• Maryam

My Unicorn handbag

Nothing for me beats the feeling of unboxing that oh so coveted bag.

Nothing for me beats the feeling of unboxing that oh so coveted bag. After months of looking at photos, uhming and ahhing looking at it through store windows. Its is in your hands, and it is all yours. You are tearing through those protective layers, and taking out what you expect to be a pristine handbag. But sometimes that climax is met with ice cold disappointment. The bag has a scuff, dents or in my case unraveling stitches.

The Saint Laurent sac de jour in dark beige, came on my radar like many do, spotted on the arm of one of my favourite instagram bloggers. It made me realise a need in my life for that perfect nude bag. What was I to wear when I wanted to pair a handbag with a floral dress, light coloured clothing, or blush tones? My black bags seemed too dark, my Gucci too loud. Next was the curse of the nude Christian Louboutins, my favourite shoes I have ever stepped in, and because of that I couldn’t take them off. The hole now for a nude bag to match these outfits grew bigger.

By the time I started saving and getting ready to purchase the nude bag, it suddenly disappeared from shelves. I have job that lets my fly around quite a bit, so I checked everywhere I flew. Europe, North America, Australia and finally my home base Dubai. Which as my luck has it did still stock the Spring 2016 release but for a geographically inflated price of 8,300 dirham (1,955 EUR), to its European counterpart of 1,490 Euros. I was extremely hesitant, I kept being told by sales associates that the colour was an old colour and likely not to return.

When I finally decided to treat myself, and buy my ever elusive unicorn I was disappointed when I took it home and unboxed it to find the stitching on the bag unraveling. It's a little defect I told myself, not a big deal. But it bothered me. I had hunted the bag, coveted it and built it up. Now I didn’t want to settle for anything less than perfect. It is a luxury handbag, one I payed a premium for - it should be perfect. So I took it back and exchanged it for another.

My first time wearing it out, I wore something I knew would be safe from possible colour transfer. When at a friends house, I placed it on her shag charcoal coloured carpet. When I picked it up, to my utter disappointment, the dark dye had slowly crept into the back of bag.

I urgently turned to google, as you do in these situations. Google gave me mixed reviews, while one person sweared by Mr Clean magic eraser another swore by makeup wipes, then still another cursed both saying it would damage the bag. I made my way to the bathroom and found makeup wipes and did my best at cleaning the dye. Nothing. Nothing happened, if anything I think I aggravated the leather by drying it out. I got home that night and tried a damp cloth and clear leather conditioner from an old pair of shoes. Nothing. The supple grained beige leather is one that is incredibly delicate and tough to clean.

My perfect nude bag had been marked. Granted it wasn’t much and it was on the back, buy it made me realise, I am not one to fuss over a bag endlessly. I take care of my bags, I don’t put them on the floor, they are stuffed and put in their dust bags when not in use. But I do want to use them, mistakes happen, life happens your handbag should be resilient enough to keep up with it. My unicorn handbag suddenly became more real to me, it didn’t sparkle the same way. Rather I felt disappointment, disappointment that its leather was so delicate, and fear that next time the mistake could be worse.

You invest in these luxury pieces, and you expect a certain level of quality, and robustness. Would a light coloured leather bag from Zara mark this easily? It definitely isn’t a practical bag, it still is a beautiful bag concretely in my collection. But knowing now what I know, would I repurchase it? For my lifestyle, no. Sometimes your lust for a handbag blinds you from its sheer practicality.

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