CC 213: The Loewe Lover

Today’s installment of Closet Confessionals brings us to New York City, where we meet CC 213, a physician who has built a fun collection of all Loewe bags, with the exception of one vintage Gucci bag. This Loewe lover enjoys expressing herself through personal style and loves to buy bags that are more funky and eclectic.

A true example of buying what she loves and what works for her, CC 213 has only sold one bag in the past that didn’t end up suiting her needs. CC 213 is not the biggest fan of the shopping process, stating that because she looks very young, people often underestimate her purchasing power. Hence, CC 213 enjoys shopping online more than in-store.

Growing up with immigrant parents has given this collector a unique perspective on spending and shopping, and CC 213 expressed how her Mom passed down a love of thrifting and finding deals, which is so relatable! Read the full CC below, and don’t forget to share your own.

Basic Bio

Your Age? 33
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? New York City
What is your occupation? Physician
What industry do you work in? Health Care
Your annual salary? $240,000
Total Household Income? $240,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? 8

What bags are in your collection?

How much is your collection worth? $20,000

What is your most expensive bag? My Boro puzzle from the Spirited Away collaboration.

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? Nope! If I regret them then I sell them.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Probably as a teenager! It was likely a Coach wristlet or vintage Coach bag that was thrifted.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Nope. I think that I am happy with the bags that I have.

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? I think the funky Hermès bags would be fun to own! But I think they are too expensive for me — I can’t imagine buying one and carrying it around!

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? The Gate bag — it was the first designer bag I purchased!

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? No. Even though I live in NYC, I still feel that a lot of people don’t recognize the Loewe brand/name. People tend to recognize more so my Spirited Away bags more because they recognize the Miyazaki movies 🙂

How do you take care of your bags? I’m very lazy. I try to keep them in their dust bags in my dark closet, but recently it’s not been happening. I don’t have too many bags to worry about it too much though!

How often do you buy new bags? 1-3 times a year.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? Online. I have people-pleasing tendencies working in a glorified service industry (medicine), and I find the SA dynamics stressful, especially lately, now that Loewe has gotten more popular. I also prefer to purchase my bags on sale or discounted. The only bags that I have purchased full price are the Miyazaki collaboration bags (and all the other SLGs/charms/accessories) through an SA.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Loewe

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? I regretted purchasing the Bottega Veneta black non-padded cassette because it was too small for me, and also not durable enough for me. I sold it after I realized it wasn’t for me. I got this bag new but at a significant discount, before it became very popular, and ended up making a small profit after reselling it to a secondhand dealer.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I purchase from secondhand dealers if bags are in new condition. I find that I can end up purchasing new bags for prices cheaper than most second-hand dealers, and thus tend to go the authorized retailer route since I do not end up saving money and also do not have to worry about authenticity.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not really. I have only sold 1 bag to date, as I mentioned above. I sold it to Fashionphile as there is an in-person site in NYC, and so I didn’t have to worry about the logistics of mailing.

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? I have gifted some contemporary old bags to good friends. Most of my friends are not interested in designer handbags or place value on them, so it’s fun to gift something if they might use it more than I would and that they wouldn’t value to spend money on themselves.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No. I tend to purchase only bags that I have been thinking about for many months to a year to prevent impulsive purchases. I am not interested in trendy designs but more so in bags that I love, are functional, and durable.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I do not purchase bags for investments, but knowing the resale value makes me feel less guilty about purchasing them.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? I go based on my own personal style and tastes, which can be a bit wacky/funky sometimes. I then ask my friends and they tell me when some of my preferences are too wacky, which gives me pause and prevents some regrets.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? I express myself through my style. Shopping for clothes, bags, shoes, and whatever other accessories brings me joy when I get to wear it and feel more like myself and personality.

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity, or gender? Yes. I think that I am often dismissed as I look very young for my age and people do not anticipate my income. I often do prefer being ignored and left to my own devices as interacting with SAs make me nervous due to my people-pleasing tendencies.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? If my friends think it is too wacky and not wearable as often, haha! And if it is too expensive, I think about it more (anything more expensive than $2,000, as I have purchased most of my bags at a discount).

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? I only buy Loewe bags now. I really don’t like to worry about taking care of my bags. Many of my Loewe bags have been with me in the pouring rain, e.g. my tote bag has literally been unintentionally turned into a water bucket, have had various food stains, been smashed and contorted in various ways. They all look great after the fact. Other bags are too trendy for me in their designs, or I am worried about their longevity/quality.

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? Myself

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No, it’s not a regular purchase enough for me to set aside. I base my purchases on if I like a bag a LOT!

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? My immigrant parents (who came here with nothing) ask me about my bags, how much they cost, and when I last purchased them.

This makes me nervous sometimes as I know it is very indulgent compared to their lifestyle! I just end up shyly responding directly, and there is no further conversation. I think I do feel a lot of guilt and privilege in my purchases though that leads to a lot of thoughtfulness/anxiety around shopping.

Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? No

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No, although I do often think about how my shopping is an instantaneous way of alleviating my anxieties about life. Fortunately, I do not purchase too many extraneous things due to the above-mentioned guilt, which keeps me in check, and life in NYC is generally expensive to shop too much!

Let’s get personal…

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Does paying rent in Manhattan count? I am otherwise pretty thrifty (thanks Mom), love coupons, getting a deal, and buying things at thrift stores. Most of my designer clothes and thrifting skills came from thrifting with my mom since I was a kid, so it is a comforting and fun thing for me to do.

It’s fun to see thousand-dollar dresses being sold for $8 at a thrift shop. It really puts in perspective the value of these luxury items and therefore reinforces my spending value of buying things I love and will use as long as I can afford them.

What is your favorite journey you have taken so far? Visiting my parents’ home country as an adult with them. It has been helpful to gain perspective on who they are, understand them, and accept them.

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