Bags to Riches

August 16, 2008
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If you open the door to my family’s closet, you would see piles of bags stacked neatly together, one after the other like dominoes. Each bag is placed in alphabetical order, then by size, style and then by the year it was purchased. Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Michael Kors, Gucci and LV are common among the many shopping bags inside this closet. Inside each shopping bag, are leather bags of all styles, colors and textures. Each bag has its own story of how it came to be in the closet; each one is a reflection of my mother’s love for bags; each one, a memory of my childhood.

Some people collect coins, others stamps; but my mother has a fetish for bags, designer, expensive and beautiful. Each bag must be in perfect condition, the leather genuine, the clasps shining and polished and the brand so subtly hinted in the perfect creases of the bags. She buys these bags, only in leather and only in designer brands in the hopes of creating her very own collection of vintage bags. Just like people who collect valuable art pieces, my mother considers herself as a collector, one that has impeccable taste in fashion and is determined that her bag collection will bring her a greater fortune than she had spent on it. “It’s an investment,” she says. “One day, these bags are going to be worth 10 times more than they do now.”

Every month, my mother opens her closet and takes out all of her bags, airing them out, stuffing them with paper so they would keep their form, and admire her collection. She holds each bag up to the light, the silver or the gold sparkling in the glow of our lamps. She sighs in satisfaction, loving her assortment. “These are all for you,” she says to me. “These bags are going to be priceless in 10 years.” And my mother is already right. Her black vintage Burberry bag that she purchased 10 years ago has increased in value by at least 50%. The price offers she gets for the bag ranges from 5,000- 8,000. Yet my mother keeps her bag secure, knowing that the price would get even higher with each passing year. “These bags are going to pay your way through college,” she says as she puts each bag back to its rightful place.

As I have grown older each year, the number of bags in the closet grew, the brands expanding further. As the years passed, I too learned to love the beauty of such expensive crafts. I learned to appreciate the very splendor each bag gives off as I started my very own collection of Coach bags. I too take them out and fawn over them like my mother. Sometimes, we sit side by side holding up bags for each other to see, bonding. Together, we share the same love for bags, and we share the same taste in fashion, and the same dream that our bags would take us into riches 10 years from now.

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