Interview with Hermès Collector @EL4BZ
We would love to hear more about your first ever designer purchase?
My first designer bag was an engine red Louis Vuitton Alma bag in MM size. I still remember the euphoria attached to getting her. Although I had dabbled with designer shoes and mall leather goods (SLGs) before that, this was my first major high end designer bag. The purchase was extra special because it was a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband.
If you had to suddenly evacuate your home which bag would be the one you take with you?
I shudder at ever being faced with the prospect of choosing only one bag but if I had to, it would be my Malachite Birkin 30 with gold hardware. Too many memories attached to that beauty, making her indispensable to me.
Birkin or Kelly and why?
Undecided. I am like a pendulum between my love for Birkin and Kelly. There are days I am a Birkin girl and then I revert right back to my love for Kelly. Birkins scream instant chicness while Kelly bags are an epitome of elegance. I have more Birkins in my collection at this point than Kelly bags but hopefully I will make the distribution more equitable in the future.
The bag you regret buying?
All the trendy ones that social media made it seem like a good idea to buy at that time. Since then, I like to believe I have become more comfortable in my own skin, so now I buy what suits my lifestyle and not what looks good on others on IG.
We love the way you organize your wardrobe. Can you share your top tips on organization?
Thank you so much. There is something so soothing about organizing. Oh yes, I am totally that insane person! I literally take five minutes to get ready for work in the morning so anything that is not efficiently displayed in my closet or in easy to reach places never get used. So, for me organization is more of a necessity than a luxury or a mechanism to make my closet look pretty. I have relied heavily on The Container Store to find easy, affordable and efficient storage for all my belongings.
Here are some of my humble tips that have worked for me:
- Categorize all your belongings into different piles – shoes, clothing, bracelets, shawls/scarves, belts etc.
- Store each category in dedicated spaces. For example, all belts go together. If I want to find a belt, I know the only place I am going to find them in is in my belt drawers.
- Within each of the bigger categories, create sub categories. For example, shoes are divided by designer, shoe type (boots, pumps, sneakers etc.), heel size, occasion (party, work, beach etc.).
- Store things in clear containers so that you can easily see them. There is nothing more annoying than trying to open boxes upon boxes to find what’s inside.
- Store things that you use on a daily basis on ‘easy to get to’ shelves. The things you don’t use that often can be placed on higher shelves that are tougher to access.
- Stackable trays are a great idea to store jewelry, SLGs, and small knick knacks. They occupy less space and you can store them vertically on top of each other.
- Don’t be afraid to repurpose things and think outside the box. For example, I use clear jewelry drawers to store my belts or sweater containers to store my shawls.
- Whenever you use something, no matter how tired you are at the end of the day or feel tempted to store it any which way, it’s worth to take the extra time and store it in its allotted designated space.
- How do you store your bags?
I used to store them lying down in their original boxes but I found it very cumbersome to take them out and rotate them on a daily basis so now all my bags are stored standing up vertically in their original dust bags. I like to joke that they are all lined up like sentries ready to be used.
Your top tips on buying luxury goods? How do you financially plan for your next purchase?
- Have a wish list for every luxury item you want to buy.
- Prioritize them in the order of their importance and re-prioritize at regular intervals. I find with time, certain things that were ‘I need it now’ become ‘I don’t even think I need it anymore’ items.
- Make sure you do thorough research on the luxury items you want to buy. Talking to people who already own the things on your wish list can help. Going through pros and cons of that item can give you a clearer perspective.
- Brain storm with close girlfriends and mull over that list for as long as it takes for you to be mentally and financially ready to actually buy your wish list items.
- Delayed gratification always works best. The more time you take to buy an expensive item, the more time you buy to think whether you actually need it in your collection. Especially for jewelry, I sit on my decisions for months if not years before I bring it home. It eliminates any second thoughts I may have about that item. Sometimes, items on my wish list start losing their charm over a period of time and may even fall off my wish list.
- Quality over quantity. Instead of buying a gazillion ‘okay’ items, I would rather buy a few classic items that cost more but will pass the test of time.
Luxury goods are not cheap and unless you were born into money or won a lottery, odds are like most normal human beings, you need to have the means and a game plan on how to financially pay for the item.
- Every month, I keep aside a certain portion of my pay check as budget for my luxury purchases. This amount depends on how much money I am left with to play with after paying taxes, investing a major portion of my pay check in my retirement funds, paying for basic necessities like mortgage, food etc. (a girl needs her nourishment to enjoy all her luxury purchases now doesn’t she?), making investments for the future. Having a fund for luxury items is very helpful. It keeps the guilt away because this is left over money, after accounting for all expenses and planning for the future.
- Any extra money I get whether its birthday money or other kinds of gifts, gets added to this fund. This helps me stay within my means.
- I also recycle the money already spent on luxury items by re-homing the things that no longer fit my lifestyle or fail to spark the ‘joy’ in me.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.