The story of my HAC

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  1. In the end, it was probably a case of getting not what I want but what I deserve.

    My SA called me a week ago, telling me that my bag arrived. I got very busy with work and didn't get to pick it up right away. Because I said that I wanted to get the bag from her, she called again last Tuesday morning, telling me that she'd be gone on the weekend, but that she'd be there until Thursday.

    Despite the heavy snow falling that day, I rushed to the Hermès store to pick up my bag.

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    2007 picture of the Hermès Copenhagen store

    You must know that I placed a special order in my store, a franchise, a little more than a year ago. My SA, 62-year old Japanese woman, wrote on a paper marked "Taskebestilling" (bag order) the specifications of my bag. I specified the color, leather, hardware, a different color of stitching, and a different color of interior lining--but she objected to the last two requests, saying that "it's not allowed to do that" since it's an iconic bag, according to her. But I went back to the store the next day, upon the advice of kashmira, to insist that I really wanted contrast stitching and a different color of interior. She agreed and put it on paper. When I think about it now, it was on a different paper and not the order form she had previously written on.

    A few months after ordering, I dropped by the store, whereupon another, younger SA told me that my bag order was approved in Paris--my SA wasn't there. I was asked for a 10% deposit when my SA came back to the store. I can't remember what she said but it was along the lines of my bag being too specific in nature, that they had to be sure that I am getting the bag when it arrives. It's a franchise store, after all.

    My SA, despite not being that knowledgeable about Hermès products, is the sweetest SA I've ever known. She was introduced to me by periogirl28, who didn't even live in Copenhagen (thanks, A!). After I ordered the bag, whenever I dropped by the store, my SA will profusely apologize about the delay of my bag, as if it was her fault.

    So there I was, at the store last Tuesday, waiting for my bag to be brought out from the back. I was the only customer.
     
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  2. #2 Feb 6, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
    Checking in to your thread
     
  3. When I finally paid for the bag, I refused the large orange Hermès paperbag and instead wrapped the entire thing with the plastic bag I brought, the one that was used to wrap my suit when it was altered. It was snowing heavily outside, and the Metro was packed. The plastic bag proved practical.

    I got home and put my purchase down. I checked my Facebook, toasted some bread, made some coffee, and ate. The thing just sat there unopened, ignored like an unwanted house guest. I was in a state of internal, silent shock with a hint of regret and disappointment.

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    After eating, I opened the package and recalled what had just transpired at the store.

    "Here is your bag, Allan!" my SA said, beaming as she placed my bag at the top of the counter. It was wrapped in a big dustbag, the handles that were protruding from the opening were wrapped in a smaller dustbag, like this:

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    A piece of paper bearing my name and telephone number was attached to the price tag, which were both attached to the bag with a Scotch tape.

    When my SA removed the handle covers, I was shocked to see that the stitching was the same color as the bag. My SA asked, still beaming, "How long have you been waiting for this bag?"

    "More than a year," I answered.

    "Oh... And now it's here! Are you happy your dream bag is here?"

    "Yes."

    The stitching is the same color as the bag! I specified white!

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    When we both removed the dustbag and opened the bag itself, I saw that there was no horseshoe stamp to mark that it's special order!

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    I opened the bag some more, removed the air packets, and saw that the interior was not the color I specified, which was blue jean. It was the default color for that kind of bag.

    What happened? I wanted to ask my SA. But before I can ask, she tells me, "I've been working here for two years and it's the first time I saw that bag. We never ordered that kind. You're the first one! The store director is in Paris right now, ordering merchandise for spring."

    Indeed, I've been living in Copenhagen for two years, have known the store for one and a half years, and I've never seen a 40 cm HAC on display. Once there was a 50 cm HAC, and it was black and in Fjord. The store don't hide their bags much, even crocodile Birkins. As much as possible, everything is on the shelves.

    She pulled out a built-in mirror from one of the walls where men's ties were hanging and told me to check the bag at the mirror.

    "It's the right size for you," she said. If someone was watching us, he or she would notice that my SA was more excited than me.

    I don't know what it was. Maybe it was my SA's happiness and excitement. And maybe because of the sight of my name attached to my bag that informed me that even if this was not the bag I wanted, this was the bag ordered for me. A voice inside me said, "Take it! Take it!"

    "I'm taking it," I told my SA and gave my card. Before I left the store, I gave my SA a hug, just like I did when periogirl28 received her Birkin from her.

    "Awww, you're so sweet!" she said.
     
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  4. oh no...
     
  5. Perhaps I was too blinded by the disappointment of not having the exact combo I specified, that I did not see the bag for what it is when I was at the store. I took it out of the plastic cover and out of the dustbag.

    Indeed, my bag is beautiful.

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    I unbelted it, tucked the flaps, tied the clochette at the handle and hanged the lock at the turnkey. Boy, that's a lot of bling.

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    My bag is a 40 cm HAC, bleu de prusse (prussian blue) in epsom leather, palladium hardware. At least they got the basic specifications right.

    Many thanks to english3222 for inspiring me with her Kelly to get the prussian blue color in this leather. It has the exact amount of greenness I want (very little) and it looks lighter than indigo or bleu abysse.

    In the yellow interior light common to homes here in Denmark, my bag looks charcoal.

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    Taking its picture with flash it almost looks royal blue:


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    In a way, my bag is sort of rare. I haven't heard of a 40 HAC in prussian blue epsom. The closest I know is a vintage gold courchevel with toile that I saw on eBay. Most HACs nowadays are made in Fjord or Clemence, and in neutral colors like black or gold. There was a prussian blue 40 HAC spotted at FSH but that was in Togo or Clemence, I can't remember. It will be foolish of me to let go of a bag in this specification. Especially since its relative lightness (in terms of weight), color and structure is what I really want.

    Perhaps it was also my friend castorny's reasoning that I was able to rationalize getting this bag, and I want to thank him. We've had long discussions through email about the specifications of this bag before I even placed an order, and he'd discouraged me about the contrast stitching; it might make a dark blue bag look silly, he said. I was just the stubborn one. Looking at my bag now, the silliness was possible. In any case, I read somewhere here that white stitching along the handles of the bag get dirty and there's nothing that can be done to clean it.

    About the interior lining, castorny told me that unlike the Birkin where the contrast lining shows itself a bit on the edges and corners of the bag, bigger HACs have a wide strip of leather applied to the topmost interior of the bag (reinforcement?), so one would have to really look inside to see the lining.

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    So perhaps not getting that, too, isn't so bad.
     
    belted.jpg tucked in.jpg likecharcoal.jpg withflash.jpg interior.jpg
  6. Gosh, that is a truly handsome and elegant bag....
     
  7. So how do you feel now?
     
  8. Yesterday, I had planned on going back to the store, just to check with the store director on what went wrong with my order. But I decided against it. There are just two reasons I can think of:

    1. My SA forgot to update my specifications with the contrast stitching and lining, so the "original" specification--the one where she turned down the stitching and lining--was submitted.

    2. The store didn't want to order too outrageous a bag, i.e. they are being safe in case I decline it, so they toned it down.

    Either way, what would the store do, order again? I've been wanting to have this bag for so long I don't want to wait at least a year--yet again!--for my bag to turn up.

    Right now I'm just happy and relieved my dream bag is finally mine. True, it's not exactly what I had in mind. But it's like meeting a guy who didn't share my passion with bags, books and fashion. On the other hand, he is funny, smart and really sexy. Gradually, I start to like him.

    Then suddenly, I am in love. :heart: :heart: :heart:

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    xoxo


    P.S.

    Just in case you're wondering who that woman in my T-shirt is, it's Björk.

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    That's all. Thanks for looking. :biggrin:
     
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  9. allan, congrats on your bag. You got it finally! I remember the previous saga, so glad you are able to collect it now. Despite the lack of contrast stitching, this bag is gorgeous. GORGEOUS!

    P.S, I love glee too.
     
  10. Allan:heart:, it's sofa king awesome, honestly. This was meant to be. The colour, the leather, perfection! So happy for you, enjoy it:yahoo:.
     
  11. It's a beautiful bag with a super great combo...and your carry it well! ENJOY and big congrats!
     
  12. Glad it has a happy ending:smile:. Congrats!
     
  13. :yahoo: Yay, you finally got your bag! It is stunning, and I am happy that you love it now. I think it was for the best, dirty stitching on handles is nothing to look forward to. Gorgeous colour, BIG congrats, one sexy bag:graucho:

    ps. I love your t-shirt:nuts:
     
  14. It is a really stunning bag!!! And you look really good carrying it!
    I am glad you have fallen in love with your gorgeous HAC - the best type of love sometimes may be the one that creeps up on you slowly!!! :smile:
     
  15. this bag is stunning, i think you did the right thing in keeping it.