The story behind my very first designer bag

30 May 2016

People often ask me why I’m obsessed with handbags. As I’ve tried to find a reason behind my never resting urge to hunt for a new bag, I came to the simple conclusion. I have no idea. I can tell you where my love for designer bags began. I blame Vogue. Growing up I was totally obsessed by owning a Prada bag. In the Nineties on every page you could spot a supermodel wearing a nylon backpack. Oh boy, did I dream of carrying my books to school in that bag. After getting my degree, mind you I wasn’t a journalist then, I decided to bring my very first salary to the Dutch store that sold Prada.

A girl like you shouldn't go for a fashion fad
When I entered the kingdom of bags, there was more than one amazing model smiling at me. Their shiny leathers, tough nylon and tantalizing triangles all made my heart race. The sales assistant was a very elegant lady. She glanced me up and decided I was ready for my first designer bag. But instead of selling me my coveted backpack she turned to the more ladylike designs. "A girl like you shouldn’t go for a fashion fad," she told me. "Don’t just waste your money on a dream. Make wise decisions. See it as an investment and buy a more classic design." Needless to say, the easy to go shoulder tote she picked for me was love at first sight. It carried everything I needed, the design was discrete enough and didn’t scream ‘rob me, I’m carrying a designer bag’ plus it fitted all occasions. Friends who understood fashion were in awe and the bag even helped out some girlfriends who needed to impress international guests. Friends outside the fashion industry, of which I have many, were in shock. How could one spend such an amount on something so….plain.

The first of an inexplainable addiction
Needless to say I went back the next month to buy a pair of shoes (or maybe two), but not a bag. After the unique experience I waited, I think, another year before my real cravings for designer bags begun. The moment when I really got the hots for buying a new bag and the thrill that goes with it. And although I love each and every one of my carefully picked bags, I do sell some of them if I feel they are better off on somebody else’s arm. It is always good to give your beloved bag a second chance. But that first Prada – even if I haven’t worn it for years- will never ever leave the collection. It will be forever the first of an inexplainable addiction. 

Follow my bag adventures every month on Designer-Vintage. And please share the story behind the first designer bag you ever bought.