Chanel paid tribute to the chic city of Shanghai with a plexi and enamel doll clutch, dubbed “Shanghai Secrets.” It’s Ingrid Chua-Go’s favorite piece, which she purchased on her 35th birthday in Florence, Italy, when she first attended an international online luxury retailer’s party. She named it “Ling Ling.” “It was there that I met a group of fashion bloggers who have made great names for themselves worldwide,” she recalls. “It was a turning point in my career as a blogger, too, and this bag reminds me of that moment in my life.”
When it comes to handbags, Ingrid Chua-Go, the blogger behind The Bag Hag Diaries, is always top of mind. She’s an astute bag collector who made a name for herself for her zealous passion for bags.
“The number of my bag collection is always changing because I don’t keep bags for a long period of time,” she says. “That way, I have more money to buy a new bag again.”
She buys bags emblematic of her character, focusing on unique pieces from her favorite fashion houses: Fendi, Chanel, Hermès, Roger Vivier, Celine, and Goyard.
Her most prized possession is a Chanel Paris-Shanghai doll clutch, which she purchased in Florence, Italy. The lacquered doll clutch was part of a limited-edition collection released by Chanel in 2010 in honor of the chic city of Shanghai.
When she bought the bag, it was the time she first attended an international online luxury retailer’s party. “It was a turning point in my career as a blogger, and this bag reminds me of that moment in my life,” she says. Such was its uniqueness, Ingrid even named it “Ling Ling,” and the bag has “godmothers” to boot from the fashion bloggers circuit.
Her other bags have equally interesting stories behind them. While working for a TV network in Hong Kong, she was obsessed with the Fendi “Baguette.” The pricey pouch was glorified as a sartorial must-have in the heyday of Sex and the City. Naturally, the fashion house produced it in limited numbers, most of which were exclusively reserved for well-heeled Hong Kong tai tais.
“Every day before I went to the office, I made sure to stop by the boutique to nag the sales associate and the manager to sell me the bag when they got more in store. Finally, my tenacity paid off! I think the manager got tired of seeing my face every day,” she says with a laugh. “So, yeah! I literally invested a lot of time in that bag.”
An oldest, dearest piece is a white Prada bag, a gift from her father, which he personally chose and bought for her. “He passed away over 10 years ago, so that bag holds a very special place in my heart,” she says.
If she could have any bag in the world, it would be a clutch in the shape of the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle, with the house’s signature chain strap and clasp. It debuted during Chanel’s Resort 2014 show and fetches an estimated $9,500.
“It’s an outrageously priced bag, but it’s really an iconic piece,” she says, and jokes, “I wish someone would buy that for me!”
“I still like the bags that many women love, but I also love owning something that is unique.” – Ingrid Chua-Go, fashion and lifestyle blogger, freelance brand creative consultant, and TV presenter