bag in Mandarin was draped over my shoulder, and when I turned to thank her, I immediately noticed her large Chanel Classic Flap in caviar leather with silver hardware, and I knew, she knew.
Bonding Over Bags
“Thank you so much! I love yours, too!” I exclaimed, after which I gushed about how nice Loewe’s leathers are, and she nodded enthusiastically in agreement. I told her how much I loved bags and that I had been collecting them since I was a teen. She smiled brightly as she said goodbye and exited the store. I ordered and left the bakery with a slice of agave chocolate crumb cake in hand and an even sweeter memory of the short but lovely interaction.
Bags are more than bags for many of us; they can be conversation starters and a slice of light on an otherwise gloomy day. The woman I spoke to could have easily been my mother, wearing a chic outfit, likely dressed up for a Saturday evening with her husband; we couldn’t have appeared more opposite to the naked eye. Me with my Y2K-esque outfit and chunky 90s-inspired sneakers and her with a Classic Chanel Flap and quite likely a very pricey fusion of RTW. But still, we bonded over our bags. My Loewe Puzzle Hobo is bright orange and hard to miss, and it has garnered a lot of love since I bought it, which always adds a bit of joy to an otherwise mundane day.