Today’s interview is with Hem, who has a fabulous collection of Balenciaga and designer goods in general – from clothes to shoes and to jewelry. Add to that some great photography skills – along with a penchant for labeling her photos with helpful captions (be still my heart..I love a good, informative captioning) – and you have a fabulous interview subject. So here we go – enjoy meeting the lovely Hem!
First things first – who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
Hi! I’m Hem, a Filipino-Chinese born and raised in Manila, Philippines. My Dad is Fukinese and my Mom is Cantonese. I am an interior designer by profession, a photographer by passion, and a manager at our family owned chain of restaurants.
You have a great Balenciaga collection. I’d like to ask when you got started – and why you got hooked?
It all started February of 2010. I was looking hard for a leather bag that wasn’t stiff and structured. I have been a Prada girl for the longest time and was getting weary of their collection. So I was on the hunt with a mission… then I came across Balenciaga. That slouchy piece of leather that smelled oh so good – that was what got me hooked.
What was your first b-bag purchase…and where is that bag today?
The 2010 Classic Black regular hardware Velo was my very first B-bag, and she is still very much in my collection. My eyes twinkle every time I use or see her.
What are some of your favorite and most used items?
I love anything comfortable, be it clothes or shoes. I love tunic or bohemian inspired tops, paired with skinny jeans or leggings and boots or sandals. I never leave the house without a watch, a pair of diamond stud earrings and solitaire necklace, my wedding ring and my Cartier Love bracelet. Most of the time I reach for my B-Bags to match or complement my outfit.
What is an item that you were crazy over and loved – and now you wish you hadn’t bought?
I can’t think of a particular brand or item I regret purchasing. I used to love Prada bags though, but I would not say I regret purchasing them 😉 They do bring back happy memories.
What are some other items and brands you collect? What’s a holy grail item you’d like to have one day?
These are the items or designers I adore…
For bags: Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Celine, Proenza Schouler, Chloe, YSL, Goyard, Mulberry and Givenchy.
For watches: I like Cartier, Bvlagari, Rolex and Technomarine.
For jewelry: I love anything with diamonds, Pandora and Tiffany and Co.
Shoes: Balenciaga, Tod’s, Car Shoe, See by Chloe.
My holy grail item? I would like to own a Panerai watch some day.
What brands do you personally find are overpriced?
I believe all designer items are overpriced. However, if we can afford them and love them, price should not be a deterrent. My motto is, “Only purchase something you love and will use”.
What fashion items do you splurge on – vs save on?
I splurge on bags, jewelry and watches, shoes and leather jackets. I save on: clothes.
I would love to hear some of the fashion/style/budgeting advice that you’ve had to learn over the years…that you can share with us…!
I love clean lines, cottons and linen fabrics. Anything comfortable I will purchase. Function and beauty goes hand in hand in my book.
I usually accentuate my wardrobe with my bags, a scarf, a nice belt or leather cuffs. It’s good to experiment once in a while outside your comfort zone, but not to get carried away with what’s “in” at the moment and end up buying something that only sits in your closet.
I think it is best to accentuate your assets and hide your imperfections. Classic clean cut lines on clothing makes a good fashion statement too. It’s important that the cutting and fit flatter your body type.
I believe in purchasing at least one designer bag and a watch. Quality over quantity.
Finally – tell us something surprising about yourself!
I have always been perceived to be the girl next door type, but deep inside I’m more of the boyish type. Someone who you think you would never encounter in an Aikido Dojo. I love to drive around and go and road trips and secretly wished to be an F1 driver.
I totally think Hem has the makings of an F1 driver! 🙂 Okay I really can’t stop staring at that last photo of the Celine bag collection – I think I may have added another few bags to my lust list. Thank you so much Hem for sharing your beautiful collection and impeccable taste with us….and have a wonderful Wednesday, everybody!