WHY I CHOSE TO BUY A VINTAGE DESIGNER BAG AND NOT A BRAND NEW ONE
'2020's fashion trend is definitely going to be Vintage' - (Founders of Dadelszen)
It's not news that today's trends are about finding unique, different and one-off pieces. And as the movement of sustainable fashion becomes more socially conscious it is known that recycling good quality pieces pre 1990s is the way to go. It helps to minimise fast fashion purchases, and avoids walking down the street wearing the same "fashionable" outfit as five other girls that just walked past you.
I can't tell you how LONG I have wanted a Louis Vuitton Keepall Canvas Travel Bag. Actually I can. Seven years. I have wanted to purchase one for seven years. I do love my designer pieces but I'm not one who has a collection of them. I only invest into pieces I know I will wear to death rather than having them sit on my shelf.
So I had an hour left in Tokyo before having to leave for the airport when I came across a second hand designer store in Ueno. I glanced in and immediately saw a couple of LV Keepalls in the cabinet. Seeing as there was time to kill I thought, why not? 20mins later I walked out empty handed because Rule Number 1: Never buy the first bag you see especially if there is a street full of second hand stores!
In this blog post I am going to talk about why investing into vintage bags is a better alternative for me and how I came about to choosing vintage over 'brand new'. Additionally I will talk about how to choose your vintage bag in a store and how you can get it for a good price!
REASONS WHY I BOUGHT A VINTAGE LV KEEPALL 55
1. Vintage pieces have a lot more character. A story. A connection from the past to the present. Yes they have slight wear and tear but that's what I love about a good vintage bag. The handles have been broken into and the overall bag isn't stiff. The brand new bags now have lighter beige handles which isn't my first preference. The vintage tanned leather is much more down my aisle.
2. Great Condition & Fantastic Quality. Buyers will never accept a bag that is overly worn with marks, broken zippers or missing buckles. This means the bag will be completely functional. My LV Keepall is from the 70s. 70s! Other than the handles, the rest of the bag is in spanking new condition. Pieces made decades ago are just better quality. From materials to handwork you just can't compare to the mass produced products from today.
3. A travel bag will most likely be tossed around. I didn't want to spend over $2000 on a bag only to throw it on floor or in the back of a dirty cab. That way I can still carry something beautiful but not have to be SO careful all the time.
4. So Much Cheaper. My vintage LV was A QUARTER of the price of a brand new bag in retail. Again, for something that I will use to travel with I didn't see the need of spending so much money. Maybe the day I have my own private jet I can go fancy- but for now, let's stay down to earth.
5. Ethics. This is a HUGE topic and I'm no where near knowledgeable enough to cover it in depth. But I do know that fashion is the second largest cause of waste and damage to our environment. When you can buy vintage and purchase a preloved item you are saving these unwanted pieces from going into landfill.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SECOND-HAND DESIGNER BAGS
1. Before you fully invest your emotions in 'the bag', ask them to show you its Certificate of Authenticity. Louis Vuitton does it slightly different and have a code engraved on the inside of their bags. Bear in mind they only started doing this 1980s onwards. Most of the other brands will have an authenticity card.
2. Check that all zips, buttons, clips and buckles are working properly. Some bags sit there for quite a while and zips can tend to get a bit rusty.
3. Check for stains, tears and worn bits on the bag you want and compare it to a similar bag of LOWER PRICE. Could be the same or a similar model. It is expected and totally normal that second hand bags are not brand spanking new but the reason you look for "faults" is so you can HAGGLE THE PRICE. The first store I went to wouldn't budge the price at all. The second store gladly gave me a discount. It's all about interacting with the shopkeepers and having conversations. Trying the different bags, asking for their opinions - aka - be a nice person. Trust me, kindness goes a long way. Your wallet will also thank you for it.
Honestly, I am so proud of my find! I walk past it every day in my room and give it a good look. A timeless piece like this just won't go out of fashion. I am positive this bag will stay with me until I can no longer move to travel! I simply cannot wait for all the adventures with this beauty!