A lot has changed ever since I’ve moved to Amsterdam. My car hasn’t been moving a lot, the stove is creating dust bunnies and also there has been a slight change in my personal style. Flats over heels and also a slight separation occurred between me and my Chanel baby. No of course I’m not done with her but I’ve been using my bike a lot lately and she spends more time in the dust bag than out. You see, I cannot ride a bike like a normal person. I ride it like I’m being chased, (hysterically fast), love grazing tourists (#thebikepathofdeath) and doing all that whilst having an investment piece dangling on your shoulder? Not a good idea. So with a new lifestyle comes a new bag. Criteria: it has to be practical, needs to be able to carry a Macbook and camera, has to be stylish and of course…vintage.
I first got to know about these so called consignment stores during my trips overseas. Consignment stores are little second hand boutiques where people can bring their designer bags, clothing or accessories for them to be sold. The boutique gets a commission and you don’t have to worry about online hassle or people coming over to your house. By now I know exactly where to go and where not to go (US of A, overpriced because of shipment and taxes) to get the best deals in designer vintage. My all time favorite destination to shop for vintage is Japan. Generally, people in Japan don’t live in very big houses and have little space for stowage or a massive walk-in closet. Before buying a new bag women often sell the old one to make room for the new. In Tokyo you’ll find many of these consignment stores filled with the most gorgeous bags in excellent condition and at an affordable price. So, you’lI understand I totally needed to go to Tokyo to shop for my new Amsterdam bag.
No waiting list #Hermès
After many trips to Tokyo I created a list with my favorite consignment stores. But after a recent trip to Japan, my colleague Marsha- Ann introduced my to yet another vintage paradise in the Shinjuku area. We were running around like crazy people after seeing so many yummy vintage goodies after the other (90’s golden Chanel earrings, #majorwant). Marsha-Ann got this amazing Givenchy bag but I didn’t get anything…yet. But I’ve done my research and so the next trip to Tokyo was already planned.
The first designer bag I ever got was the Speedy 25 by Louis Vuitton (you can read more about my designer bags here). So I know a thing or two about this brand. The ’25’ stands for the size and because I always carry my entire household with me, the bag was getting to small. I’m not really fond of shoppers because at the end of the day you’re walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.. So when I saw this LV backpack I was sold! It’s fashionable, perfect for traveling, carries a lot, the weight is divided and I can easily graze tourists with this on my back! 🙂
Like many bags I think Louis Vuitton bags get better with age. The canvas is more flexible and the leather parts turn into this beautiful color.
A few pointers for buying designer vintage
- get information. Before you start your quest for the perfect designer bag (or other item) do some research. Learn everything about the features, workmanship, logo’s (they may never be interrupted) and pay good attention to the stitching.
- there are many blogs and forums about (designer) bags where you can find all sort of information including the current retail prices etc.
- try the bag. Literally. Go to the Chanel or Louis Vuitton or whichever boutique and ask if you can see your ‘object of desire’. That way you can pay attention to the details, know how the leather should feel and figure out which size or style you are going for. If you are feeling confident you can even ask if you can take a picture.
- if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A Birkin bag for a 100 bucks? It might sound like a good deal but you will most definitely be dealing with a knock off, a copy. The prices for high end brands like Chanel and Hermès start with four digits (depending on the size and style) and are only getting higher. They have yearly price increases, sometimes even twice a year. In some countries you’ll pay more for a vintage Hermès bag than a new one. So a 100 bucks? Highly unlikely..
- Once you found your dream bag at a consignment store always ask for the box, authenticity card, paper bag and dust bag. If you were to sell the bag after a while you can get a better price.
Fave consignment stores in Tokyo:
–RagTag in Omotesando
–Brand Collect in Harajuku
–Daikokuya in Shinjuku
–ReUse in Narita
–Aeon mall in Narita