No, I’m not talking about some bag that Bloomingdale’s does (here in London we get skanky imitations of that one), this is my very own little brown bag. There’s a little story behind it, and as tempted as I am to start with ‘Once upon a time’, I shall restrain myself from doing so.
Just over a year ago, a few of us were in Paris visiting a friend. We were walking around the area of Marais when all of a sudden we passed by a hat shop. It wasn’t a chain shop, but a charming, what seemed like an authentic, family-owned business. I had a look in the window and spotted a few satchel bags. The satchel trend hadn’t quite reached fever pitch, but these pretty bags caught my eye.
|Bag, from a shop in Paris. Top and flats, Zara. Scarf, from Urban Outfitters. Cardigan and shorts, Zipia. Badge, Lipsy. Jewellery, presents.
As far as I can remember, none of the bags were the same. They all seemed to have their own individual features – and, most importantly, it was as if they had been pulled out of an old factory, the type of factory in which the workers took pride in their craft, and things were made with love. All four of us friends were charmed by these bags, and were – happily, nonetheless – shocked, that these carefully, beautifully made leather pieces did not have rip-off price tags.
Leaving empty-handed was not an option. One of the (possibly?) owners hovered around us while we all struggled to decide which bags we liked best. He needn’t have worried, nor bothered to tell us how ‘jolie’ the bags were – we were all smitten. I was torn between this one and an even smaller version of this bag, but, thank God, was sensible and chose the bigger version.
As I proudly returned back to London with what I still believe is a one-of-a-kind bag (I refuse to have my little bubble burst), babies like this one started popping up on the high-street. I never really worry about other people having the same stuff as me (if I did, I simply wouldn’t shop on the high-street), but it’s definitely nice to have something that feels unique – like it’s practically impossible that you’ll ever see anyone else with it. So, as many pretty lookalike bags as I may have seen (not that many really, the hook strap trend never got as intense as the satchel trend), I don’t think any of them could beat my little brown bag.
But it’s not only about how it might be a one-off, or the fact that it looks so lovingly made – it’s more about how it brings back fond memories of a trip that I really enjoyed, and a city that I fell madly in love with. I haven’t used it very much, but whenever I do it reminds me of a lot of good things, and that’s why I know that I will probably never get sick of this bag. Naturally, I intend to treasure it forever. Sure, fashion is a frivolous thing, but it can mean a lot to us as well.