Published: Verve Magazine, November 2013, Humour

For a vegetarian who extends her ideals to accessory shopping, the luxe world of gorgeous handbags doesn’t really hit the spot

I’m one of those grass-eaters who is really into the principle of things. It’s a simple equation – you don’t eat animals, you don’t wear them. It may sound noble, but saying ‘no’ to leather isn’t glamorous. You don’t get to carry egg-shell blue Pradas to work or stunning little Fendi numbers to night soirees and you definitely can’t teeter in those fabulous Choos as you try to hold down that glass of Prosecco. You defiantly clutch your faux leather bag and use it as a status symbol of your principles rather than the ability to wear fashion and money well. You are relegated to high street choices while requesting the high fashion brands to come up with at least one non-leather article of choice.

You have pretty nearly given up hope, when they do! You discover the Fallabella world of Stella (isn’t the rhyme just darling?) and dance a merry jig when Bottega introduces its line of satin and linen knots in gorgeous hues. You gaze adoringly at the bright canvas totes that suddenly appear on the shelves of Ferragamo, marvel at the sheer hardness of the Jimmy Choo acrylic clutches. And you really are a kid in a candy store when faced with the riot of colours offered in Furla’s line of PVC candy bags.

And so it happens. You fall in love. But you can’t fall in love after debating the vast range of choices – you fall in love with the limited options you have. Or you quickly go and buy all the limited options before they change their mind and start using hide exclusively. As you swipe your credit card you think that you are only supporting the cause – they need encouragement to keep up the good work. And, if all else fails, you send a silent prayer to the fashion goddesses above to understand the sheer excellence of choices.

But dead animals aside, candy, colours and acrylic make you feel youthful again. Isn’t that what bags and shoes are all about? As a little girl you wear your mother’s heels for the first time and carry a bag with your little-girl possessions tucked away carefully and do you ever grow out of loving the feeling of feeling grown up? And as you grow up and learn to prefer one brand over another, you treasure the moments that make you feel like a little girl with her first bag all over again. There are feelings, moments, emotions and a lifetime all clutched in a purse and you simply don’t want to let go. And whether you wish to wear an animal or not, the girl in you feels quite the same way about the bag.