For The Love Of Handbags…

One of my mother’s favorite anecdotes about my early childhood is my first “bag crush”. As she remembers it I was maybe 3 or 4, I don’t remember it, but then I don’t remember learning to speak either.

We were on holiday in South Africa, and as she and I walked into a store (probably Woolworths) there was a display which included a white, round, shiny, pleather, crossbody bags with a multi-colored design on one side. I walked directly up to this bag, touched it and said,

“Oh, mommy, look at this…” in awe. When my mother asked what I was so interested in, I responded, “mommy, this bag is perfect!” She asked why, and then apparently I, in depth, told her all the ways and with what I would wear this perfect bag. I told her I would carry my pencils, my doll, and my notebook in it. I got the bag and it was indeed perfect.
I have since met many perfect bags. Many times I have walked into a store and immediately fallen in love with a bag. Sometimes these bags come home with me, sometimes they don’t. But I can say almost every bag I’ve ever bought has had a moment of being perfect. I’ve often “sold” friends on bags based on the love theory. If you see a bag, and you feel like you can’t live without it, you shouldn’t run the risk, you may very well die, or at least be struck ill. I’ve had sleepless nights worrying about whether I should or should not procure a bag, hours of thought into how to construct a base, or strap.

I am in love with handbags. I love clothes, scarves, shoes, and jewelry. I love making, buying and revamping all these things, but handbags, I am IN love with them.  I believe that a handbag can change a whole outfit, whole day, my mood, how people will respond to me, everything. The right bag will make the whole world flow in sync magically and the wrong bag will ruin my day. I am in love with all sorts of bags: big ones, small ones, hobos, totes, satchels, clutches, cross bodies, and in all sorts of colors and materials.  I have had love affairs with many bags over my life, classic and futuristic (I had a light blue inflatable backpack in middle school, and slaughtered many a plushie animal for the faux fur.)

But don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a bag snob, I love beautiful bags and I can practically sniff out certain ones, but one of my favorite things is designing and making my own bags. It’s where I find my greatest sense of stylistic development occurring. I feel like my desire to make comes from my, anti-shopping mother and desire to browse, hunt and buy is from my shopping-friendly father. I think they both think my perpetual bag crushes are silly. (“Mom…I’m in Puerto Rico…yes, it’s nice here…yeah, the weather is beautiful…yes, they are fine. Mom…there’s this bag…it’s on sale…but Mom…it’s turquoise…” I definitely had this phone conversation in a Coach store.)

So if you’re in a room with me and you find me staring at your handbag, it’s not a criminal urge bubbling up, it’s more likely me fighting the design to pet your bag.