Tag: Handbags

Brand To Watch: RÉNA IMAN, Luxury Handbags With A Purse

Rena Iman Clutches

One of my favorite handbag vloggers, Minks4All, posted an Instagram Story a few months ago with a bag charm featuring a small gem. I loved its simplicity and looked up the brand, RÉNA IMAN. I was inspired by the design, and more importantly, the cause each bag and bag charm supports:  stopping domestic violence.

RÉNA IMAN is a socially-conscious luxury brand that makes luxury affordable, simultaneously joining the fight to end domestic violence and provide aid to its countless victims. A percentage of every purchase goes back to a local and national charity to collectively help change the lives of women and stop violence against women.

RÉNA IMAN handcrafted leather goods are designed by an amazing woman, Reana Muhammad.  When I spoke with Reana over email about her first hand experience working with domestic violence survivors, she said, “Seeing how resources were limited to low income families a lot of them gave up on trying to leave and lived in fear for years to just keep a roof over there heads.” She knew she had to do something to help.  “I never wanted another women to have to face death before she was able to walk away for her abuser. ”

To help this very serious cause, RÉNA IMAN donates to the Virginia statewide coalition for domestic violence and sexual assault, and a national domestic violence and sexual assault charity.

Each product has been named after a strong female figure in her life. The handbags are minimal and classic with simple, sleek lines. Each bag charm is chosen by the customer for a personalized touch using semi-precious stones.

This is a cause I care a lot about because I was a victim of domestic violence over 10 years ago; I went to a local domestic violence resource center and they helped me find the support I needed.

Luxury with a purpose is something I can get behind.

Shop Rena Iman

The RÉNA IMAN Collection:

Shop Rena Iman

How To Authenticate: Mansur Gavriel Zip Wallet

Fake Mansur Gavriel Bag

Welp… I think I bought a counterfeit Mansur Gavriel Zip Pouch.

I’m a small crossbody kind of girl. I don’t like carrying a lot of stuff with me, but sometimes I do. When I travel or work from a cafe, I usually carry my Cuyana tote or my Everlane backpack. This flat zip pouch is an accessory I’ve been eyeing for a while to help me stay organized in larger bags. I’ve been wanting the Mansur Gavriel Large Wallet ($150) for a while, but the MG Small Tote comes with a mini flat zip pouch, which could be useful too.

When the Mansur Gavriel small zip pouch popped up on Poshmark, I grabbed it. I know Poshmark protects buyers by allowing returns if an item isn’t authentic, but I’m usually hesitant to buy luxury goods at a place that doesn’t authenticate before listing products for sale. But, I took a chance (because I had a store credit), and it arrived in two days.

When it arrived at my house, it looked a little fishy right away. I do have experience authenticating handbags, so I write this post with existing knowledge of how to authenticate luxury goods.

How To Authenticate A Mansur Gavriel Bag:

  • Design
  • Leather
  • Hardware (Button Snap, Zipper)
  • Mansur Gavriel Logo Stamp
  • Dust Bag

We’ll look at each of these attributes to authenticate. First, I examined the item IRL. Then, I found previously sold listings to compare it to.

First impressions: The material doesn’t feel like leather; it also doesn’t scratch with a fingernail (which smooth calfskin leather should do). The smell of the pouch is off, kind of like plastic. When I looked online, the original listing has been taken down. I didn’t recall seeing that there was any mention of “replica” or “faux” or “inspired by”. Buyer also sold the Mansur Gavriel Tote that this bag came with, but the listing isn’t visible. This is the pouch I received:


Authentic/Counterfeit Mansur Gavriel Comparisons

From the Mansur Gavriel Website

Authentic Mansur Gavriel Zip Pouch

Authentic Mansur Gavriel Zip Pouch

Authentic Mansur Gavriel Zip Pouch

Counterfeit Mansur Gavriel Tote & Zip Pouch

I clicked on this listing because it had a small zip pouch in the main shot. It caught my eye because the leather looks flimsy, and, by that assertion–it looks fake. Notice the “matte” color of the leather (it should have a light gloss) and the creasing of the leather, which should be sturdy and stiff. The stitching along the bottom base is uneven, and there is a lot of creasing and ripples. The stitching should be even and not bumpy. The zip pouch looks too small.

Authentic Mansur Gavriel Dust Bag

Mansur Gavriel Authenticity Checklist:

  • Design: Pass. The design itself looks similar to what I can find online. I wasn’t able to find dimensions of this size because this pouch usually isn’t sold separately.
  • Leather: Fail. It’s not real leather (doesn’t scratch with a fingernail/smells like plastic/different texture than authentic). This one the first glaringly fake thing about this item.
  • Hardware (Button Snap, Zipper): Fail. The button snap on the back is way too large.
  • Mansur Gavriel Logo Stamp: Fail.  Logo embossing is too large and too thick. The authentic logo stamps were about 1/4″ from the bottom seam, whereas this fake has a logo that’s about 1/2″ above the seam.
  • Dust Bag: Fail. The dust bag I received is a flimsy white material with with text on it. The real dust bag should be a thick, linen-style material with pale pink text and a rectangle around the logo.
  • I compared it with two authentic Mansur Gavriel Bucket bags that I own and it doesn’t appear to be authentic.

Final Verdict: FAKE.

How To Authentic Mansur Gavriel | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Luckily, Poshmark has a generous return policy, PoshProtect that lets you return items if they are not authentic.

What is covered under PoshProtect:

  • Undisclosed damage
  • Incorrect or missing item
  • Item not as described
  • Item is not authentic

So, I’ll be returning this zip pouch. Sad.

I know this is a risk you take when buying pre-owned, especially from a peer-to-peer network like Poshmark. I’m lucky they have a wonderful return policy. I mostly feel bad for the seller, because I’m pretty sure she thought it was real.

The Solution? Shop Mansur Gavriel Bags From Trusted Sellers

Mansur Gavriel Black Large Wallet • $160

Mansur Gavriel Small Tote • $525

Mansur Gavriel Small Tote Bag

Mansur Gavriel Black Mini Bucket Bag • $495

Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Bag

Mansur Gavriel Black Mini Mini Sun Bag • $495

Mansur Gavriel Mini Min Sun Bag

Mansur Gavriel Circle Leather Crossbody Bag • $695

Mansur Gavriel Circle Crossbody Bag

Mansur Gavriel Black Large Lady Bag • $1,050

Mansur Gavriel Large Lady Bag
If you have any recommendations for a similar pouch, let me know in the comments!

What I Learned About Coco Chanel In Paris

Chanel Black Shopping Bag

Last summer, I spent a week in Paris, soaking in the fashion, the architecture, the food, the corner bookstores, the leisure and cafés.

While visiting Paris for the first time, my goal was to visit as many luxury boutiques as I could. Chanel, of course, was top on my list of boutiques. I wanted to walk the same paths Coco walked; to be in the same rooms she was once in; to feel her spirit around my shoulders. Chanel is one of the most iconic luxury brands of today, built by a girl who came from nothing.

Chanel, a privately-held company, issued an earnings report that shows the company made nearly $10 billion in sales in 2017.

I wondered what she would think as I wandered to every Chanel boutique. I stared in awe at the empire she created, while living at the Hotel Ritz around the corner of what would become the first Chanel Boutique: 31 Rue Cambon. Dating back to the 18th century, rue Cambon was named after a famous French revolutionary, whose father was a fabric manufacturer. The streets in this part of Paris were built just after the French Revolution.

In 1918, Coco Chanel acquired the entire building at Number 31 Rue Cambon. It was here that she invented the concept of the modern boutique: displays of fashion accessories and her first perfume (N°5) to wear with her garments and hats.  By 1927, she owned five buildings on rue Cambon (Numbers 23 to 31).

Coco arranged the 18th century building to fit the needs of her growing empire: the boutique occupied the ground floor, while the large reception room on the first floor was used to present her collections and for fittings for Haute Couture dresses and suits. A stairway led to her second-floor apartment where she lived. The third floor housed the studio, where Karl Lagerfeld works today. All of her activities, which included workshops for making jewelry, hats and sportswear, were in this building. The configuration of the building is the same today. Chanel even hosts a podcast, 3.55, from Coco’s apartment.

Everywhere in Paris, I saw things Chanel would have been inspired by. A government building with CC’s on it; the Seine; Rue Cambon itself. I wanted to experience what inspired Chanel to change the world just by being herself.

Gabrielle (aka Coco) Chanel once said, “beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” I think the lesson is clear: we can do extraordinary things if we believe in ourselves (and look chic while doing so).

She knew what she was doing—she redefined fashion.

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

—Coco Chanel

From an early age I’ve felt a deep connection to Chanel—I recall my mother fawning over Chanel handbags and my grandmother adorning herself in tweed suits a la Chanel. As an adult, I’ve been drawn to learning more about the history of the brand and more importantly, the woman behind the brand, who singlehandedly redefined fashion in the early 1900s.

I’m always inspired by women saying “fuck you” to the rules and following her own way—defining her own path based on what her own instincts tell her, not what the invisible guiding hand of society says. Those are the ladies I want in my corner.

What Chanel created would change fashion, and the world. The modern black and neutral aesthetic; those chain straps; modern design on every package, every box, every awning, every bottle of perfume; and oh god, that perfectly symmetrical CC logo. The symbol itself conjures a feeling, a status, and a particular type of woman.

The CC logo Coco designed in 1925 soon eclipsed all of Chanel’s other motifs, appearing on jacket buttons, belts, shoes, and purses and acquiring enough cachet to turn into an abstract, impersonal status symbol, while still conjuring the person behind the initials. It became inextricable from the identity of the Chanel brand, appearing somewhere on nearly every accessory and all perfume packages.

Look around you—on the street, in the subway, at the office—you will see Coco Chanel’s influence. From chain-link belts, bouclé suits, jersey separates, quilted purses, beige-and-black shoes, and little black dresses, and shoulder bags, they are all attributed directly to Coco Chanel. No other person has ever wielded anything comparable to the degree of aesthetic influence Chanel has had for so long so many. That’s what one woman started. She was a sharp-witted women with a hungry, yearning spirit beneath.

Visiting the Chanel flagship store in Paris felt like stepping back in time to see what it was like in the early 1900s to be a woman who didn’t want to wear long dresses like everyone else, a woman who cut her hair short when everyone wore theirs in big, uncomfortable updos.

Gabrielle Chanel (aka Coco Chanel), grew up on a convent after her mother died and her father abandoned her. She started with nothing and built an empire.

The convent practiced “social Catholicism,” which believed in teaching, nursing or helping the poor over prayer and meditation. Gabrielle Chanel was provided with a rare view of powerful women in 19th century France: female congregations were an alternative to becoming a wife and mother; the mothers superior were in charge, not men. There’s no doubt that seeing women in uniquely powerful roles inspired Gabrielle to start her own empire.

While in the convent, Gabrielle learned to sew but also her disdain for recited prayer, and people trying “to put order in my disorder or into my spirit.” The church required her to memorize and recite prayers—a monotonous method used to dissuade questioning or interpretation, and to reject individualism.

Coco rejected this notion and respectfully left the convent. She paid respects to the convent with small touches of inspiration in her clothes and handbag:  the burgundy/garnet leather used inside the Chanel 2.55 flap bag was the color of the uniform that Chanel had to wear at the Aubazine orphanage where she was raised;  the double-chain shoulder strap of the 2.55 flap bag was inspired by the nuns who used to dangle keys from their waists. I have always loved how Chanel took memories from her past and turned them into design (this is a common practice by heritage brands and it isn’t a new concept, but it impresses me still).

While walking the streets of Paris, I wondered if I would have felt a kinship with Gabrielle, as those with an immortal angst tend to flock together.

Coco, wherever you are, thank you for your contribution to fashion and our world. Thank you for all the work you did to inspire women to be themselves, not who society wants them to be.

Photos by Becca Risa Luna

Palais de Chanel in Paris, France | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Chanel CC Logo: Designed in 1925 | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Coco Chanel Staircase in Paris | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Wishlist & Try On: Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag

Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag
Current retail price: $3300
Style Numbers: A65050 (with 4 holes), New Mini A69900 (with 2 holes)

There are two different versions of the Chanel New Mini Classic Flap: two holes and four holes. By that, I’m referring to the holes at the top of the bag for the strap to loop through. With 4 holes, it’s easier to shorten the chain and wear it with double chains on the shoulder. Due to the absence of a double flap, the New Mini can fit more than the small sized Chanel flap. The 2 hole New Mini Classic Flap ends up being the perfect small crossbody bag.

Chanel Black Quilted Patent Leather New Mini Flap Bag.jpg

I’ve tried all styles of Chanel bags and I’ve decided the Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag is the Chanel bag I want.

A few weeks ago I went to the Chanel boutique inside Nordstrom’s flagship store in downtown Seattle. I usually try to go the boutiques every month or two to see what’s new for the season.

I just want to look, never speak to an SA because I know I’m not planning on buying anything that day. SA’s usually ignore me because I’m not actively engaged with them.

But this time, I wanted to ask a few questions. I’ve had my eye on a Caviar card case, and wanted to see one IRL. I looked around for a little while before asking to see a Black Caviar and Red Caviar Classic Card Case, which are priced at $400 each. They were beautiful.

Truth be told, I’ve never purchased any luxury items brand new from a boutique. All of my luxury bags, small leather goods, and accessories were purchased pre-owned or at sample sales.

I’m hoping the Chanel New Mini can be the one—though I’d be happy with pre-owned.

But they’re really hard to get. Not only does Chanel only make a few hundred a year, but they are very hard to find pre-owned because people keep them forever. Because Chanel minis are not considered part of the permanent line (small classic flap, the M/L, the jumbo and the maxi), they are released as seasonal bags. That means the Chanel New Mini is a seasonal bag and is only released in batches whenever Chanel feels like it.

I told the SA I wanted to buy a Chanel New Mini, knowing I wasn’t actually going to be able to walk away with one.

I wasn’t anticipating the SA catapulting into her rant about “wishlist” items. She asked me what I wanted, what color, leather, style, etc. It almost felt like a test to see if I was a serious buyer.

“Classic New Mini, the Rectangle one, in Black Caviar,” I stuttered. Somehow, in the face of this Chanel Sales Associate, I forgot my encyclopedia of Chanel knowledge. I reminded myself that I probably knew more than she did, and kept talking. “I would prefer shiny silver or shiny gold.”

She wrote down what I wanted on a piece of scrap paper with my name and phone number, which felt a little unprofessional.

The next thing out of her mouth was the worst seven words I’ve heard all year:

“It could be up to two years.”


That’s so dang long, but also two years to get my finances in a place where I can afford a Chanel bag, go on vacation, and donate to the causes I support.

I left the store feeling a little deflated but also hopeful that someday, maybe I’ll own a brand new Chanel bag.

I’ll keep looking on the pre-owned market, but the exact bag I want is few and far between. I’ve seen a few in the Chanel Addicted Buy and Sell Facebook group, but it makes me really nervous to buy from someone in a group. The bag could be fake, or I could get scammed.


I got to try on a Chanel Patent Leather New Mini Classic Flap today! I wasn’t expecting to love the patent leather, but the shiny gloss made it look so beautiful.

I’m 5’1″ and it feels like the perfect crossbody size. It only has a single flap with the Classic Chanel CC turn-lock on the front. SWOON. Should I get it? I really want one in Caviar leather (pebbled leather that’s more durable), but AHHH.

Chanel Black Patent Leather New Mini Classic Flap Bag | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

How to score a Chanel New Mini Flap bag:

Buy pre-owned from Yoogi’s Closet, Fashionphile.com, or TheRealReal.

  • Establish a relationship with a Sales Associate.
  • Keep track of release dates for Chanel Minis in the seasonal collections. The best place to do this is in the Chanel Mini Purse Forum Thread and the ‘Shopping’ thread in the Chanel section, which always have threads for the upcoming collections intel there on release dates.
  • When you find out an approximate release month for special releases, call your local Chanel store or go in to ask about new arrivals. Often SAs don’t have information about exact dates or what’s included, so just make sure they have your number to call or text you ASAP if they get a shipment in.
  • If your area has more than one Chanel boutique, call all of them to ask if your wishlist bag is there! Chanel may offer to search the ‘system’ for you to see if the bag you’re after is available in any of stores nearby, but proceed with caution because they do sell very fast.
  • Be persistent. Try calling between 10:00am and 11:00am before the store gets busy to see if they’ve received what you’re after in that day’s delivery.
  • If what you want comes in, go to the store ASAP to buy your new bag. The official policy is not to reserve items for customers, but most SAs will hold the bag for you for a couple of hours, especially if they know you.

Good luck!

Do you like the New Mini flap bag? Do you have one?

becca risa luna @ coffee and handbags

Bag of the day: Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody

Good morning!

Almond Milk Vanilla Latte at Olympia Coffee Roasters

Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody

Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag Review of the day

tldr; not flashy, very functional, great small crossbody.

I went out for the day to run errands with my PS1 Mini Crossbody, which I reach for a lot more than I thought I would. when I first got this bag, at the same time I got my PS11, I wasn’t sure if I would use it. it’s a fairly plain design, whereas I usually like bags with an edge, like shiny studded hardware on my Balenciaga City or a flashy, it bag like my Gucci Marmont.

Though the PS1 a luxury designer bag, it’s not a well-known bag. it’s inconspicuous.

When I consider buying a designer bag, I think of my motive for the bag at large: what kind of message does this bag send the world? Will someone look at it and know it’s a luxury bag? will “bag ladies” know that I’m in their club? will a “fashion person” see me, my “modern chic” all-black-everything outfit, and my bag, and want to hire me based on how I’m dressed (please universe, let this happen to me some day).

We carry these things as utility to carry our stuff but also, for some of us, as a statement to the world, as if to say “hey, I can afford this.” sometimes I worry people judge me for it, like, “I could never spend $900 on a handbag”.

If you are into handbags, you’ll know it the PS1 immediately, but a normal person walking down the street won’t. sometimes, I don’t want to risk the judgement.

Or worse, like getting robbed. is that a thing you worry about or is it just my neurotic personality? if I’m carrying a mass media known bag with a huge luxury brand logo, I worry about theft.

The point is—I don’t have to worry about that with this bag.

Plus, the PS1 Mini Crossbody is just a really good bag. the flap top opens with a flip of a flat buckle and inside is pretty spacious for a little bag. I can comfortably fit my “minimal handbag” things: keys, iPhone 7 Plus, lipstick, port and polish pill box, Apple EarPods, and there’s still room for a few other things. the PS1 Mini Crossbody fits way more than a Chanel WOC, YSL WOC, or an LV Favorite PM.

Since this blog is called coffee and handbags, I better touch on the other subject too.

The almond milk vanilla latte was great. I don’t want to get very technical about coffee, because I’m not a trained barista or anything, I just love to drink it.  I measure how much I like a coffee drink based on if I finished it or not. sometimes, lattes (and espresso drinks in general) have a tendency to be too bitter for me, so I don’t finish the drink.

Disclaimer: I’m sorry to all the hard-working baristas out there. I know you worked hard to steam my foam into a perfect crema but I just can’t. it’s not you, it’s me.

So, the cafe. Olympia Coffee in West Seattle is my favorite local coffee shop—I go there at least once a week for their award-winning coffee beans, life-changing pastries from bakehouse 55, and for the ambiance.

The cafe has these luxe-yet-faux-marble tables that each have a custom gold inlay. I’m pretty sure they’re just some kind of countertop that looks just like real stone but isn’t? I have major table envy, which I wasn’t sure was a thing. I keep imagining this design on small tables outside on my front patio. something simple, but with a touch of modernity to bring it into 2018.

That’s all for today.

with love,

coffee and handbags


Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody & Latte at Olympia Coffee Roasters | CoffeeandHandbags.com

Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody & Latte at Olympia Coffee Roasters | CoffeeandHandbags.com

Olympia Coffee Roasters in Seattle, WA

Love Your Handbags? Then You Need This Handbag Hanger NOW

You might be asking yourself, “why would I need a special hanger for my handbag?” To protect it, of course!

A few weeks ago, I got into a lengthy discussion with Malibu-based handbag repair store Purse Rehab, who recommended hanging handbags on a HANGER.

Wait, what?! This was contrary to my knowledge. Wouldn’t hanging a bag would stretch the straps or make them sag?

“Not if you use the right hanger,” Purse Rehab told me over Instagram DMs, “if you use a special acrylic hanger, you can protect the rounded shape of your handbags instead of stretching them out.”

Then I discovered LuxeBagCare on Instagram.

Luxe Bag Care’s website reads, “Protect your investment with the LBC Acrylic Handbag Hanger. It supports your bags’ straps, maintaining shape and integrity, and keeping sides crease-free.”

After DMing with LBC and finding out that the founder of the company, Robin, lives in my HOMETOWN, she sent me two hangers to try out!Acrylic Handbag Hanger by LuxeBagCare

I’ve always stored my bags on shelves, in their dust bags or in their boxes. It’d be a hassle to find the bag I wanted to use. Sometimes I’d even forget about bags because they were tucked away in their dust bags, hibernating from me. You won’t use what you can’t see, ya know?

This Luxe Bag Care Acrylic Handbag Hanger means that I can store my bag in my closet, ready to be carried at a moments notice. I may not hang them all the time, but it’s nice to have the option to hang in my closet to reach for.

Bonus: I carry it in my bigger bags to use on chairs at restaurants instead of hanging them awkwardly on the corner of the chair.

One of my favorite things about the internet is that I’ve been able to connect with some pretty amazing entrepreneurs. I DM’ed with Robin, Luxe Bag Care’s designer and creator, to find out that she molded and designed the hanger, then had it sent to China for manufacturing. She does the marketing, packing, and shipping all by herself. These are my favorite kind of businesses to support because you know she did it with passion and love.

Get yours: https://luxebagcare.com

RIP Kate Spade

Kate Spade Portrait

Kate Spade was found dead this morning.

According to The New York Times, the police said that Ms. Spade, 55, was discovered unresponsive at a Park Avenue apartment. She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m.

I’m devastated. Her designs made so many women feel their most confident and classic. There are very few designers who understand what modern women need and want—Kate was able to do that.

Kate Spade was one of the first female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, who built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile. Known for her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses and kooky grin, she designed a wide range of colorful dresses, handbags and jewelry–all with a touch of humor.  Kate Spade was decidedly modern, built on living colorfully, and with whimsy.

Kate hadn’t been involved with Kate Spade New York in years, but as the founder of the brand (along with her husband, Andy), she certainly made her mark on the fashion world and dressed millions of women in her preppy-with-attitude clothes, handbags, and jewelry.

Kate Spade handbags were distinctive for their modern look, pops of color and utilitarian shapes, and often, “sassy but classy”.

One of my own Kate Spade bags:

Kate Spade Quilted Flap Bag

Kate’s suicide–a tragic loss–serves as reminder that depression doesn’t discriminate based on success and worth. It doesn’t matter how much money or fame we have (or don’t) or how happy we look.

I hope Kate’s spirit is at peace and rest now. My condolences to the loved ones she left behind.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.

Louis Vuitton Black Epi Simple Card Holder Review

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.comLV Epi Leather Card Holder | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Louis Vuitton Simple Card Holder

What I love: I’ve been carrying this card case for about 2 years now. I downsized from a Balenciaga bi-fold wallet that doubled as a clutch because I started only carrying small crossbody bags. I only carry about 6 cards at a time—two in the front slot, two in the back slot, and two or three in the center. Not being able to carry a ton of cards means I don’t end up carrying around 4 coffee frequent buyer stamp cards and rewards cards to places I go once a year. Instead, I’m mindful about what I carry and I know where my card case is at all times.

But how do I carry cash? Well, I don’t. If I need to, I have a separate zip pouch for cash or I fold it and put it in the center compartment of my card case.

My other favorite feature? I really like how low-key this card holder is. It doesn’t scream Louis Vuitton, which isn’t the look I want all the time. The Epi leather isn’t flashy but if you know LV, you know Epi leather.

How does the LV Epi Card Holder wear?

Like I said, I’ve been carrying it with me for over 2 years, which means it’s been in every purse and traveled to 10 countries with me. Given that, I’d say it’s wearing incredibly well. I believe that it’s unreasonable to assume that something you carry every single day is completely indestructible and immune to wear-and-tear, even if it’s a luxury item.

After two years, the only visible wear-and-tear is a popped stitch at the top corner. I took it to LV, who said they would send it to France to be repaired for $30. I thought that was a fair price given how much I use this piece, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on sending it to France yet because I don’t want to stop using it.

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Wear-and-Tear Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

What’s in your bag? Do you like the look of this card holder?

LVMH Pumps Over $60 Million Into Lyst | BoF Exclusive

Read on www.businessoffashion.com/articles/bof-exclusive/lvmh-pumps-over-60-million-into-lyst

Business of Fashion reports, “Fashion platform Lyst has forged a strategic partnership with the world’s largest luxury conglomerate as the e-commerce market heats up. Lyst is raising $60 million of which LVMH has contributed roughly 45 percent, according to market sources. Lyst — essentially a digital shopping mall that aggregates millions of fashion products from brands, department stores and boutiques under one virtual roof.”

What does this mean for the future of luxury online shopping? With LVMH investing in Lyst, it shows that they know young luxury shoppers aren’t just going to boutiques to shop and browse—they research and buy online. About 9 percent of all luxury purchases happen online. It’s good to see a historic brand evolving and believing in technology, instead of ignoring it and being set in their ways.

What is Lyst doing with this investment? Business of Fashion reports, “Specifically, Lyst aims to allow consumers to discover fashion items by entering search terms like “Kardashian dress” or “job interview” much like they can find Spotify playlists that are perfect for workout sessions or weekend barbeques.

“Spotify was just a search platform. You had to search by artist or DJ, and it was quite a useful experience, but it was only helpful if you knew exactly what you wanted,” Morton explained. “But then we realized: customers don’t only search that way, they also searched by a mood, or by occasion or by other culturally relevant hooks.””

If you’re not familiar with the LVMH conglomerate, here’s a partial list some of LVMH’s best-known brands and subsidiaries:

Château Cheval Blanc
Dom Pérignon
Moët & Chandon
Veuve Clicquot
Le Bon Marché
Christian Dior
Emilio Pucci
Louis Vuitton
Marc Jacobs
TAG Heuer
Benefit Cosmetics
Givenchy Parfums
Make Up For Ever
Parfums Christian Dior

Pre-Loved Designer Bags: Where I Buy/Sell, Tips & Reviews

Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes Designer Handbags

There are so many places to buy pre-loved luxury goods. Buying pre-owned is great for saving hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars on something pre-loved that would have cost you so much more when buying new. It’s daunting nowadays with how many places there are to buy and sell, PLUS the constant worry of unknowingly buying a counterfeit item.

Where I Buy Pre-Owned Designer Handbags

Yoogi’s Closet, based in Seattle, WAis my go-to for buying pre-loved luxury. They authenticate all items in-house and provide all kinds of details about every item–from the year it was made to every flaw on the bag.  As far as pictures and descriptions go, they are THE BEST. Every angle, every nook and cranny is shown and discussed in their descriptions–which I really appreciate when I’m buying something that’s thousands of dollars online.  Every item in their store comes with an AUTHENTICITY PROMISE, and if you have any doubts, you can just return it, no questions asked. In addition, their customer service is outstanding and I’ve had responses within MINUTES from their customer service. Most of my handbag collection is from Yoogi’s Closet and I love the variety of rare and limited edition bags on this site.



Fashionphile, based in Carlsbad, CA, is one of my favorite places to browse bags–they truly have the best selection of luxury goods. Their prices are a little high sometimes, but their selection makes them standout because you can find something you really love.  I’ve never sold to Fashionphile but I wouldn’t hesitate to get a quote from them.



TheRealReal is somewhere I’ve never purchased from, but I really, really like their website. They have a HUGE variety of items from handbags to clothes to fine jewelry and home decor. It seems like every time I try to shop on their site I get so overwhelmed at everything they have available that I just give up.  They provide detailed information and photography for every listing.


Peer-to-Peer Buying and Selling

Tradesy is a site I’ve both bought and sold from. This is a peer-to-peer marketplace, similar to Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, but every item comes with a Tradesy Promise.

Of the two main p2p apps, I have had the best luck selling on Tradesy, plus I really like their selling user interface. The Tradesy Commission fee is 19.8% plus an additional small fee that they call a “safe transfer fee” of 2.9%.  I really appreciate that Tradesy offers three shipping options for sellers:

  • Tradesy sends you a Shipping Kit with a Tradesy branded box, dust bag or polybag and shipping label–that way, when your buyer receives the item, it’s packaged really nicely in a Tradesy box. If you elect this option, they charge the buyer for this fee but it comes out of your final payout.
  • Print a pre-paid label and ship using your own materials. If you elect this option, they charge the buyer for this fee but it comes out of your final payout.
  • Use your own materials and submit tracking once you ship.


Poshmark is another peer-to-peer marketplace and app. I’ve listed items on Poshmark and was pleasantly surprised with the ease of their app and the social component of it, but I have never actually sold or purchased anything on Poshmark.


Facebook Buy & Sell Groups
Recently, I started using Facebook groups for researching, buying and selling. You can make the most money by selling in these groups, but there is a larger risk of getting scammed. There are groups for every designer, but the LV and Chanel groups are the ones I browse the most. I was able to sell a Louis Vuitton Epi Petit Noe for almost exactly what I paid for it ($895), and a vintage Chanel Camera Case for a small profit. When you post an item for sale in a group, Facebook automatically posts it on Facebook Marketplace so you may get messages from people in your local area too!

Louis Vuitton Addicted – Buy Sell & Chat

Chanel Addicted – Buy Sell & Chat

 You can also post ISO (in search of) posts with a budget included and people will comment with similar items for sale.   Many members are also active in other handbag groups and on Instagram. An added benefit is that you can connect with lots of handbag loving folks too, and maybe even make some friends!

Depop is another peer-to-peer marketplace that’s more geared towards fast fashion and less towards designer goods–but people keep telling me to give it a try. I downloaded the app last night and I can’t stand the typeface they use in their app so I might delete it.



Tips For Buying Pre-Owned Designer Bags Online

  1. Set your budget.
  2. Got a bag in mind already? Use Google Search or any of the sites I listed above to find it.
  3. Not sure what bag you have in mind? Start by looking on Pinterest for the style you want–shoulders bags/clutches, etc. Look at Instagram Hashtags for ideas, i.e. #LouisVuittonSpeedy will bring up over 100k of posts featuring Speedy bags.
  4. Do your research. If the bag is current, how much does the bag sell for at full retail? My rule of thumb for current styles is that if I’m not getting more than 20% off retail, it’s not worth it to buy pre-owned. If the bag isn’t a current style, how much did it sell for when it was in stores, and how much is the same bag selling for on other sites?  Is it a rare/limited edition item?

Tips For Selling Designer Bags Online

  1. Know some basic information about your item: the proper style name, date code/serial number, year it was made, original retail price, etc. This will help you get a better quote or more money for it.  If you have questions about how to identify your bag, let me know in the comments and I’m happy to help.
  2. Take a lot of photos of your item. The more angles, the better. Make sure to get a picture of any logos, labels, or tags on or inside the bag.
  3. Describe the condition of the bag. Accurate descriptions can help the buyer know exactly what they’re getting or for the company you’re trying to sell to give you the most accurate quote. The bottom corners and handles carry the most wear, so be sure to look those over and describe any wear and tear.
  4. Get a few quotes from a variety of places. You may find that one site gives you a better quote but wants you to pay for your own shipping, and another pays for shipping and offers you added benefits like getting more money if you opt for payment in store credit.
  5. If you decide to sell through a FB Group, I recommend using PayPal because they can help you if something shady happens. If you’re selling, make sure you take pictures of every step of the shipping process and create an invoice for your records.