“I got my first [Hermès] Birkin bag 20 years ago, after someone gave me a fake one that I became obsessed with.

Now, I have 17, and I’ve probably traded or sold just as many.

I used to feel guilty about it, but I’ve been collecting deities for as long as Birkins, and what I’ve come to realize is, with the right perspective, one can have both the MATERIAL and the SPIRITUAL.

I love beautiful things — that’s what the bags are to me. It’s not about wealth or ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’ Rather, it’s appreciating what I have and embracing what inspires me.”

“MOTHER NATURE is one of my greatest sources of inspiration — that’s why I’m drawn to the different skins.”

“As a kid, I loved toys in candy colors like bubblegum, so why wouldn’t I love [bags in] them now?
God, the pink is gorgeous.”

“I love the 25 cm size for weekends. I’ll carry a 30 cm when I have meetings, or on days when I’m not working hardcore. The 35 cm is probably the most popular.

When you graduate to a 40 cm, you’re carrying everything, so you try and scale back to a smaller bag.

And then the cycle repeats itself.”

“I still have my first-ever Birkin:
black leather, like a goatskin, with gold hardware. I bought it myself, and probably haven’t carried it in 20 years.”

“I looked at this bag forever [before buying it]. At first, I thought it was kind of ugly, but one day that all of a sudden changed and now it’s one of my favorites.

I will never get rid of it.”

“The Birkin is a very New York City bag, and I actually do carry mine. I don’t baby them.

Serious collectors will say, ‘You need to stuff those better,’ or, ‘You need to put them in dust bags.’ I probably should, but at the end of the day, they’re just purses.”

“The nuances of Birkins can make you crazy. If you seriously want to learn about them, eBay is an incredible educator.”

“A lot of my bags were found by my dealer. She’s very ‘uptown’ and into the status of Hermès, whereas I usually try to find styles that are used, so the more beat up they are, the better.

We’re opposites, and she gets a kick out of it.”

“The Shadow Birkin is the best bag that Jean Paul Gaultier ever did.
It’s extraordinary. Even though I’ve never carried it, I’ll never let this go.”


Photography byBramble Trionfo

As told to Anthony Rotunno

Lori Goldstein is an author, stylist, and the designer of LOGO by Lori Goldstein. The current collection is available online and via QVC.

Did you see? Fashion enthusiast James Goldstein shares favorite hats from his extensive wardrobe, at home in Los Angeles with photo agent Carol LeFlufy.