In today’s brand new confessional we meet a bag lover whose taste for classic bags knows no bounds. Like many of her fellow tPFers this lawyer from down under has been collecting bags since she was 18, mainly focusing on the holy trinity—Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Recently though, she made her first Bottega Veneta purchase and fell hard for BV under Daniel Lee with the addition of a coveted Pouch bag into her rotation. While she loves collecting luxury bags just like the rest of us, this confessor has a calculated approach towards bag-buying, questioning how a bag will fit into her wardrobe and assessing if it’s different enough from what she already owns. She’s not opposed to shopping pre-loved either and in fact, nearly half of her bags come from the secondary market. Read this week’s full confessional below and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Household Income: $300,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 22+
What bags are in your collection?
Hermes B35 Black togo GHW
Hermes B30 Gold togo PHW
Chanel Jumbo CF black caviar GHW
Chanel Jumbo CF red lambskin SHW
Chanel Medium CF black caviar GHW
Chanel Medium CF beige clair caviar SHW
Chanel Medium CF plum lambskin RHW
Chanel classic WOC black caviar GHW
Chanel classic WOC red caviar SHW
BV Pouch in tan
Chloe medium Paraty ivory leather
Chloe medium Paraty black leather
Chloe Paddington in almond leather
Dior black lambskin leather shoulder bag/hobo
Prada hobo in teal leather
Michael Kors chocolate leather Skorpios hobo
LV Capucines PM galet GHW
LV Capucines PM black GHW
LV Alma PM in cannelle epi leather
LV Neverfull MM in damier ebene
LV Sofia Coppola clutch in cherry
LV Sofia Coppola clutch in cobalt
Vintage Tom Ford for YSL black satin cigarette wristlet
Vintage Tom Ford for YSL white satin cigarette wristlet
How much is your collection worth? In terms of replacement at today’s insane prices, around $140,000
What is your most expensive bag? My Hermes B35 is the most expensive in today’s pricing but because I bought it in 2011, the B30 is actually the most I’ve ever paid for a bag. I bought that bag in 2017.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I’m really attached to all my bags to be honest, so it’s hard for me to pick just one bag or brand! My personal taste and style is pretty classic and I think as a result my collection is probably quite similar to a lot of TPF members. There is the holy trinity of Hermes/Chanel/LV and then I have other bags that I’ve picked up over the years. My BV Pouch is the newest and I’ve been absolutely thrilled with it as my first piece from BV. But I also only purchased my Chloe Paddington pre-loved earlier this year as well and I’m pretty obsessed with it as well – makes me feel so nostalgic.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? When I was 18 I was given some money by my grandparents for my birthday and I bought a beautiful bright red leather tote at Longchamp and then put the rest in savings. I had that bag for over 10 years, it went with me to university and to my first job interview. It was basically attached to me for 10 years. Sadly, the handles split a few years ago and I tried having it repaired but it didn’t really work.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I have been looking more seriously at BV since buying the Pouch earlier this year but I also fell really hard for the metallic rainbow leather WOC at Chanel this year and I think I might keep an eye out if that appears pre-loved somewhere.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? I adore all my bags but my most sentimental is probably the Hermes B35 in black with GHW. She was my ultimate HG bag and it was so completely unlikely when I actually got her. I was in Paris with my mum and we went to the FSH store and it was busy but I don’t imagine as crazy as it is now with people having to line up etc. We browsed for a while, I bought a Clic H bracelet and then I noticed a man standing at a counter with a list and a book with leather samples in it. I thought, I have nothing to lose here and walked over and asked whether it would be possible for my mother and I to order a bag? He said yes, certainly. And he took our details and we each ordered a bag – my mum ordered a classic Kelly 32 in gold epsom with PHW and I picked my beautiful Birkin. He said we will contact you when it is ready to collect and that was that. We left, I looked at mum and said well, obviously we’ll never hear anything further, it can’t be that simple. But 4 months later there was an email that both our bags were ready and when would we like to collect them? Just like that, the H fairy waves her wand sometimes.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Not really. When you’re young and you make your first designer purchase, people might be inclined to remark on it – I think the world sometimes treats young people like public property and feels that it’s ok to comment on a younger person’s discretionary spending. I think it’s different when you’re older, I don’t feel as though I have to apologise for my passion for luxury goods. I’ve been collecting bags for 20 years and I think after a certain age or a certain purchase, people stop feeling entitled to question you, at least to your face. I’m sure some people comment behind my back but that’s just part of life really and it doesn’t bother me.
How often do you buy new bags? It varies, I can go for 2-3 years without buying anything and then I seem to buy 2 or 3 bags in a few months.
Which stores do you frequent the most? LV, Chanel, Matches, Net-a-Porter and Yoogi’s Closet.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes, I’ve bought probably half my bags new retail and half pre-loved. There is a luxury consignment boutique in my city called Designer Archives which I love and online, I feel confident with Yoogi’s Closet and My Timeless Luxuries.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes, I audit my closet at least once a year and move items on. I’m selling fewer bags as I get older because I’m more confident in my taste and style so I know now before I purchase whether I’ll get use out of a bag or not. I sell my bags at Designer Archives or alternatively, I have sold to friends or colleagues directly.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, not at all.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Not in the traditional sense of making a capital gain on them down the track, but in the fashion sense of being able to wear and re-wear a bag for years, yes. I’m a collector and I always look at a purchase from the perspective of “Where does this piece fit in my existing collection? What does it bring to my collection that I can’t get from a bag I already own?”
Who influences your buying decisions? I typically will research a new bag after I see it on Instagram a few times and decide I like it. I’ll also come to TPF and see if there are modelling shots or if someone has any negative comments about the design/wearability etc.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Yes, I like to have a reliable SA if I can but it’s not always possible. Right now, I have good relationships with SAs at Chanel and Dior, which means its just so much easier to reserve something if I see a cute item online. My Chanel SA always leaves me a message when hard to get items like espadrilles or ballet flats come in. My SAs at Hermes and LV have both moved on in the past couple of years so I don’t really know anyone there at the moment.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I don’t really enjoy the act of shopping, to be honest. I prefer to browse and research online in the comfort of my home when it’s convenient to me, so I only go into store to try something on or to make the purchase. I’ve always had a demanding job and when I’m not working I enjoy being home, cooking and spending time with my family. The act of shopping as recreation isn’t really something I do, so my approach is probably more utilitarian: I’m here to get the thing, let’s get the thing and go!
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? When I was younger sometimes. People can be a bit sniffy about a young person buying a luxury bag but now, never.
Who pays for your bags? I do. My husband has bought me one bag – my LV Capucines PM in Galet, as a Christmas present the year I had our little boy. I didn’t meet my husband until I was in my late 20s and I’d already been collecting for around 10 years at that point, so meeting him didn’t change the dynamic of how I purchased my bags. Bags are my hobby and passion.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? After bills, investment savings and retirement savings, I put everything else into a personal account, which I call my funsies account. Everything that is not a household or joint purchase, so clothes, shoes, jewellery, bags, comes out of the funsies account. I don’t set a budget for bag purchases as such but I prefer to always have no less than $7K in my funsies account. So if buying a bag (or anything else) takes the balance below $7K, I won’t do it. That’s a psychological thing really, I just like having that buffer there.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Haha, absolutely. “This? I’ve had it for AGES.”
Narrator: Since yesterday. She bought it yesterday.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I don’t know that I’ve ever done anything crazy to afford a bag but flying to Paris to pick up a bag is pretty crazy!
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I struggled after my son was born because I went from a very intense and high-pressure job to caring for a newborn and it was such a big change. Coupled with the usual body changes and a bout of PND and I could NOT find my style and I hated item of clothing I owned. I felt like everything was wrong and I needed a whole new look. Fortunately, I had a great friend who was also a mum and she warned me to watch our for the newborn spending phase. After I bought a few items online during those midnight feeds with my son and they turned up and just looked terrible, I remembered what she said and then I didn’t buy anything else for over 18 months.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I’m like most bag collectors I think – I like clothes, shoes and jewellery as well. My husband and I also collect art on a small scale.