My love affair with vintage designer bags

It’s art, fine art. Some people collect paintings I collect bags.

Growing up in London I would spend my Saturday’s trailing the market stalls on Portobello Road hand in hand with my mum and little sister. Every market day was the same while they were walking slowly through the market I would rush ahead so that I could have a few precious minutes alone to wander down to the designer vintage shop just under the bridge.


I would venture inside to try on the vintage Ray-bans and to stroke the croc Hermes Kelly bags and admire the candy coloured sequin Chanel bags. Vintage Gucci cross shoulder bags sat next to vintage Dior bowling bags Chanel backpacks in black, red, white and brown leaning against Celine box bags. Chunky gold and leather entwined belts hung from the ceilings and big gold Pat Butcher’esk earrings displayed in cabinets on the wall. I spent years memorising every single detail.

Fast forward a number of years and I am now the proud owner of a handbag cupboard, full of vintage pre-loved handbags. Now I am not opposed to buying new if you have seen my Instagram you will know I am a self-confessed Chanel ‘aholic. But buying second hand is where I started and is how I got to own my first designer bag. Buying pre-loved is just that, an item which has been loved before and is then passed on through family, friend or to customer.

I still get that heart pump moment every time I acquire a new bag and Chanel is my personal fix of choice. My first Chanel bag was a vintage Jumbo in black with the oversized CC this beauty still melts my heart. She has been well loved by me and by her owner before, the lambskin is still puffy and the gold is still shinny. Yes she has a few scuff marks but every mark every scuff is a moment a memory a happy occasion a birthday a party, the time I tripped and fell into a bush on my 21st birthday. Or the slight coffee stains from my journeys to work. And there are the other marks the ones that where there when I received her that mark somebody else’s life and those are just as special. Buying new is great but being able to breath new life into a pre-loved bag is a wonder.



  1. 4th February 2018 / 2:23 pm

    Love your bags, you have such a beautiful collection xx

    • Sarahthenelizabeth 4th February 2018 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you Chloe, it’s my obsession have a lovely day. Love Sarah xxx

  2. Marta (littlesmilessite)
    8th February 2018 / 1:29 pm

    Amazing collection.
    My first designer bag was also vintage – Gucci. I got from my husband for our anniversary.
    What is a pity for me – that in Poland where I live such a vintage market almost doesn’t exists. Some shops have started to appear recently. On popular auction sites you can find some bags but I don’t trust their authenticity. There are plenty of counterfeited goods in Poland…
    I quite enjoy Vestiaire Collective. What is your opinion about this site, Sarah?
    Have a lovely day,

    • Sarahthenelizabeth 8th February 2018 / 3:03 pm

      Hi Marta,

      Thank you for your comment, I am actually working on a post for my blog which will be up within the next two weeks on the shops and websites I use to purchase pre loved bags. Once it’s up I will DM you to let you know. Vestiaire is very good I have purchased from them a few times. I have only had one issue with their website over the years. When a bag I purchased never arrived. They did refund me eventually. But their fees for shipping and tax can be quite high. I hope this helped. Xxx Sarah

      • Marta (littlesmilessite)
        9th February 2018 / 1:52 pm

        Thank you Sarah and I’m waiting for your posts you’ve mentioned

        • Sarahthenelizabeth 9th February 2018 / 6:46 pm

          Hi Marta, that post will be up before the end of February. Have a lovely weekend xxx Sarah

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