Balenciaga City bag, 2005 Rouge Theatre.

The Balenciaga collector. Balenciaga City bag. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

Balenciaga City bags in Cumin, Moutarde, Olive green, Lagoon and Blue Lazuli.

The Balenciaga collector, confessions from a crazy handbag lady

Have you ever been obsessed with anything in particular? Collecting stamps, football cards, or Star Wars products? Whatever it is you’re collecting it all boils down to the same thing. You need certain pieces in your collection and you willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

Mine is handbags. Balenciaga bags in particular. Collecting them has taken many years of hard work, research, stalking eBay and making lots of new friends through forums – because this started way before Instagram!

How it all started

So, it’s not a secret that I am a Balenciaga collector and a crazy handbag lady. Since I was a little girl I was mesmerized by designers like Chanel and Dior (still am!), but when Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director at Balenciaga from 1997 to 2012, launched the Motorcycle handbag line, it was love at first sight. This handbag was exactly what I was looking for in a bag: super soft, lightweight and distressed leather that comes in a variety of colours in a cool, rock chic design. With tassels and studs. Without the big logos. And the more wear it gets, the better it looks. Perfect for my lifestyle and personal style.

The plan was to get a black classic City, and maybe a red and a caramel colored. But this bag suited my lifestyle so well and the colors are amazingly pretty, so over the years, my Balenciaga collection grew quite a bit. And not only bags, it also includes small leather goods, shoes, leather jackets and bracelets. I have bought and sold a lot, hunting for holy grails. The collection has been in constant change. Today I am very happy with what I have, but I’m sure it will still change. Definitely not as frequently as before, but I may still add new additions and let some go to new homes.

The Balenciaga collector. Balenciaga City bags. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

The Balenciaga collector. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

But they’re all the same?

Why so many pieces of the same bag? You may say this is crazy, and yes, it is. But I am an all or nothing person, often following the saying “If the shoe fits, buy it in every color.” I prefer to have the same type of bag (or shoes for that matter) in different colors that actually work for me and my lifestyle. Something I feel comfortable in that I know I will get a lot of use out of. I would never have this many Balenciaga bags if I didn’t actually use them all. Those I didn’t use as much have gone to new homes. Also, looking at my colorful bag shelves every day gives me a little extra happiness. A good way to start the day.

Balenciaga City bags with giant hardware in Gris Ciment, Coquelicot red, black and Marine blue.

The Balenciaga collector. Balenciaga Hip bags. Balenciaga City bag. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

Balenciaga structured bag in blue grey.

Balenciaga accessories

Balenciaga accessories and ready-to-wear are also in the collection. I have a weakness for arm candy so Balenciaga bracelets are something I’ve been collecting for a long time as well. As with the bags, I tend to buy the same style in different colors. What works works, right?

And what is cuter than those small leather goods? Coin purses, card holders and wallets make it really easy to keep your stuff organized in the bag, and it makes it so much easier to switch to a new bag in a few seconds. If you’re like me, you like to rotate your bags and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the morning doing so.

Once a Bal gal, always a Bal gal

At least when it comes to the classic pieces from the Nicolas Ghesquière period. His successor, Alexander Wang, didn’t do much for Balenciaga in my opinion, and maybe that’s why he didn’t stay long. I have more faith in Demna Gvasalia. Even though he has designed some ridiculous pieces (which, to be honest, you can’t do anything else than see the humor in), he has also renewed Balenciaga with new and cool pieces in both the accessories and ready-to-wear department, but at the same time, he embraces the classics.

  • Fun fact 1: my youngest son’s middle name is Nicholas, a tribute to the talented Nicolas Ghesquière.
  • Fun fact 2: my friends made me a song they performed at our wedding, and of course they included a line about Balenciaga.

Balenciaga small leather goods. Balenciaga continental wallet, Balenciaga card holder, Balenciaga mini mini coin purse, Balenciaga coin purse.

Balenciaga bracelets, Balenciaga stud bracelet, Balenciaga Triple Tour bracelet

Balenciaga cuff bracelet with giant studs in gold and silver.

The Balenciaga collector. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

The Balenciaga collector. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

The Balenciaga collector. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

The Balenciaga collector. Balenciaga City bags. Conferssions of a crazy handbag lady.

The Balenciaga collector. Confessions from a crazy handbag lady.

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10 Comments on The Balenciaga collector, confessions from a crazy handbag lady

  1. I love this post right as i love Balenciaga! Your collection is amazing, just like the way you have organized your bags and accessories! Thanks for sharing it!! Kisses from your IG friend Just Violet

  2. I love your website. I remember following your posts when I was researching / thinking of getting my first Balenciaga in 2011 (and since then I’ve build a mini collection but moved from Balenciaga onto other designer bags). I am so happy you’re restarting / revamping this website.
    I noticed you have the Celine box in one of your photos. What are your thoughts on the Celine box (wear and tear, do you need to baby it? and practicality) vs. other bags i.e. your Chanels?
    Thank you!!

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thank you, so happy to hear that! Sorry for my late reply, for some reason I must approve comments even though I clicked that off. Weird… Anyway, the Celine Box is a great bag. I bought mine last year new from the store and they told me they are using a more durable leather on the newer Box bags now so they don’t get scratches as early as the older ones. I am careful when I use it, but I do not baby it 100% either, and it holds up really well 🙂 I plan to do a review of it later on. Anne Mari

  3. Hi, love your bags and I aspire to have a colour wheel of them too! Currently at a (steadily growing) collection for about 8 bals! I’m moving to a new place and I’m rethinking how to store my bags which are all currently pancaked… seeing that you hang some of your bags on these S-hooks.. do the handles get “warped” over time? And do you advise on stuffing them? Thank you in advance!

    • A collection of 8 Bal is awesome! I haven’t noticed any marks on the handles by hanging them like this, but I have a supporting shelf underneath the heavier Giant HW Bals. Only the super light regular HW Bals are hanging in the “air” and there are no marks 🙂 Good luck with your moving!

  4. Hello, what a lovely collection!! I too collect the ever classic Balenciaga First, City, Part Time and Twiggy! I am so addicted to their color, simple yet edgy tasteful style, and like you I have numerous colors! Just this year I was out with my 2005 Apple Green City and a woman came across the store to gasp in awe of how great it still looked and told me how sad she was she sold hers years back. Forever bags they are for me, they bring me such happiness. I also enjoy the PS1 as well…so many beautiful colors. I never buy neutral bags anymore. Thanks for sharing your pics!!

    —Cherie (IG @handbagaddicted)

    • Hi Cherie, thank you for your kind words. So happy to meet another Balenciaga collector! I’ve always drooled over an Apple Green City, you’re so lucky to have one. Found you on IG as well 🙂 Anne Mari

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