Part II: Mama Bagged a New Birkin with ‘Asset Restructuring’

If you ask this mom turned a ‘handbag aficionado’, “about her most treasured handbag in rotation, it may come as no surprise that my utilitarian diaper bag collects…hmm- dust. To be honest, a Hermès Birkin dominates the top spot even though it lacks a fold-out changing pad, elastic side pockets or stroller straps. Sought after by fashionistas around the globe, the Birkin bag needs little introduction or explanation. After all, its timeless minimalistic appeal, limited production and exclusivity factor only increase a Birkin’s allure. It easily takes the throne as the most coveted bag above all.

IMG_6059_Facetune_14.12.2017-13_36_56

IMG_6542 (1)

Even after a handful of Birkins in my bag collection, I have yet to develop an immunity to this highly contagious Hermès bug spreading rapidly behind my closet’s doors. Symptoms include but are not limited to: powerful cravings, citrus substance dependency, obsession, compulsive consumption and, lastly, denial.

IMG_6613

Now before you stage an intervention or send me to a Bagaholics Anonymous meeting, hear me out. This Accounting & Finance major has a tried and tested formula for curating the perfect handbag collection without breaking the bank.

Let’s discuss my ‘asset management 101’ and I am not referring to my physically attached resources that serve as a life support system to my boob-junkie Dictator Baby who demands countless rounds of fresh breastmilk daily. Although those ‘assets’ ( get it? ) sure do prove to be an invaluable human capital…

IMG_6596

In our context, I deem those luxe leather bags of French houses like Chanel and Hermès to be a handbag collector’s ‘assets’. But with only two arms, a limited budget (without squandering my kiddos’ college funds) and an insatiable appetite for more – one must learn to ‘let go’.

My asset managment philosophy is a systematic process of maintaining, upgrading and disposing of such assets cost-effectively. Now can you handle that or are you the sentimental type? I clearly drop a bag like a hot potato when a better one comes.

Case in point, each time the H Fairy unexpectedly calls with a bag offer, I run through my closet and ponder: “which purse shall I sacrifice next?” all in the name of – you guessed it – Hermès.

IMG_0421

Red Kelly is at the H spa but the Gold B35 and Craie K32 were all re-homed because of size.

I will be the first to admit, it is impossible not to acknowledge the great occupation taking place in my own bag arsenal. Infantry forces have turned every black & white Chanel box into an ‘orange zone’ designated for a coveted Birkin or Kelly. After all, there is only so much space for display on my closet’s shelves. Sorry Coco, this mama has clearly gone gaga for Hermès.

1664ff697cf3ad33b9784ab40251bba1

This is not a mirror image, LOL.

IMG_9809

This exotic snakeskin chanel bag is one of only two Chanel purses left in my collection.

Let the record show, I have dismembered a 10 year Chanel capsule collection purse by purse just to fund my orange dreams. I let go of a dozen handbags adorned with beautiful prints, vibrant embroidery, shiny sequins, and faux pearl embellishments. I gave a bunch of Boy (bags) the boot and re-homed everything from classic flaps to chevron patterned quilts and even exotic stingray skins. I assume Gabrielle would be mad but I can live with that.

IMG_8264

Once I ‘traded in’ , or dare I say ‘traded up’, all *but two* lambskin chain-link and leather accent shoulder bags, I had two options. Forever give up highly overpriced smashed avocado on toasted artisan bread (this millennial’s favorite) or kiss goodbye a beloved bag from the luxury house of Hermès. So which iconic bag I considered going hungry for, you ask?

Bear with me, I will get right back to that.

IMG_6628

My Chanel SA probably lost my number by now.

I will confess, to gather the dough this mom let go of a Constance Mini and a Jije clutch to generate enough cash. Those two liquid assets were readily converted into cash flow and ‘depreciation’ did not play a part. Can you believe they fetched close to the original retail price? Isn’t that nice? I can now keep on ordering avocado toast with zero remorse.

IMG_0233

Constance mini I re-homed recently for B25 in gold.

IMG_7442

I loved my mini Constance, but I know I will love this Gold B25 even more.

IMG_2184

Jige clutch I rehomed for b25 in gold

And then the angels sang, the oceans parted and my Sale Associate spotted a gilded unicorn in an enchanted forest. Um, ok, maybe the unicorn part didn’t happen. But still. Finding this bag within my boutique’s hallowed halls was nothing short of a wonder to behold.

IMG_6322_Facetune_17-12-2017-23-13-01

IMG_6695

IMG_5838

Without further ado, feast your eyes on this miniature itty-bitty Birkin in my favorite 25cm size. This mom is pleased and swooning with delight. I simply adore the muted brown tone, dainty handles and the subtle gold hardware details. This ‘too cute’ doll-sized Gold Birkin is downright precious and serves as the ultimate replacement. Dare I say, a great ‘investment’! One that holds its value better than old-fashioned gold.

IMG_6570

IMG_6691_Facetune_21-12-2017-19-17-20

IMG_6704

IMG_6703

IMG_6702

At last, when it comes to designer handbags, nothing rivals the desirability of Hermès. Forget real-estate and steer clear of the unpredictable S&P 500, Hermès bags prove to be the ultimate liquid assets. Now go ahead, spread the news to your husband!

Thank you for letting me share another honest episode of My Hermès Chronicles with you.

Happy Hermès Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

IMG_6705_Facetune_21-12-2017-20-10-17

My current Birkin family: Etoupe B30, Malachite B30, Black B25 and Gold B25.

IMG_7376

All rehomed due to size.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

2 Responses to “Part II: Mama Bagged a New Birkin with ‘Asset Restructuring’”

  • Apologies – long post!!

    I also do this “asset restructuring” in order to have Hermes. It’s funny that this article mentions it but I’m in accounting too and do the same thing. Lol

    When I was younger (1997-2006) and LV was less expensive, I had a nice size collection (little over a dozen LV bags? all paid for by me) plus a lot of Coach and Burberry but I felt it was too many and too flashy. I wanted something understated and refined that I’d use all the time. I kept picturing a squarish bag with a top handle and a belt “thing” around it – no visible logo. I had no idea what brand it was nor where I’d seen it. I saw similar versions at the regular retail stores but they weren’t IT. Then I stumbled across a photo of Grace Kelly carrying a Kelly bag, and I discovered Hermes.

    My obsession started.

    I read all about the Kelly and Birkin. I stared at hundreds of photos. I decided on a Kelly bag because I wanted something demure, but the price and fact that my town didn’t have an Hermes store held me back. I’m not rich. I have a comfy job but was not blessed with children so I have a little more expendable income than some folks, but my husband and I are not rich.

    I discussed the large purchase with my husband who felt I should do what made me happy. We share in the household bills and purchases related to it (tv, appliances, etc) but any remaining money is our own to do with as we please, including separate credit card accounts.

    Then I found some reputable online resale sites and sold my Coach, Burberry, and LV bags. Those brands don’t keep their value so I had about half the funds for a Kelly bag (2007 price).

    I called the closest Hermes store – three hours away – and asked if they had a black Kelly with PHW in stock. I was told they cannot answer that on the phone but it may interest me to come to the store. Hm. So that following Saturday I got up at dawn and arrived at Hermes – no appointment. I was presented with a 32cm black Kelly Retourne with PHW in Swift leather. I asked if I could compare it to a Birkin. They had an SO Birkin for someone else but I could look at it to see the difference. I didn’t like the huge size/open feeling of the Birkin so I bought the Kelly.

    I had never made such a large purchase for something “trivial” like a purse. On my return drive home, I thought I was going to throw up. The box sat on a chair by my bed for a few days and I’d just stare at it. What did I do?

    I started carrying the bag but didn’t enjoy it. I was worried about scratching the smooth Swift leather. I didn’t like the hassle of getting in and out of the bag. It didn’t hold all the things I wanted to carry in it.

    Then I found a preowned 30cm Rouge Garance Birkin in Togo on eBay. I bought it. Looking back, I was lucky it was authentic. Husband said no more eBay for something that expensive since fakes were so prevalent at that time. I loooved the ease of the Birkin – it was the perfect bag for me. I took it to Hermes to go to the spa and was immediately offered a 35cm Gris Tourtelle in Clemance. I bought it. Again, I wanted to throw up immediately afterward. That was three major purchases in one year – the majority of it on credit cards.

    It took me two years to pay off those credit cards. During that time, I learned I did not use the Kelly, the 32cm was too small for me, and the Gris Tourtelle color was not gray enough for me.

    So I sold all three (one at a profit, the other two at a very slight loss) but wasn’t offered colors I wanted at the Hermes store. So I overpaid by buying preowned: a 35cm Birkin in Orange Togo and a horseshoe 35cm Birkin in Graphite Togo with a Violet interior. But no debt.

    At my 10th wedding anniversary, I wanted to upgrade my engagement ring. Husband agreed but we needed to pitch in together. So I sold both Birkins and used the funds toward the ring upgrade. I didn’t have a purse so I used a part of the Birkin proceeds toward (and I still have them) a Celine Belt Bag and a Chanel GST, both in black. I knew I’d return to the Birkin one day; until then my purchases at Hermes were scarves and wallets.

    Earlier this year, we planned a trip to Florence, Rome and Paris. Beforehand, I visited my Hermes store for tips on shopping at the FSH flagship store. I saved up for one 35cm Birkin, at the EU price. My fave color preferences were black, graphite, dark blue, red, and then orange. My SA gave me the best tips! After I left the store, I got a call, “Are you still in town? If so, come back by the store. Something just arrived.”

    It was the most pretty Bleu Nuit 35cm Birkin in Togo. Ugh, I only saved up to buy one purse this year…what to do? These opportunities are so rare! It was a beautiful blue/black color that would satisfy two color cravings at one time. Of course, I bought it. The feeling to throw up didn’t happen this time. It felt “right.” I paid off the Bleu Nuit this Christmas. Phew!

    Then in Paris I was offered a Rouge Casaque 35cm Birkin in Epsom. Again, it felt “right.”

    My HGB is a black Togo Birkin with PHW but I want it from the Hermes store, not preowned. When the day comes that I’m offered one, I will once again sell a Birkin to finance the new addition.

    I’ve noticed two Birkins at one time is enough for me, with the Celine and Chanel as backups for rainy days. I don’t crave other bag brands. It’s weird that I’ll spend what’s needed on a Birkin but Tory Burch needs to go on sale first, Chanel is overpriced, etc. Ha ha!

  • Loved the story! must admit I was shocked when I read several Boys were given the boot????????, but love the way Shishi writes. Congrats to her on her new beautiful baby ❤️