My Luxury Journey

Let me set the stage for you: the year is 2004. I am 19 years old, working full time in a call centre for a Canadian bank. I resided in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with a friend - it was more couch surfing than anything else. When I wasn’t out being a typical 19-year-old, I spent my time absorbed in movies - daydreaming of a life other than the one I was currently living. The movie Wicker Park was released that year, and I couldn’t tell you how I found it. I am a visual and audio influenced person. Someone who easily feels frisson - the chills on your body from musical stimulation.

I digress, I am getting off track. Wicker Park released, and I fell head over heels. The love story, the city, the cast, the clothes. Namely, the red bottom shoes the main character wears. They come up throughout the movie. I had no idea what they were, but I fell in love. I needed to have them. I jumped onto my electric blue iMac and started googling - red bottom stilettos. The internet was a little different back then, it wasn’t something that easily popped up through google. I mentioned to a friend I was trying to find them, and he exclaimed, “You mean Louboutin’s?!”. That was it, I had found them. As he launched into a history lesson on how Christian Louboutin came up with his signature red bottoms, my jaw hit the floor. $500 for a pair of shoes?! That was a week’s pay for me, and I was barely getting by. ‘I will get them when I turn 25’ I told him. 25 came and went, and I changed the age to 30. I will get them when I am 30. My love for high end fashion grew. 30 came and went. I let go of the idea of owning a pair of red bottom shoes.

As I sit here writing this, at 36 (nearly 37 - wow), I still don’t own those red bottom shoes. What I do own is a starter collection of second (or maybe third) hand designer bags. When a friend and I connected on our love of fashion and designers, she told me about purchasing from a reseller. You mean... you can buy used purses? How do you know they are real? I started doing research. I will admit, buying that first thing, it is scary. It is a big investment, and a big financial commitment. I went to this website and filtered by “price: low to high” and looked for something my stomach could handle.

I settled with a Gucci Mormont as my first purchase. I will never forget the day it arrived. Something so nonsensical to most, but such a pivotal and impactful life moment for the 19-year-old girl who fell in love with high end fashion. I ran my fingers across the leather, across those interlocked G’s. It took me at least a week to put my belongings in it and wear it out. It was the best I had felt about a purchase up to that point.

From that first purchase, I added more staples. There are certain things I personally see value in spending money on. I won’t go anywhere more expensive than American Eagle for jeans, but I will pair those jeans with Prada Monolith boots. Most of my clothes come from fairly mainstream, run of the mill mall stores. Sweatpants and Gucci will always be one of my favourite pairings. Enjoying high end fashion in one area, like accessories, absolutely doesn’t commit a person to purchasing it in other areas.

So, what is the lesson? What did I, and can you possibly take away from this? Don’t rush into high end designer purchases. If that 19-year-old had blown a week pay on a pair of shoes, there would have been consequences – missed bills, missed rent, no groceries. Beyond that, the 19-year-old couldn’t have possibly appreciated them. Beyond that, anything worth having is worth waiting and working for. Waiting nearly 2 decades to break into this arena has made me so much more appreciative of what I have.

Above all, the biggest lesson I have learned, is to embrace your joys. If Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Louboutin, etc. – if those brands bring you actual JOY, don’t let anyone question it or dissuade you. Work hard, save up, get what you want. Finding a reputable reseller like, who offers layaway or something like PayBright is a great option.



Meg @mcleansy


1 commentaire

  • Meg

    One of the most satisfying moments in my life was making that final payment on my Chanel. Thanks for providing a safe way to purchase second hand designer items.

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