Heart Evangelista has a buying principle: she never buys a bag unless it’s a Birkin or a Kelly, the most iconic and sought-after bags in the whole world. Her most prized possession to date is this gorgeous Hermès “Birkin” handbag made of genuine ostrich leather in tangerine orange with palladium hardware. She made the look personalized with a silk scarf on the handles. It was said that since high-quality ostrich skins have become hard to find, Hermès has discontinued making bags of this kind of leather. “I don’t think I’ll ever spend so much on a bag again, but you know, it was something that I had to do only once,” says Heart.
Alot of people say, ‘Oh, a bag is an investment piece,’ but it is never an investment piece,” says actress Heart Evangelista, who started her designer bag collection with hand-me-down bags from her mother. She distinctly remembers how, when she was in Grade 5, her mom made her wear a Versace knapsack with gold hardware; it even had a belt to match.
She has since lost count of her bags, and has gotten rid of a lot of them. This may seem like a tough choice, but her resolute attitude towards the classics confirms that she’s more a bona fide collector than a hoarder.
“Birkins—I am obsessing over them,” she confesses. Her well-thought-of collection consists of a 35 cm “Birkin” in Blue Tempéte with a spacious matte chèvre leather interior; a 35 cm “Birkin” in Tosca, made of calfskin leather; and the classic black “Birkin Noir” in calfskin leather. It also includes an Hermès “So Kelly” shoulder bag in Cassis (hint of purple), made of togo leather. She also owns a Birkin in ochre for everyday use.
At home, Heart has a separate room, sort of a walk-in closet, just for her high-end bags. She even had a cabinet customized to display her wonderful collection of Birkins.“They needed their own space,” she says.
Among her favorite and most prized from her collection is an Hermès “Birkin” made of ostrich leather in tangerine orange, which she swears never to purchase again because of how costly it was. Given how high-quality ostrich skin has become hard to find, Hermès has discontinued the line, thus increasing the bag’s value as a true collectible among bag connoisseurs.
Like Lady Gaga and Victoria Beckham, Heart also owned the elusive white Birkin, the most outrageously “high-maintenance” of all the Birkins. Since it was so hard for her to maintain its pristine color, she toyed with the idea of painting on it—it might be the most expensive art she would create. “I felt a little guilt. I didn’t have the courage to do it,” she says, so she traded it with someone who would appreciate it more.
Now, she’s looking for a bright red one—“rouge,” to be Pantone-color exact.
“If you really want to be smart about your money, buy a bag that’s top of the line, something that you would definitely use forever,” she declares.“And just like in love,don’t settle!”
“If you are going to buy something that is expensive, buy something that you will definitely use forever.”– Heart Evangelista, actress
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