I had been crushing on the Phillip Lim 31 Hour Bag—there was something about its perfect form, like a minimalist, barebones Birkin, and the succinct idea of a fold-over zip-up top that made it so difficult to get it out of my head. I paid a visit to the boutique in SoHo, hoping to dispel any of my feelings toward this bag. I sought out to look for questionable craftsmanship, say, a cranky zipper, or sticky leather, a poor rendition of the color, any flaw that would wean me off of this pressing infatuation, but I found nothing. Before I knew it, I was committed.
Morphability always gets me—it’s the little boy in me; I like my things to be multi-functional, like Transformers—and the multiple alternate ways by which you can form the bag (with the lips folded out to make an open tote, or unzipped and folded in to make a smaller, shoulder bag, or fully zipped and upright, slightly scrunched under the handle when full) left me deeply enamored.
My new white bag, in leather ever so slightly nubby, the texture of bond paper, sits on my bed blank and pristine tonight. But with every drip of tea, every hurried landing on a photo studio floor, every crowded brush in the subway with a loud lady in a spiked jacket and her girl friend in damp, deep-blue indigo jeans—every nick and smudge blurred by every unexpected running through the rain to only God knows where, every day will scratch the story of my life on my once clean bag.