It’s not just a bag, it’s my identity: a memoir by Lucy Hilda Britnell

March 9th, 2013, the rain was pouring down as we drove down the M1 motorway towards the city of Leeds. This weekend was one I had been thinking about for so many months and for me, buying my first designer bag was so much more special and exciting because my grandparents came along for the day out.

I was extremely hyper that morning, we were all up at the crack of dawn as if it was Christmas morning and I was eagerly waiting to open my presents. The feelings I felt as we made our way towards the city centre can only be described as the same as when I first caught sight of Cinderella’s castle when visiting Walt Disney World in Florida.

Easter weekend, April 2013

I remember the day so vividly, I was wearing my favourite outfit at the time, a baby pink Ralph Lauren V-neck jumper with a matching pink shirt and my Topshop blue Jamie Jeans. I thought I looked so grown up and sophisticated, like the type of person who would be shopping at Louis Vuitton and at the time, at age 12, someone I inspired to be.

I wanted the Neverfull MM in Monogram with my initials ‘LB’ hot-stamped onto the vachetta leather; I knew all the specifics about the handbag after doing endless amounts of research about the history of the brand from its founder to its iconic creations like the Neverfull and its Noé handbags. Instead of spending my evenings doing the homework set by my school-teachers, I was scrolling through Wikipedia pages, blogs and watching videos about this heritage brand that I wanted to be a part of so badly.

The previous week Louis Vuitton had their annual price increase across all their items, and the particular handbag I was lusting after went up another £100 to £550. I was gutted about this after I had been saving up my Christmas and birthday money to be able to afford my dream handbag, but thankfully my Grandparents made my dream come true and gave me money towards it. This made the handbag so much more special because I have such a close relationship to my grandparents and I know I will treasure this piece for the rest of my life.

Liverpool, October 2015

I approached the sales associate with confidence and asked for the item. He opened the box for me inside the store and I picked it up, staring at it for several seconds at how beautiful it was, being shocked that this was coming home with me.

After purchasing the handbag we did some window shopping at Harvey Nichols before having lunch at The Ivy, the restaurant interior was so luxurious, I felt very grown up having my new Louis Vuitton handbag wrapped up in its dustbag and box beside me as I ate my favourite dessert, crème brûlée.

 

When we came home, I remember rushing upstairs to my bedroom to locate my small Canon camera to record myself opening my first Louis Vuitton handbags to savour the moment as well as act like I was one of those women on Youtube who would do endless designer unboxings.

I stood the camera against a pile of books on-top of my bed and recorded myself slowly opening the brown box, I had the biggest grin on my face and tears in my eyes. I took the dust-bag out and looked for a few seconds before taking it down revealing the item.

Paris, May 2013

 

It was beautiful, I held it up in owe that it was now mine, I could smell the fresh leather, could see how fresh the vachetta leather was and the gold hot-stamping reflecting in the light.

Before getting this bag, I would sit for hours on the Louis Vuitton website, scrolling through all the handbags, clothes and shoes dreaming of being able to own something from them. At the time, Marc Jacobs was designing for Louis Vuitton and his spring/summer 2012 campaign including the pastel colour scheme set around a carousel, was so inspiring to me.

 

It’s not just a bag, but it’s my identity. I knew from starting secondary school the previous September that I wanted to work within fashion, that was my biggest passion and from the moment I took that Louis Vuitton bag home, I felt so inspired to pursue a career in this industry and it only grew my love for Louis Vuitton.

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