Our interview subject this week, D, is such a cool woman. She has a beautifully curated Hermes collection but is incredibly down to earth and just is lovely, funny, and so smart, with so much to share. I hope you all enjoy meeting her.
D and one of her passions – photography
What shall we call you? What do you do, and where do you live?
You can call me D, and I live in beautiful Northern California!
I know one of your major passions is Hermes! Can you tell me about how that hobby started, and how it has evolved?
Hermes has been a passion for a while but it wasn’t until I was in my late 40’s with family obligations taken care of that I felt ready to buy a bag. My first was a pre-loved chocolate Clemence 32cm Kelly with gold hardware. Little did I know at the time that it was somewhat special being able to fold flat…. and even though a 32cm is too large for me, I wish I still had that bag! Over the years my collection has evolved to what it is today through trial and error (something I don’t recommend). I have fewer bags today than ever before but each one is well used and much appreciated and along with a few non-Hermes bags it’s perfect the way it is!
A special Kelly….28cm Box Calf with Rouge H lining
What are some of your other passions and hobbies?
I’ve always been interested in design whether it be fashion, architecture, furniture, landscape which means my design book collection is HUGE! I’m passionate about photography. I’ll choose cats over dogs any day. They’re so much more interesting! And if you tell me we’re off to visit the gardens in England or the chateaux in France I’d be packed and ready to go faster than you can blink and eye!
D’s cat Muffin taking a well-deserved rest
What is your #1 favorite Hermes item that you own? What about a holy grail that you are looking to acquire?
Hmmmm…..well my favorite seems to change every so often. A few months ago my favorite was my Gris T Massai Cut. Then it was my Black Box Birkin with Ruthenium. While I was traveling just recently my favorite was my little black box Plume Elan. So, I don’t necessarily have a particular #1 favorite and there’s really no holy grail that I’m desiring. It’s taken me a while to build my bag collection just the way I like it so each piece is really a Holy Grail and each piece works beautifully with everything else in my wardrobe. This is important because my accessories need to carry the day and provide the finishing touch to what I choose to wear since my clothing tends to be pretty simple.
Beloved Plume Elan
Birkin 30cm with Ruthenium
What are some purchases that you regret/later sold off/etc? Why did you make them and what’d you learn?
Oh dear, WELL!!! This could be a book! First, size and proportion is all important, IMO. There’s nothing worse than a bag that over powers you. We might all have seen those pictures of Katie Holmes and her enormous Birkin. It’s ridiculous! I’m 5’3″ and petite. I can’t carry a 32cm Kelly or a 35cm Birkin. But that’s what I bought in the beginning because everyone else I knew was buying 32cm Kelly’s and 35cm Birkins so I figured that was the size to get. It couldn’t have been more wrong for me. Now I have bags that fit my silhouette and I couldn’t be happier. Remember. Your handbag should never proceed you….it should never be the thing people notice first.
And second, only buy what works for your lifestyle. Croc Kelly your “grail”? You better have a croc Kelly lifestyle otherwise it’s money tossed down the drain.
D’s Hermes Etoupe Web II
What’s your opinion about people acquiring Hermes at younger and younger ages? Do you think it hurts somewhat their appreciation of the brand – where do you go after you have Hermes in your teens?
Well, I can only speak from my own experience with my own kids in my own economic bracket. I know for a fact that teenagers in my world can’t possibly understand what a brand like Hermes is all about and I know for a fact that they don’t care…. My daughter, for example, would rather have something she could look cool carrying around and that’s about it for her. She could care less about my handbag collection and she’d be teased endlessly by her peers if she carried any one of my bags. But that’s MY world. There are people out there in the universe with enough disposable income to buy a small country and it would be different for them. But having said all that, I think if young girls really want an Hermes bag no matter what their economic bracket they need to learn about the brand first, earn the money themselves and buy their own bags in order to really appreciate what’s hanging on their arm. Maybe some of them do….but I don’t know any.
Who are some of your style icons?
Marlene Dietrich, Ines de la Fressange, Costanza Pascolato, Ellen Barkin, Diana Vreeland……LOL! There’s a few!
What would be the #1 advice you have on fashion/purchasing/curating your perfect wardrobe that you’d share?
Can I give you four? LOL! It’s far better to have one fabulous cashmere sweater than five cheap ones that look awful after a few washings. Quality over quantity always. Less is always more. And find a good tailor!
I know when I was in my Hermes phase, I had some troubles balancing the budget! Do you have any tips on not overspending?
That’s a tough question! I wasn’t very good at it myself! I think I would have to say if you must use a credit card to buy your Hermes (or any expensive brand) then use American Express because you’re forced to pay it off in 30-days!
What have you recently cheated on Hermes with (I know you got the Celine box!)
LOL! Well, that Celine Classic Box is really the Hermes Constance only designed MUCH better! I’m not fond of the Luggage at all (it’s hard to be once you have had a Birkin) and I’m not sure what all the fuss surrounding the Cabas tote is all about but Phoebe sure got it right with the Classic Box. I do own a Sofia Coppola for LV bag that I love….again, the quality is outstanding for LV and, like Phoebe with the Constance, Sofia took the classic Speedy and improved it. Other than that, I’ve been a good girl lately!
Celine Classic Box
Finally, please share something surprising about yourself!
Ssshhh….I’m full of little secrets. LOL!!!!
I hope you all enjoyed meeting D. I really think her lovely personality and super charming sense of humor came through in this interview. D, you totally remind me of an American version of one of our mutual style icons – Ines Fressange! Thank you again so much for sharing your photos and answers and have a great day, everybody!