My First Luxury Purchase
Three Girls From Across The Globe Recall Their First Foray Into High-End Fashion
by Jessica DeFino

 

 

 

It’s a new era in fashion; an era where an artful mix of high and low is the pinnacle of personal style, and one well-placed brand name piece can elevate a fast-fashion foundation.  Saving up for that special luxury item is something every young fashion girl dreams of, and the experience of trading in ones hard-earned money for the perfect designer bag (or shoes, or sparkly dress...) is one that’s not soon forgotten.  

We caught up with three women from all over the world to reminiscence about their first luxury purchases.  The stories vary from Tokyo to Toronto, but one thing remains the same: a girl’s first luxury item is something she’ll hold on to forever.  

 

Name: Misha Janette
Age: 31
City: Tokyo, Japan
Profession: Fashion Journalist & owner of TokyoFashionDiaries.com

 

Marie Claire:  When did you buy your first luxury item with your own money, and what was it?

Misha Janette:  In early 2008, I bought a couple items: a Jean-Paul Gaultier embossed handbag and a pair of Prada wedge sandals from the “Fairy” collection.

 

MC: How did you have the money?

MJ:  I used the money from my first salary paycheck! It was a no-brainer to spend it on something I had lusted over for months.

 

MC:  Why did you choose this piece? How long did you think about? Do you still use it?

MJ:  You’ll notice both items are artistic and a bit art-nouveau; I am always attracted to artistic

fashion. The illustrations on this Prada collection were and will always be my favorite! I even met the artist, James Jean, when he was in Tokyo and got a photo of the shoes with him! I still wear the shoes but I do need to clean up the bag a bit.

 

MC: How do you think about luxury items / high-end designer brands and fashion?

MJ: I really think that when it comes to bags and other leather or “heavy” use items, there is no comparison to luxury goods in terms of long lasting quality on top of being stylish and a calling card for discerning, like-minded people.

 

MC:  Do you often buy luxury goods or brand names now? In your mind, what is the difference between luxury items and fast-fashion pieces?

MJ: I buy luxury items when something catches my eye and ONLY if it’s something that can’t easily copied by fast-fashion. I look at the stitching and the fabric and the appliques, and for something that will make the piece look unique. For clothing, I love the collaborations with artists and avant-garde pieces the best, because it’s tough to find eclectic items in fast-fashion lines.

 

MC: Normally, how much do you spend on luxury goods and brand names?

MJ:  Around $1,500 more or less, depending.

 

MC: How do you fit luxury items into your budget?

MJ:  I am freelance, so it’s less about budgeting for it and just a reward when I feel like I deserve one after a good-paying job.

 

MC:  How would you describe your personal style?

MJ:   I prefer to be unique and contrasting at the same time. I mix girlie with rock, vintage with

futurism, and I love Japanese avant-garde designers.

 

MC:  In your city, how do other fashion-minded people think about luxury items and designer

brand names?  

MJ:  Japanese people are some of the most educated in the world in terms of luxury items. I think they can recognize brand logos from grade-school! Having a luxury item even in high school is not too strange for many, and buying a Chanel or Louis Vuitton bag is a milestone in life akin to getting one’s driver’s license. It’s great to be surrounded by so many like-minded people on a daily basis!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Kavita Donkersley
Age: 22
City: Sheffield, England
Profession:  Full-time blogger for She Wears Fashion

 

Marie Claire:  When did you buy your first luxury item with your own money, and what was it?

Kavita Donkersley:  I bought my first Chanel in April of 2014, in L.A.

 

MC: How did you have the money?

KD:  I saved up for about a year.  It was something I knew I wanted to be my first luxury item, and so I took a long time saving up a little each month.

 

MC:  Why did you choose this piece? How long did you think about? Do you still use it?

KD: I had seen the Chanel Boy Bag everywhere and knew I wanted one, especially as they go with everything!  Plus, the silver hardware goes with a lot of the silver jewellery pieces that I wear on a regular basis.

 

MC: How do you think about luxury items / high-end designer brands and fashion?

KD: I think its always nice to have a few pieces you have really saved up for, as it means so much more. When I look at my Chanel bag, I always think, I saved up for that, I really worked hard for it.

 

MC:  Do you often buy luxury goods or brand names now? In your mind, what is the difference between luxury items and fast-fashion pieces?

KD: I only buy luxury fashions pieces once in a while, it’s not a regular thing for me at all- and I think it’s so much more special that way.

 

MC: Normally, how much do you spend on luxury goods and brand names?

KD: Once a year, I’ll spend maybe £1,000 or around that mark.

 

MC:  How would you describe your personal style?

KD:  I have a very mixed and eclectic style, and I like to change up my look often- so I wouldn’t say I have one particular style.

 

MC:  In your city, how do other fashion-minded people think about luxury items and designer

brand names?  

KD:  I’m from a very normal city in the north of England which isn’t particularly the centre of fashion, so I don’t think many people are very interested here!  It’s a very personal thing for me, so it doesn’t really matter if others like the trend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name:  Erin Kleinberg
Age: 29
City: Toronto
Profession:  Designer and CEO, Erin Kleinberg Inc, and Co-Founder of The Coveteur

 

MC:  When did you buy your first luxury item with your own money, and what was it?

EK:  When I first launched my collection in 2008 – I was fortunate enough to get into Barneys

that very first season…I was 22, and hustled away to get it all done with little to no team.

When I got paid I took whatever profit I made from the whole season and marched right

on in to buy a classic Karl Lagerfeld designed quilted lambskin Chanel bag. I still have it

and it will be passed on from generation to generation. Makes me so proud to look at it

still till this day. So much nostalgia! #startedfromthebottom

 

 

MC:  How do you think about luxury items / high-end designer brands and fashion?

EK:  For me it is all about craftsmanship, the experience of a luxury item; it is as much about the actual product for me as it is about the quality, the hangtags, the dust bag, the box, the in-store experience. To me, luxury good purchases usually happen when I am on vacation or a work trip somewhere interesting and then whenever I wear that piece it reminds me of that moment in time. I like when items are thoughtful reminders of the past.


MC: Do you often buy luxury goods or brand names now? In your mind, what is the difference

between luxury items and fast-fashion pieces?

EK:  Again it is all about the quality. I often find it hard to shop online because as someone who creates product, I need to feel, touch, and assess fabrics, fits, etc. I do buy luxury goods – I love some good Phoebe Philo! The craftsmanship that goes into one of those bags is phenomenal. True artistry. I spent a few lovely trips with luxury houses such as Chanel, Maison Michel, Cartier, and Bulgari in Paris at the couture salons watching the artisans perfect their craft and it is fascinating to know that someone cared for a piece by hand. Its special to me, and that is why I will save up and spend on a high quality piece from a brand like Lanvin, Comme des Garcons, Chloe. Fast fashion is as the saying goes; happens fast, and wears down fast. Although you would be surprised, some of my best go to pieces of many many years are Zara and H&M. It all depends how each style is made and what the fabric makeups are.

 

MC:  Normally, how much do you spend on luxury goods and brand names?  

EK:  I purchase a few luxury pieces a year; mostly when I am travelling. But nothing is better than getting a good luxury buy on sale!

 

MC: How would you describe your personal style?

EK:  Like the lovechild of Hugh Hefner and Grace Kelly.

 

MC:  In your city, how do other fashion-minded people think about luxury items and designer

brand names?  

EK:  I live in Toronto, and there are not tons and tons of department stores here so I feel like luxury is not really marketed as much as some places, so it feels really nice to buy a good piece here and there. I think there are only two stores who sell Givenchy – 119 Corbo, and Holt Renfrew, where I sell my collection.