Following my own lead with the Prada wallet, I dug deep in the English family closets to fetch some classic pieces I’d nearly forgotten about. You don’t know how fun it can be to shop for free in your own style past, until you try it!
I have always bounced between the backpack and other bag types, so I have several examples of the handsfree, schoolboy staple. My first was a leather-bottomed green nylon Jansport that literally smelled like leather and eraser shavings. *Swoon* Curiously enough, I found an updated version at Urban Outfitters two or so years ago, in monotone cobalt blue. Brought back warm memories…
When the luxury bug bit somewhere in high school, I bought a Prada backpack in classic black nylon (pre-owned, from eBay). At the time, I paid around $150. What a bargain!
It’s still an attractive piece of sport-luxury engineering, with sturdy nylon, and a bunch of pockets for stashing odds and ends. It’s also maintained well over the years, probably used a total of 20 occasions (in my time of ownership, at least). And, its undeniably a piece of fashion history – Prada being the first to popularize nylon, with the backpack specifically as a status symbol in the ’90s.I’ve resolved to use it more now that I am on a backpack upswing again, and I always enjoy a healthy throwback.
A couple years later, again fixated on better brands and bigger price tags, I used some hard-earned summer intern cash to buy a Louis Vuitton backpack, brand-new from the boutique. This time, though, the object was sleeker, hipper, and more architectural. Crafted in Taïga leather (Louis Vuitton’s version of Saffiano – i.e. semi-rigid textured leather) and Parana nylon, the Beloukha was a backpack-messenger hybrid – with a diagonal cross-body strap on a square backpack body. At the time, it epitomized mod-quality, and I really loved it. Wore it all summer in Seattle, then again through the school year and in Manhattan the following summer. I’ve used it periodically in the past 6 years, but it was old news for such a long time after that initial honeymoon of use.
Of course, now, looking back, I’m happy I bought it, and didn’t consign it. It’s no longer produced, making it rare, especially in Tampa. And, in nearly perfect condition, it appears brand new. Even smells like a new bag still (trust me I tested it).
So, Alex – 2, Fashion industry – 0. I’ve just saved myself from shelling out for new backpacks, ones likely without history or such character. Now, I need to keep this circular closet cycle going…maybe I should find a time machine and go buy some vintage Gucci? One can dream!