Buying My First Designer Bag
There are a lot of 'firsts' in your life; your first kiss, first concert... and for those of us who care about luxury goods—a first designer bag.
There are so many takes on the best way to enter the luxury market, what your starter bag should be and what even qualifies as a designer bag. Some people have suggested starting your designer collection with the Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag as it has a much more friendly price point ($550) than other 'starter bags' like the Prada Re-Edition 2005 Re-Nylon Bag (casual $1,950 for a nylon bag) or the classic-to-the-point-of-basic LV Neverfull MM (yoga moms everywhere with their $2,030 totes). All of these bags certainly have their charm, but they are also fairly trendy (or overdone). So, when looking to invest my money in a designer bag I wanted to make sure I didn't regret it in a few years.
I started my identifying which bags types I was gravitating towards, and what the retail value of those bags were. The sticker shock was real. I had no idea bags cost more than $5,000 let alone how many bags cost more than that! Instagram and the influencers that come along with it, certainly made me think owning designer items was much more reasonable than the reality. It was a good gut-check of the why behind my purchase. Am I purchasing so other people see it? It is "for the 'gram"?
I ended up doing quite a bit of research on the luxury market as a whole, the history behind some of the fashion houses and their iconic designs, re-brands, and fashion. Learning about the materials used, the craftsmanship involved, and knowing my purchase would actually increase in value YOY; I knew this was a purchase I would love.
After two years of waiting and searching for the right bag and price point, I purchased the Chanel Classic Double Flap in black caviar leather with gold hardware and a black interior.
There are two things that make this bag a bit unique:
The black on black leather was produced for only a few years before they returned to the classic maroon color interior found in the black leather double flap bags of today.
The hardware is plated in vintage 24k gold, which Chanel stopped after 2008!
This was the perfect choice for me for a few reasons. Let's start with the obvious: I love Chanel. In fact, my first ever designer purchase were vintage Chanel earrings. For practical reasons it was the best choice as despite being labelled the 'small' double flap, this size bag holds everything I need and the double closure keeps everything secure. The caviar leather is the most durable, and as this is my first designer bag, it will be seeing more use than in a collector's closet. I also wanted a bag with the vintage gold hardware as this adds a bit of glam (and value).
It's been about a year since I purchased my bag and I 100% LOVE IT. I have traveled with it, used it for cute dinners and brunches and every time it brings me so much joy! Honestly, it's the best purchase I have ever made and the bag is stunning. If you're on the fence about a designer bag, do your research, sit on it, but if you can't stop thinking about it.... just go for it!