Purchasing your first Birkin is a thrilling experience. Having been a part of so many bag unveilings myself, I thought it would be fun to revisit and share the story of one very special homecoming.
Primarily known for her love and passion for collecting Chanel bags, bag blogger PurseBop reminisces with me and turns back the pages of her fashion diary to look back on the arrival of her first Hermes bag, Super Bag XLVIII.
An entrepreneur at heart, she designed, manufactured and distributed a high end line of denim, partnering with luxury stores across the United States and Europe. After retiring her company, she finally had the time to do what she always wanted and developed an outlet for her life-long passion for handbags. PurseBop.com has quickly grown traction to become one of the preeminent online destinations in the luxury handbag scene. She’s incredibly amassed over 40k followers on her PurseBop and PurseBopPicks Instagram pages and is currently plotting the platform’s next phase.
Your collection of Chanel bags is incredible, what made you take your first look into the world of Hermes?
You can’t be a handbag lover without recognizing the distinct place that Hermes has in that world. I felt it was finally time to indulge.
Have you always wanted a Birkin?
In my mind the Birkin or the Kelly had always been reserved for a more mature or evolved state of fashion. Over the years my look and my style changed. I was always keenly aware that I would eventually seek out a Birkin and Kelly, maybe a few of each. I was just waiting for the time they would finally speak to me.
What was the process of putting in your first bag request?
It was a gorgeous summer day and I was having lunch with two very dear girlfriends. We mustered up the courage to adventure into the Hermes store to see what we could learn about the process. We went through swatches and styles, careful not to ask too many questions so we didn’t seem totally oblivious. We were there for probably an hour. At first it was intimidating but the staff was so regal, it was the most delightful experience. We all made a wish list and imagined walking down the street with our Birkins.
What was your first reaction when you saw “her”?
She was breathtaking, but I was more captivated by the overall experience. I really built it up and made it an event for my husband and I to share. We were taken upstairs and the box was still sealed. The sales associate’s white glove unveiling made us feel as though we were witnessing the reveal of a magical diamond. Seeing the bag for the first time was definitely a highlight but it wouldn’t have been as special without the process. As difficult as people say it is, finally making it to the end is very special.
Why did you call your first Birkin The Super Bag XLVIII?
I named it the super bag because we picked it up on Super Bowl weekend. It was my first Birkin so it has a super place in my bag diary.
You’re known as a Chanel Girl, why was buying your first Hermes Birkin bag so special?
I did it at the right time in my life. I don’t think my style of dressing had evolved to the point where I thought a Birkin would be complementary.
I still love the versatility and diversity Chanel pieces offer, there’s a bag to suit every mood. In the evenings I still reach for a blingy Swarovski Boy Bag or my “Miss Cinderleggo” statement Lego Bag. Recently I purchased the No 5 Bottle Bag and I love the conversations these collectors’ pieces spark up. Lately I find myself drawn to classic lines and cleaner looks, hence my new attraction to Hermes. I’d love a closet full of B’s and K’s someday but I think I’ll always have a soft spot for the signature Chanel pieces.
What would you suggest to someone contemplating his/her first bag purchase at Hermes?
My advice would be to invest yourself in the process and enjoy it. Done right, it can be exhilarating. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the particulars so don’t make the process tedious or difficult. If the first three bags that come along are not the ones you want, don’t feel like you have to buy them.
Make it an experience that you can tell your daughter or granddaughters about when you pass it on, mark its arrival so that you remember it forever and let it become a bookmark in your fashion journal.
Now that it’s been one year, how have you used it?
Every special bag I have first goes through what I call the admiration stage. When I buy something really important it takes me a few weeks or sometimes even a month or two before I actually put it into play. I revel in the whole experience of having just purchased it. And the fact that I got an orange Birkin in January didn’t make it relevant to put into rotation right away. But as soon as spring came, I started to use it as a travel bag and would carry my smaller Chanel bags inside. I created the hashtag #whatsinthebirkin to share its contents with my followers and it really caught on. Check it out!
How has owning a Birkin bag opened your eyes to other Hermes products?
The floodgates have swung wide open and I’m learning as much as I can about the history and intricacies of the company. I’m in no rush, there’s really nowhere else to go after Birkins and Kellys, so this process is one I really want to savor. I want to invest in it emotionally, which is where the ultimate joy comes from when buying something special. The actual transaction only takes five minutes. It’s the experiences that we create building up to it that make it momentous.
Now that you own a Birkin bag, what’s next?
What’s next for me is definitely a Kelly. I’ve enjoyed the Birkin but I’m learning that it truly is a carry-only bag. Not being able to be hands free is a limitation sometimes. I am so excited to experiment with the Kelly. I think its classic, clean, sophisticated and best of all it can go over my shoulder. But I’d like to not be as impulsive. I was very eager to make my first Hermes purchase and basically took the first one I was offered which was fortunately something I really wanted. I’d like to invest in the selection more than I did with my Birkin for my first Kelly and I plan to share this journey with my readers along the way!
Photo Credit: PurseBop