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Finding the Bag That Got Away: a Love Story
10.17.17

In partnership with StockX

I am the special type of weirdo who will consistently latch onto a very specific idea of a thing that my wardrobe is lacking and descend down the rabbit hole of an epic internet quest to unearth it. This pursuit is different from regular online shopping in that in it usually involves looking for something I’m not even sure exists. Lately, though, thanks to the return of nostalgic handbag styles like wristlets, saddle bags and baguettes, I’ve found myself searching for things I know exist but are no longer sold in stores.

It is pretty much the peak manifestation of buyer’s remorse (or, in some cases, closet cleaner’s remorse).

When I discussed this frustration out loud one day at the Man Repeller office, Amelia and Erica vigorously nodded their heads in empathy. They, too, were in the process of hunting for “bags that got away.” We agreed that the hunt can be fun at first, but figuring out where to look and how much a bag from 2002 is really worth in 2017 is ultimately overwhelming. We fantasized about an omniscient matchmaker who could unite us with our dream bags, who was ready and willing to serve it up on a silver platter — at the exact price for which we were willing to pay.

Enter StockX, MR Partner and the world’s first stock market for cool stuff you want to buy and sell. It’s different from other sites (yes I can read your brain!) because there’s more than one way to win the heart of the bag you’re eyeing:

  • Click “Buy Now”: When you like the price, click “buy” and the bag is yours. Think instant gratification.
  • Place a bid: When you raise your metaphorical paddle and state how much you’re willing to pay for a bag that’s already listed, OR, when you bid on a bag in the StockX catalog that is not yet for sale.

The site has a catalog of more than a gajillion (okay, 9,000) handbags that tickle your nostalgia bone right in the sweet spot, all of which are 100% authentic and in excellent condition. If you fall head over heels for one that doesn’t have a price listed yet, you can place a bid to kick things off.

It all kind of sounds too good to be true, right? Well, Amelia, Erica and I dove eyeballs-first into StockX’s jacuzzi of 9,000 potential love interests in search of our respective “bags that got away.” We recorded our matchmaking journeys below:


Erica

I recently realized I don’t own very many bags because none have ever lived up to the unicorn tote I’ve been dreaming about in my head. Size-wise, it’s a large medium, or a small large; structured but not stiff; definitely not square nor rectangle; it’s an interesting color; equipped with two straps (in case I need to take a swing at an incoming mosquito) and it can be closed with a single, satisfying zip (I love a good zip). I’m not picky at all!

I typed “tote bag with zipper” into the StockX search box and scanned the results, which were plentiful enough to feel like I had a satisfying sense of “what was out there,” but edited enough that it wasn’t overwhelming to sort through. My computer mouse almost instantly gravitated toward a yellow Louis Vuitton Saint Jacques Short Strap Epi PM shoulder bag.

It also magically checked off all of my specifications: it’s large enough to fit the essentials (PKW + a bottle of water + a light jacket) but small enough to keep me from toting my entire life around the city. It has a retro shape, comes in a poppy color that isn’t too poppy (the perfect shade of Gen-Z yellow, if I may be so bold), and of course, a zip top flanked by two handles. Bonus: it can comfortably house a standard small movie popcorn. What’s not to love?


Amelia

I’ve been dreaming about a baguette-shaped handbag covered in nostalgic logos for a few months now — something like the bags I used to dream of during the heyday of early 2000s celebrities, back when I was a uniformed high school student just trying to find herself in accessories. Or something.

When I found a mini, multicolored, monogrammed Louis Vuitton bag on StockX, I knew it was “The One.” Though I didn’t do it for the above photo (I was having a very lemon merengue-human day since it was hot out), I’ll use this bag to “juxtapose” my pending winter wardrobe and carry it more like a clutch with a giant knit, baggy jeans and kitten heel pumps.

This shape is going to come back  in full favor. I can feel it! It hits that perfect fashion funny bone of irony-meets-practicality.


Harling (Me!)

My love for tiny bags that hold nothing more than a wallet and keys shows no signs of diminishing, but lately I’ve also been craving something a tad more practical — something that actually fits an iPad, for example, or maybe a change of clothes. I also wanted something classic and not-too-trendy, something I would conceivably carry forever.

I found myself unconsciously daydreaming about the kind of bags Audrey Hepburn used to carry — anti-“It” bags rendered in simple, structured, mid-size silhouettes. The iconic Louis Vuitton Speedy was probably her most famous go-to. Originally introduced in 1930, the Speedy was subsequently created in a slightly smaller size just for Hepburn in 1965.

When I saw that StockX broke out each of the handbag brands it carries (Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes) by silhouette category, I clicked on “Speedy” to narrow my search. I sniffed around a bit and entertained a few of the OG logo versions. In the end, I fell for one that looked like someone’s tongue after eating a cherry popsicle. The silhouette provided a healthy dose of nostalgia while the bright red color contributed a more contemporary zing, so getting my hands on it basically felt like reuniting with an old boyfriend from a few decades ago who now has a beard and works at a tech startup with a fridge full of free sparkling water. Swoon.


It seems the matchmaker in question did its job, and that’s no easy feat: Looking for the perfect nostalgia-inducing handbag feels a lot like looking for “The One.” It’s fraught with tugged heartstrings and a similar breed of needle-in-a-haystack challenges. StockX sorts through the hay so you can just sit back, relax and be romanced.

Now tell me, what’s your “bag that got away”?

StockX is running a 15% off promo across all handbags until Friday 10/20/17 including all handbags from Hermes, Chanel, LV and Gucci (with the exception of LV x Supreme). 

Photos by Edith Young. 

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