I’ve just read a post from ‘tbymallano’ about how there is basically two types of shoppers; impulse and strategic buyers. With such two polar opposites, I’ll be leaning more towards the later but I would argue it would hinge more on the item itself, mainly the price tag attached of course. Truthfully speaking, I did not bought the bag for any special reasons. People often justify their purchase by saying , “I just reached a milestone in my life and I’m rewarding myself with something to mark the occasion.” And the tangible item that you buy become a representation or symbol of that achievement you made. Which is awesome, but you don’t necessarily need a backstory to make that item significant to you. Your journey could be the unique feature that’s encapsulated within and it doesn’t make it any more or less valuable than other people’s story. This was an interesting one for me so I thought I would share this here and I think some people can actually relate to it.
So in summary, I have been hunting for this particular Celine Belt Bag for a while and because it was an old season release, it was near impossible to get my hands on it. yet here I am with the bag in my hands and this is how the story unfolded.
*Side note: I recommend reading this at your most convenient of time, probably sipping tea on your couch or tucked under your blanket as this is a lengthy one but you won’t believe what a journey it was:).
“Why The Belt Bag”
“Why Celine when you just said you make calculated decisions with shopping?”
Exactly, Celine is probably not the first brand that comes to mind when you are making the crucial decision of investing a few thousand dollars into an investment piece. Chanel, or Hermes would probably be better candidates for it. But is this an investment piece?
Yes and No
‘No’ because it is one that is not a ‘classical’ design and will most probably depreciate in value over time but ‘Yes’ because I find this syncs in so beautifully with my current wardrobe and have no plans to resell this in future so I could not care less about the price drop.
” How it all started”
Magazine catalogues, designer website or picking up trends from the runways are probably good sources of inspiration that pushes people to buy a product. Mine arrived from Lizzy Hadfield also known as ‘shotfromthestreet’, who was rocking this bag so well that I thought, I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE! Sharing opinions and thoughts on her YouTube videos, everything she said just was purely informative and she was not pushy at all, making pseudo statements like a small number of people on the internet. One of the things she pointed out that I took into consideration was the notorious issue that the flap is ridiculously painful to open and close, but you can definitely work with it.
(Doesn’t she look amazing, I’m still obsessed!!)
So the journey began with my mother-daughter trip to Hong Kong, often known as the ultimate fashion destination for designer goods in Asia. This, I came to the realisation later, was just an overstated title based on my personal experience. Boy, it was hard to visit countless Celine boutiques only to walk out empty-handed because the only colours they were stocking was black and light taupe.
A simple line was the only thing I needed to repeat with each encounter:
“Hey have you got the celine belt bag in taupe?”
, and the reply was either a request to see a picture or an immediate head shake. With the end of the trip drawing near, my hope started to crumble with every failed attempts. Deep inside I knew there was less than a 5% chance of finding it knowing this was an old release, so maybe I was plain stupid for coming with an expectation. Hence I was actually armed with plan B which was the second option I had in mind; a cool grey colour.
I thought it screamed ‘urban-chic’ and I can still rock this colour just as great. This was a recent release from their 2016’s winter collection too meaning chances of finding it was definitely larger. On the day before our flight, I eventually found the very last one in Hong Kong but it was in smooth skin instead of pebbled texture which gave it a ‘plastic-look’ in my opinion, so that option was out too. To be honest, at that point, I thought either God was probably having too much fun teasing me or Fortuna decided not to be on my side at all .
I decided to take my search online hoping the worldwide web would let me find the little gem tucked away somewhere on the other side of the globe. Stumbling upon the website snobswap.com, I immediately did what i thought was securing the deal on a belt bag of similar colour only to find out the payment was unsuccessful and their internal miscommunication gave away the bag to another buyer.
Utter desperation was what eventually led me to the very last resort: e-bay.
I would buy a phone case or desk lamp from eBay but never did it cross my mind the thought of getting a designer bag through the site. I’m a straight up sceptic and very cautious too especially with the price attached on designer items. Online retail shops that is not publicly approved as ‘safe’ is just too high risk, so this was a massive gamble. So the search began again and out of pure luck a bag in grey was stocked by a seller, in its prime condition and at a great price point too compared to the previous two. But a stream of question entails regarding its authenticity and I was just too afraid to make the final move leading to what you can probably guess occur next. Yup, it got sold away yet again to another buyer.
It was the last straw and at that point, I was just over it.
Don’t need it, don’t want it any more.
Ditch the idea and I’ll go on with my life.
But just then, long and be hold, I got a new email in my inbox which read:
“Hi Dear, we also got this in other colours too if you are interested.”
And so I half-heartedly checked what she sent and one of the few images attached was named: “Small Celine Belt Bag IN TAUPE”.
Just when all hope fails and I was ready to back out, it was offered to me straight up. Remember when I felt I was played real hard? Well, I was but apparently it was all just a test of my patience and perseverance. As a firm believer in the quote “everything happens for a reason” , I believe if it’s meant to be, it will be. It was just about having the right thing at the right time.
The right colour and size, what more could I possibly ask for? The belt bag retails for around 3100AUD which is around 2500USD/ 1900£ in Australia and Hong Kong at the time I was researching them. I sealed the deal with an incredible 1499USD, on top of complementary shipping, import duties and tax courtesy of the seller, delivered straight from Italy to Australia with the original dust bag and authentication cards in it. I will leave you to make up your mind if this was destiny or pure luck.
If you don’t call it a miracle, I don’t know what is. It has been a roller coaster ride with this one and the journey behind getting it is probably one of the biggest reasons the bag will stay in my closet forever. At the moment, I cannot give a full review yet as I have yet to wear it out, so I would not have any useful info to give out. The only thing is I’m suspecting the possibility of the bottom sagging almost into the shape of long-champ bags so I’m on the hunt for an affordable bag insert that can help maintain its structure. An update or review will be coming in future and if I’m feeling bold I might do a look book or how I style it. Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.
If you’ve read everything up to this point, congratulation you made it through! It was just something that I found too interesting not to share. On one hand I hope I expressed myself well enough but on the other hand I hope the stress and frustration was not contagious to you. Anyway, if you had a good read between your coffee break or found the slightest bit of entertainment from hearing the tedious emotional struggles I went through, then it serves its purpose and you just made me a very happy girl.
ps: Leave me any questions you have and I’ll be happy to help out if I can:D
- Lizzy’s blog post: https://www.shotfromthestreet.com/home/2015/12/29/the-dream-celine
- Lizzy’s YouTube videos:
- The bag reveal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGFqbO5RsLc
- What’s in my bag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTyVtwbeKec
- HeyyyJune’s YouTube video (belt bag in dune colour) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLD4R4OLTuI