Hello again from Paris! I am super excited to share this week’s interview with you. I saved my interview with Mia for this week while I am in Europe because this is a two part interview – there is just an incredible amount of eye candy and delicious material to share with you all. Mia is an incredibly kind, gracious fashionista and super mom with one of the most fabulous closets I have ever seen (and I have seen some pretty aggressive closets!). Please enjoy meeting the amazing Mia…
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
My name is Mia. I am a full time stay-at-home mom. I live in Hong Kong.
You have an amazing collection of designer goods. Which brands do you prefer to collect the most?
Thank you very much! I am quite a collector of different things, as a matter of fact, think of all the things women love to wear (be it clothes, shoes, bags, costume jewelry, scarves, perfume, cosmetics etc), I collect and of course use them! For designer brands, I love Hermes, Chanel, Celine, YSL, Lanvin, Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, Tsumori Chisato, Missoni, Marni…just to name a few. I only venture into designer items when it comes to bags, shoes and jewelry. I adore RTW (ready to wear), but then I get bored easily with my clothes so I tend NOT to go way too far in designer’s RTW.
I am willing to spend money on designer coats, but not on designer blouses or pants. I am an avid Chanel fan, and started with Chanel bags. I still love Chanel, but now more in terms of their jewelry, shoes and RTW.
Now, my favorite brand which I collect most is Hermes. Especially for bags, it’s all Hermes for me now for leather goods (and scarves). I just love the fact that Hermes is a family-run business and that they stay true to the essence of their family business – that is tradition, quality and innovation, not the word “luxury” which is associated to arrogance. According to the late Jean-Louis Dumas, Hermes is an industrial company which designs, makes and retails its products, and they are not a holding company. They will continue to make things the way the grandfathers of their grandfathers did.
I love the fact that Hermes does not use any celebrities in advertising because I am one who does not care about what celebrities are wearing, and that, Hermes is all about understated elegance that does not boast. People always associate Hermes with Birkin and Kelly bags. But Hermes is so much more than that. It’s not at all about these two bags if you truly love the brand. I started my Hermes passion not because of the Birkin/Kelly, but because of their scarves.
Out of everything….what is your favorite item that you own?
This is really a hard question because everything I own has a story to tell. But if you’re talking about #1 holy grail, it must be my Hermes Soleil (yellow color) Lindy shoulder bag. It is my 1st Hermes bag and I bought it last year in Paris. At the time I bought it, I know that the color Soleil has been discontinued already. So, you must imagine how ecstatic I was when the SA told me that they do have a Soleil color available in at the store!!! The one and only in Paris!
As for Chanel, my #1 holy grail that I own will be the 09A Paris-Moscou Gold Lace Effect 2.55 Reissue with the bird cage charm with pearls. The workmanship of this bag is just exquisite. I looked for it in Paris but was sold out as it was only produced in limited pieces. I finally got it from the USA after asking several SAs to find the bag for me!
What items do you wear the most?
As for autumn/winter, it’s almost the same as my spring/summer outfit, except I wear a turtle neck for the bottom layer and a wool coat on top instead. And booties or boots is a must for me.
What makes my outfit different each day is the color, the prints and the fabric textures I choose to mix and match for the best outcome. I love doing layering because it makes a plain top more interesting and gives more “depth” to the total look. I must say, I am never a minimalist in fashion. 🙂
You might ask what I wear when I go out alone for lunch/dinner with my friends or husband? Well, I always wear my heels and I tend to choose softer fabrics like chiffon, lace, silks etc. I also make sure that I have a piece of statement jewelery on me to jazz up the whole look. Of course, this is the time that I will use my “higher profile” bags like Hermes Birkins or clutches or Chanel python flaps.
When did you get started buying these goods, and what got you started on them?
I actually started buying designer’s goods back in year 2000 when I was still working. The first brand that I bought was LV. But I was never a crazy collector during my “LV stage”. I just buy 2 or 3 bags a year and that’s it. What got me started to be as crazy as now? My hubby and the Purse Forum! LOL!
I started my love for Chanel in March 2008. It was actually by “accident”. My husband was going to Paris for his business trip at that time, and asked me what I would like him to bring back from Paris. I initially thought of Louis Vuitton (which used to be my “go-to” brand for bags). But then, my husband said, “Why don’t you buy a Chanel? It’s classic and timeless.”. So, this was when everything (aka. addiction) started. 😀 (Little did my husband know that this will lead to my current Chanel bags/costume jeweleries/shoes collection hahahahaha!!)
My first Chanel was a limited edition bag from the 2008 Spring Summer Collection. It was what my husband has chosen for me. It was a patent leather “Coco Puzzle” black 2.55 reissue flap in medium size. The quilting is not the classic “diamond shape” quilting, instead, Chanel used a puzzle quilting and the leather was patent crackled calfskin with some texture on it. The hardware used was a vintage-feel aged/matte gold metal for the “Mademoiselle” lock and reissue chain.
This bag was really special to me firstly because it’s my 1st Chanel bag, but most important of all, my husband secretly put a “love letter” inside one of the zippered pockets in the bag. It was where Coco Chanel used to hide her love letters too from her lovers, and I was so surprised that my husband remembered this story I told him before! I was very touched when I saw his love letter written in Chinese, it says “Finding this bag is a destiny, just like you becoming part of my life is meant to be. 2 destinies are both with us now…..” (dated March 17, 2008 in Paris). It brought tears to my eyes. This 1st Chanel encounter has been a very memorable experience with sentimental value.
Shots of the book…isn’t her husband so sweet and creative?
Since then, my love for Chanel grew by minute, esp. with the “massive enabling” from the Purse Forum! My husband even surprised me on my birthday and made me a coffee-table album with my modeling pictures and Chanel bags in it!:P After collecting Chanel bags for 1.5 years, my hubby said to me one day, “maybe you should try Hermes now that you have a nice Chanel collection. Try something different. Hermes has such high quality leather goods and it’s got men’s collection too! Next time we can shop at Hermes together!” And with that “go-signal”, my Hermes craze started. LOL! (So, now he can’t complain why I’m so addicted to these 2 brands as he was the one who started it. Haha!)
Anybody with a closet as lovely as yours has to have a beautiful home. Can you share any photographs of decor, your favorite items, etc?
Hong Kong is a very dense and small city with a population of over 7 million. That is why we have lots of skyscrapers and the apartments are very small but super expensive. We don’t have the luxury of space in our apartment (although it is already considered “big” in Hong Kong with over 1000 sq. feet), so my home is actually very simple with lots of cabinets and shelves for storage (we have 4 rooms in total and 2 rooms are for my shoes, clothes and bags).
We specifically make sure that we don’t have any fancy decors in our home since we have a toddler who is super active, so we are scared that fancy decors are too fragile with a toddler in the apartment (though I personally fancy paintings by Gustav Klimt and Salvador Dali, and some famous Chinese paintings which our family has collected over the years). Hence, while my son is still young, we just decorate our home with lots of family pictures.
My father-in-law is a professional photographer with all the gadgets you can think of, so that explains why we have a lot of family pictures around the house. As for my favorite items, well, it must be all the artwork my 3.5 year old son has done which we put up on the wall or shelves for decoration. I always want to remind my son that he is the one who did the artwork and he should be proud of what he has achieved. 🙂
Okay, all – did I not tell you that this woman has one of the most amazing closets, ever? I hope you enjoyed meeting Mia – stay tuned for part two, tomorrow! In the meanwhile, check out Mia’s blog, here.