a transcendent state in which there is neither infinite desire to step into the Hermes stores, whipping out the plastic cards to be swiped in exchange for at times unnecessary merchandise, nor obsessive behavior of texting Sales Associates enquiring about a wish list bag availability, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of buying and filming yet another unboxing video of orange box. It represents the final goal of being contented with what one already owned and the ability to enjoy the fruit of the Hermes collection.
Are you able to identify with the above definition? If yes, congratulations as you must have already achieved the Hermes Nirvana! But for the rest of us mortals, we are probably still figuring the right path to that ultimate state where we have stopped obsessing about scoring the next Hermes bag, and the next Hermes bag.
Below is an evolution of my Hermes obsession over the years and how I am trying to work towards finding that Nirvana so I can finally be content with an ultimate collection.
My initial fascination with Hermes came from its ranges of vintage and heritage leathers. Boxcalf, Barenia, Ardennes, Chevre de Coromandel, Courchevel just to name a few. I experimented with various sizes and collected no less than ten of them in Birkin, Kelly and HAC, with stamp as vintage as 1984.
My next obsession came in the form of colours. I woke up one day and decided wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a collection of B30s in all of the rainbow hues? So off I went and with the help of the flourishing secondary Hermes market in my city, I collected Rouge Exotique, Orange H, Soleil, Bambou, Blue Jean, Iris and Tosca (Because according to an English nursery rhyme, there is Pink in the colours of rainbow). Madness, I know.
Now that I had explored the vintages, the sizes and the colours, what else could I be obsessed about? How about other bag models apart from Birkin and Kelly? So I tried the Garden Party, Jypsiere, Evelyne, Lindy (In two sizes!) and most recently Constance.
And then came the time when I realized that I had very little in a neutral palette in my bag line-up. I had a very fortunate year with the H fairy by my side, I was offered Fauve, Noir, Trench, Gris Mouette, Bleu Indigo and Etain.
At some point evolving through the above four stages, apart from the risk of being buried alive by orange boxes, my wardrobe was so congested that I had to store the bags literally by piling them on top of one another! (BIG mistake, any Hermes bag aficionado could have told you THAT is a dumb move. And I learned my lesson when I discovered a pressed mark on the Swift leather! Nooooo.)
It finally called for a critical pause and self-reflection time.
- How many bags do I actually need? I had the pleasure of reading @kugzz‘s “No more than 10 bags” and it was an enlightenment. We only have 2 arms and possibly a maximum of 16 hours to carry and be seen carrying a bag or a clutch, presuming that we will keep to our beauty routine of 8 hours sleep.
- What do I really want in my bag collection that will make me feel contented? While busy chasing after the next obsession, I never stop to visualize what will my ultimate sac collection would look like in terms of models, sizes, hardware choices, leather types and most importantly the functional value of each bag in my daily life.
- Should I really be continuously putting (hard earned) money into buying another, and another bag year after year until my retirement at the age of 65? My answer is a definite NO. Hence from here, the reflection goes back to asking myself Question 1: How many bags do I actually need?
With that, I started to map out an attempt to achieving my Hermes Nirvana.
Step I – Bag Rationalization
In 2017, I re-homed 7 Hermes bags. SEVEN! And here are the reasons why I bid farewell to those sacs.
- I couldn’t appreciate the leather quality – My B35 Plomb from Stamp X is in small grain Togo and the leather lacked thickness. Not my ideal and I had given it plenty of chances but finally admitted I couldn’t love it more than I should. So I had to break up with Ms Plomb.
- The right leather but in the wrong size – Over a period of usage, I have learned that my personal size preference for Birkin in Epsom is no larger than the B25. In Kelly Sellier, my go-to size is no bigger than K28. With these two conclusions, 3 bags were forcefully removed from the wardrobe.
- The bags have not been out of their dust bags for the last 6 months – This shows that those bags were simply not on the top of my mind. So a K35, the B30 Orange H and the Lindy 26 were all migrated to other loving homes. And yes, I broke up my Rainbow collection at this point.
- Not my style – You may love a certain bag design, but if it doesn’t fit your style, let it go.
Step 2 – Define The Collection
I did try really hard to only just pick 10 bags to remain in the ultimate collection. But I failed. So I decided to go with 18 for the time being by listing which sacs would make The Finals. By doing so, it helped me to recognize which bags I still need to re-home, and if I am ‘permitted’ to add more #newin to complete the journey to my Nirvana.
Step 3 – Plan The #newin
If you are the disciplined collector who takes the time to draw out your yearly bag wish list and acquisition strategy, kudos to you. I am still learning and I have now marked down my wish list for this year, the options of where and when I might be able to acquire them.
And the last thing to do? Pray hard to the H Fairy and we shall see at the end of 2018 if my strategies above have worked in helping me to journey closer to my Hermes Nirvana.
I would love to hear how content you are with your current Hermes bag collection, and if you have any tips to share with the wider community on how else we could achieve that enlightened orange journey. May you constantly leap closer to your own Nirvana and have a blessed year ahead.