the birkin story

November 11, 2015


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Wearing dUCk scarf, Mimpikita jacket and Bowerhaus jewellery, all coming soon to FashionValet.

Ok I need to clarify a few things about this gorgeous Birkin bag.


A few years ago, I wrote about the phenomenon of Birkins and I geniusly said, “When you see me with a Birkin one day, you know I have made it in life.”

Well, here’s some advice: Don’t say things. Period.


Actually I bought a Birkin from the Hermes store last year but never wore it because the colour was just too striking and that was all they had. I was just so excited that I got a call from Hermes to ask if I wanted a Birkin, the only thing that came out of my mouth was a weak Yesss. I soon let it go to a person who wanted it more. My dream to buy one before I turn 30 technically came true! But you never saw me with a Birkin until this one now. I started getting Insta comments from blog readers saying they remember my Birkin story and they’re so happy for me that “I’ve made it”. And I got super uncomfortable.

Because… this Birkin isn’t mine.

Well, it’s mine now. But I didn’t earn this one. I really just stole it from my mother. Well, she gave it to me. Well, I kind of forced her to. Well, we debated about who should keep it and I insisted that the Birkin is much happier in my closet. Mom agreed since she has only worn it once or twice in 10 years. Well, she agreed after a few months, but that doesn’t matter. Technicalities! Anyway, I really only wear it when I travel or have to put a bunch of things in there, because it is super spacious.

BUT RM50K for a bag? I don’t think I’m there yet to start collecting them like Happy Meal toys, regardless whether I can afford them or not. If I start collecting them now, what bag will I have to look forward to when I’m 40+? Plus I don’t like the looks I get when I wear it; it’s the “is she really that successful on her own, is it just some huge inheritance, or she’s still living off her dad/sugar daddy?” judgmental head-to-toe look. Cos trust me, there’s no woman my age that can afford a Birkin if we’re earning monthly salary, unless she falls in one of the 3 categories above.

So phewwww, a big burden of guilt leaving my chest now that I’ve told you guys the truth. I didn’t think I was obliged to declare it, but because of what I said a few years ago, I felt that I had a responsibility to.

But I wanna talk about this bag further. It’s not just a Birkin or a designer bag to me. It’s much much much more than that.

It happened when I was still doing my A Levels. My dad came to visit me in England and took me to Paris. We were walking around holding hands, and me being the thoughtful person I am (*curtsies*) said, “Dad, you should get Mom a Birkin bag.” My heart sank when my dad replied with a “What’s that?”. Like really, have I taught you nothing, Daddy?

The problem is that you can’t just buy a Birkin bag. Stores are so selective because of the limited number and they will always tell you they don’t have any Birkins when really they probably have one or two at the back. So, even if you have all the money in the world, they don’t care. (Well, now you can get it from so many personal shoppers but obviously there’s nothing like buying it yourself at the store.)

When I told my dad the exclusivity, he was interested (sheeshh I see so much of him in me, we’re very stubborn people. The harder it is to get, the more we want it.). We went to the store and observed some of the other customers. They were dressed to the nines, so rich that they actually smelled of money. They came in and asked the standard question “Do you have a Birkin in stock?” and got replied a bored No. So that’s not the way to do it, my dad observed.

I walked around and asked for things in my size (I mean, it would be rude not to at least try something on) and while waiting, my dad sat on the chair and started chatting with the salesman. It started with a “Where are you from, sir?” and they started laughing and sharing travel stories. “Can I get you anything to drink, Mr Yusof?” the guy asked him. That’s it, he was charmed by my dad. They chatted for quite a while after that.

Dad asked me if I wanted anything (my condolences to him) so I showed him like twenty bracelets. While choosing, he asked the salesman, “So what is this Birkin-Birkin thing that my daughter is talking about?” The salesman’s eyes widened and said “You must get one. I have a special one right now. Hang on,” and he went off into the store room. That liar said no Birkins available to another customer before us. But hey, whatever, we’re winning! Came back with this beauty; a gorgeous taupe bag with white stitching, and best of all, it was one of a kind with half leather and half pony hair. A rare kind that I haven’t seen anyone else having until today.

We walked out with a huge orange paperbag, and I was just so in awe with how my dad did it.

Whenever I wear it now, it’s not because it’s a Birkin. I couldn’t care less if it was any other exclusive bag, but this bag keeps that memory of my dad and I close to my heart. Not only did we have so much fun during that Paris trip, just the two of us, but he taught me an important lesson; be kind to people. No matter how rich you get or how high you go, stay humble. People will never forget how you make them feel, and if you make them feel good, they will go to great lengths for you. So many people walked in and out that day disappointed that they didn’t get a Birkin, and the salesman chose my dad out of all of them. Because he didn’t do things like everyone else did, and because he didn’t use wealth to show power or entitlement. He touched the guy’s heart in a way the other customers didn’t.

I love the lesson this bag teaches me, and whenever I need a pick me up from my old man, the bag is a symbol to remind me that nothing is impossible.

So there. That’s Mom’s my Birkin story. There won’t be another one for a good few years!

(I hope this isn’t one of those times where I will regret saying things. Me and my big fat mouth sometimes…)