2018 thoughts on bags

Updated: Bao Bao Issey Miyake added

Every year I intend to write ‘year in review’ posts. Somehow time escapes me, so let’s see if this works this year. I plan to write on different topics. First up: bags.

I go through periods of times of buying no bags and then bam! I get a few. I bought a few recently, mostly black bags.

($$$$ to $)

  • The spendiest purchases were driven by Hedi’s takeover of Céline. I couldn’t get myself to Europe soon enough, so I managed with duty free shops in Seoul. Prices are comfortably below US prices and the # of stores are somewhat plentiful. I went to 4 duty free boutiques – 3 in Seoul and 1 in the Incheon airport! For the most part, what I purchased is what I have wanted to purchase for years but the opportunity and urgency never arose. I have no regrets with my purchases, although I have yet to use all of them. I have invested in Samorga inserts for most of them.

I am hesitant to buy Céline secondhand online. It’s hard to assess the structure of a non-super structured bag on the internet. Or for example, the Trio was quietly redesigned in recent years where the straps that connect to the purse were reinforced. This isn’t apparent in most online listings. I wouldn’t want to buy an older Trio. I haven’t sold any of my Célines, but the resale of some of them look roughly the same as duty free. It’s a no lose situation, in my opinion. Some of the classic Phoebe Philo designs are still around but now don the new Celine logo (no accent over the é) and new colors.

Image: Celine

  • (Updated: Can’t believe I forgot to include Bao Bao!) My friend Pam got me into Bao Bao Issey Miyake bags. At some point, they were super hard to buy in Asia. Almost everyone and their mom has one, it seems. They are popular with the older crowd. The brand is Japanese, but I found these bags much better stocked in the US and sometimes on sale/discount! I have four of the totes in different sizes (Prism or Lucent) and got the last one when I was in Tokyo. I highly recommend these for its lightweight, low maintenance, easy to pack (flattens), and uncommon style (at least outside of Asia). I think I’m done for now!

Prism Tote in a Japan-exclusive color

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to shop / {purse diaries} bao bao issey miyake

These Bao Bao Issey Miyake bags are super lightweight. Not as light as a Baggu, but I’m hard pressed to find anything similar in style that is so easy to transport. The Lucent fits a US letter-sized folder and other essentials perfectly, and is currently my work bag. My aunt is the lucky owner of the Rock tote (left) in matte black. The matte style is pretty hard to find. In addition to its horizontal style, the Rock also has a top zipper for those who have fear of carrying bags without zippers. Both styles have adjustable straps and the max setting fits comfortable over your shoulder (and a winter coat). I’ve been thinking of adding a Prism (similar to Lucent, but larger) or Rock tote in either white or black, but have been tied up on Mansur Gavriels of late (if you couldn’t tell).

I took this photo near a window in daylight so you can see that the bags (matte or not) reflect light easily. The material is very easy to maintain. While it won’t survive a downpour, a few random drops does no harm.

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general / monday, october 5, 2015

  • I’m a big fan of Starbucks new mobile ordering.The Starbucks next to my office is notoriously slow and the building’s deli coffee is notoriously bad. In the morning, time and caffeine is of the essence. I don’t love Starbucks coffee, but this has won me over with the efficiency (and rewards program) bit. Getting enough signal to efficiently place an order on the app – still a work in progress.
  • RIP Rib and Hull (soon). I got my order and both totes are beautiful although the carryall is huge. Leather lovers, check out what is left of their Heirloom collection!
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to shop / {favorites} totes totes totes


Image source: Various. Not shown to scale.

My current favorites. Factors include weight, quality of craftmanship, and value.

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