Tote-ally Nostalgic: Staffers Share Their First Designer Handbag Stories
Whether it was bought, gifted, passed down, or found in a pile of secondhand items, your first designer leather handbag will always hold a special place in your heart. Today, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with our stylish staffers and reliving that joy of their very first designer finds! Also, check out what to look for when shopping for a secondhand designer handbag.
MARGARET, SENIOR RECRUITER
What are you looking forward to most for the holidays?
Forcing my family to play board games. I generally assume the role of “Cruise Director Margaret” and am responsible for planning out games and activities for the family to do over the holidays.
What’s #1 on your wishlist right now?
A Costco membership! Is that not the most adult gift ever?
Tell us about your first designer handbag.
My first designer handbag was a Coach bag from my Aunt Teri for my 15th birthday. I was so excited, I made a scrapbook (I was very into scrapbooking back then) to commemorate the occasion. I staged a photo shoot and everything. Yes, I was THAT excited about the gift. I may have added a few more goodies to the closet since then, but I still use my very first Coach handbag to this day!
ALLISON, BRAND EDITOR
You’re a big advocate for thrifting. Any tips for someone looking to buy a designer handbag secondhand?
For in-demand items like designer handbags, the best thing you can do is save your searches. thredUP will either send you an email or a notification on your phone when a handbag from your favorite designer arrives. Also, if it’s still out of your price range, use Affirm. You can spread your payments out over 3 months with zero interest. Wins all around.
Take us back to your very first handbag.
My first designer handbag was a leather tote from Marc Jacobs — the one with the two front pockets and chunky metal hardware. This was back in the day of the It Bag. Early aughts. It was a hand-me-down from my cool aunt Karen. It felt like I won the lottery.
I was in my twenties and could never have afforded it on my own. I never use it anymore but I still have it and cherish it. I always think about her generosity and today I try to take care of my things so I can gift or hand them to down to friends or family.
Would you recommend gifting secondhand?
YES!! It feels so good and every day we get closer and closer to it becoming the norm. It’s smart and cool to shop used and we should all be proud of the money we save and the good that comes with not contributing to more waste on this planet. The best way to help people get over the stigma of secondhand is to show them how great it is. Who is going to be upset about receiving a perfectly pre-loved Kate Spade handbag or wallet? Prob no one.
HILARY, PRODUCTION DESIGNER
What’s your dream handbag?
My dream handbag is a vintage quilted Chanel single flap handbag. It’s totally unrealistic for my current budget, but maybe one day…
When and where did you get your first designer handbag?
I purchased my first designer handbag very recently from thredUP — go figure! I was at our distribution center in Pennsylvania for a video shoot, and I ended up doing a little shopping at one of our warehouse sales. I was browsing the designer handbag section, and I found the most perfect vintage leather CELINE crossbody bag. I knew it was the one as soon as I laid my eyes on it.
It needed a little love on the interior because the previous owner had left it a bit of a mess, but it was easy to clean up. Now it’s almost as good as new! I wear it with a smile almost every day. It’s a special memento that will always remind me of this chapter in my life.
Are you gifting secondhand this season?
100,000% yes. I have a list of people I want to get an extra special (aka Luxe!) gift for this year, but I don’t have a luxe bank account. Secondhand prices make it possible for me to gift alllll the fancy things. If you’re thinking of gifting luxury items this year, I would highly recommend considering gifting secondhand. You have much greater purchasing power in the secondhand luxury retail space than you do if you were purchasing new.
Secondhand makes owning a designer item so much more attainable! Just ask our staffers! Whether you’re gifting yourself or for others, secondhand luxe will brighten up anyone’s day (without breaking the bank).
Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your very first designer handbag in the comments below.