ColumnIn this new weekly column, we’ll take you inside the closets of some of our favorite people, asking them to choose one piece that defines them in some way and also, to tell the story behind it. To us, style is not about being a follower of trends, coveting this or that season must-have, it’s about carefully selecting pieces that deserve to be in your closet because they represent you. Personal style is something that lasts through years and fads — just like that favorite piece in your closet.
This Louis Vuitton purse is not the bag I wear the most and not even my favorite, but it is significant to me because it’s the first vintage piece I ever bought. It was 1997 and I was still living back in my native Sweden, a teenage fashion-lover who would read Vogue, ELLE and all those glossies, dreaming about a day when I could dress like that. Louis Vuitton bags had just started coming back into fashion and as I was standing in the second hand shop I recognized the signature pattern on the purse hanging next to me on the rack from a small picture I had seen in one of my fashion magazines. It cost 45 Swedish Kronor, which at today’s exchange rate is about $6.80, so I bought it, not really knowing when I’d have a chance to use such a grown-up purse (this was back in the day when small neoprene backpacks were considered appropriate for wearing to parties).
Nobody shopped in vintage stores back then and all my friends thought I was weird for doing so, asking things like “You buy old clothes?” To me, there was just something magical about it, methodically going through racks and racks of stuff until you find that one piece that just speaks to you. This joy of the hunt is what it’s all about for me. Shopping at department stores, where everything has already been sorted for you, distracts me. I get caught up in the image they’ve created and tend to forget what’s really me. At vintage stores, I never lose track of my own style and sensibility.
I have since found many occasions to wear my LV purse and I love it even more because it’s not one of their more common styles. One time, I had to have the clasp fixed after it came off during a long night of dancing, but otherwise it’s just gotten more beautiful with age. It was the first of many vintage finds that have found their way into my closet and for that it will always have a special place in there.