(FROM BOTTOM LEFT) Python laced up clutch, KLutched; ‘Lady Dior’ handbag, Christian Dior; blue 'Pembridge' braided bag, Stella McCartney; quilted shoulder bag in black, Chanel; white ‘Birkin’ bag, HermÈs.
Maggie Wilson-Consunji, the Haute Affair lifestyle blogger and proprietor of Luxe Resort, Wanderlust, and Minx, started her bag collection at 19, when her mom gave her a vintage Christian Lacroix from the 1980s. The oldest bag she owns, she says, is still in “very good condition.”
Now, she has 68 covetable designer bags, a mix of international brands (Hermès, Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga) and local ones, too (Aranáz and Rocio). It also includes one of the most sought-after bags on the planet, the hard-to-find Hermès “Birkin” in pristine white.To own one is a feat in itself; some even say that owning one in white is pure madness.
The bag was a surprise gift from her husband, Victor, on her wedding day. He called quite a few Hermès stores around the world just to find it, and even paid a flight attendant to bring it back home.
“I used to buy high street brands, a lot of them!” she says. “Eventually, I figured if I saved enough, instead of buying 10 high street-branded bags, I could buy myself one designer bag.”
Her first purchase was a nylon Prada in hot pink. “It felt good,” she says of the shopping experience, and confesses, “Too good that it sort of became an addiction.”But she stresses that she is not that crazy, the type to wait in line, pre-order, or even travel far for a bag purchase. She takes her time, canvasses, and sleeps on it before indulging in a fashion purchase.
“Buying a bag is kind of like finding ‘the one’—when you know, you know,” she says.
These days, you can see her sporting an orange Marc Jacobs quilted leather “Stam” satchel bag, her current statement bag named after top model Jessica Stam. Or she uses her most versatile piece, a classic quilted Chanel “Maxi,” made of leather in caviar black.
“I have no rules with bags, but I do prefer bags that I can sling over my shoulder over top handles, whether it be small or a carry-all,” she says. Bags to her are statement pieces. “You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of bag she carries and the shoes she wears.
“A good quality bag can last you a lifetime,” she says. “Just keep an eye out for quality—what it’s made of and how it was made. If you can afford it, invest.” She further advises, when starting your own collection, to start with basic colors and opt for pieces that are versatile.
“There’s nothing like the feeling of buying your first designer bag,” she reflects. “Keep it in good condition, so you can pass it down to your daughter or daughter-in-law in the future.”
“Buying a bag is kind of like finding ‘the one’—when you know, you know!” –Maggie Wilson-Consunji, Haute Affair lifestyle blogger/ entrepreneur