Bag crazy: 20-somethings who splurge

Bag crazy: 20-somethings who splurge

Bank executive Priscilla Wong has spent more than $20,000 on four luxury handbags in the past two years.

The most expensive of the lot?

A Chanel python-skin flap bag in gold that she saw retailing for $11,000 in Singapore, but for which she paid $8,000 - a friend who was travelling in Europe bought it for her last month.

"It doesn't pain me to buy these bags. I don't save up to buy my bags either. I buy them because they are within my means. When something catches my eye and I know I've got the extra, I'll go for it," says Ms Wong, 25, who has been working for two years and earns close to a five-figure sum each month.

Her father is retired and her mother is a customer service officer. She has two siblings.

She is among a growing group of young working adults here who believe the bag maketh the man.

Copywriter Avian Nishikawara, 24, says: "I want people to see and know that I'm a person who knows what luxury truly means."

He works for Reebonz, a home-grown online retailer whose wares include pre-owned luxury goods.

Mr Nishikawara earns a "mid-range four-figure" salary and has spent more than $11,000 on five bags so far this year.

The first was a women's bag - a black Celine Luggage ($4,000) - followed by a Balenciaga Seashore tote ($2,000), a Jill Sander brown bag ($1,800), a Want Les Essentials luggage ($2,200) and a Louis Vuitton folio ($1,100).

He is among the 10 young men and women SundayLife! spoke to who do not bat an eyelid splurging a month's pay or more on a branded bag. Aged 22 to 25, they have been working for between one and three years and draw a four-figure salary.

Luxury bag retailers here also report seeing more customers from this demographic in the last five years.

Ms Valerie Tan, 34, who owns multi- label luxury bag store NiMe Shop that stocks brands such as Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, says those aged 20 to 25 formed about 20 per cent of her clientele when she set up shop about five years ago.

They now make up about 40 per cent of her customers.

In this media-saturated age, the addiction to luxe arm candy is often stoked by fashion blogs and celebrities.

Corporate communications officer Samantha Chng, 25, recalls buying her first luxury handbag in 2011, about six months after she started working.

It was a $2,200 Chloe Aurore tote that she had been eyeing for some time.

She recalls: "I did my research and I saw blogs showing celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Alexa Chung carrying it."

Since then, she has bought another five coveted bags totalling about $9,000 in the past three years, or about one bag every six months.

"I'm quite fortunate to be able to afford them," says Ms Chng, who earns a mid-four-figure salary.

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