Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hermes AND Louis Vuitton in One Post

I knew there was no doubt that my Kelly dog was authentic, as I'd purchased it from a Hermes boutique and know that they'd never sell an inauthentic item to a long-time customer, but the issue came up recently.

In the wake of my closet-cleaning kick and all the ebay drama, I've been carefully going through all my possessions and have been finding items that I forgot I ever owned.  Yesterday, I came across my blue electrique Kelly dog bracelet (pictured below, modeled with Chanel Blue Rebel nail polish--a great match, don't you think?!), which I've never worn, so I decided to give it to my oldest sister, who's a fashion freak, with a focus on bags and Kelly dogs (she owns 6 to date and is constantly on the lookout for more--she's a designer item freak in general--oh, it's a girl's dream to look in her closet, I mean, bedroom that was set aside just for clothes, shoes, and bags!).  She was excited to get it, but her face fell when she examined it.  She pointed out that, unlike the KDs she owns, there was no "HERMES PARIS MADE IN FRANCE" heat stamp on the inside of the leather band.  I actually never noticed, and as I own just one KD and had no doubt it was authentic, I never even looked for it.  It'd been 10 months since I purchased it, so I thought it was too late to do anything about it...but I decided it bothered me enough, so on the advice of my sister, I called the Hermes boutique from where I purchased it and spoke to a manager.  She listened carefully and suggested that I bring it into the boutique. 
I got to the boutique about an hour later.  The manager with whom I spoke was at lunch, but I was helped by another nice manager.  She took one look at the KD and declared it authentic.  I pointed out the missing heat stamp, and she said it was strange, but undoubtedly authentic.  However, she decided to ask another manager about it.  The other manager came just a couple of minutes later.  She agreed it was authentic, yet unusual without the heat stamp.  Neither one could explain why for sure, but with Hermes goodies being hand-made, the look of the finished product is up to the person who actually makes it.  You see, with mass-produced goods, they all look the same.  With hand-made ones, how they end up is decided by the person who makes it BY HAND.  It's possible (s)he decided it wouldn't look right with the stamp (it does make an impression on the leather, which you can see on the other side--like when you press hard while writing and look at the reverse side of the paper and see the impressions your pen made) or just plain forgot.  Makes sense?  Well, anyway, they gave me 3 options: 1) have it sent back to France to have it heat-stamped; 2) exchange it for another KD; or 3) get store credit.  They actually had one in the store, so I opted for #2, also because my sister's specific instructions were "If they have any non-black or tan ones in the store, buy them all"!  They had a KD in a brand-new color called "mangue", which is a peachish color, but I think "mangue" is supposed to be "mango" (I know about 5 French words total, so don't quote me on that!).  As it turns out, the price was raised in January by $30 (current price is $490), so I ended up paying the difference.  I initially thought the difference should've been waived, but the manager was being so sweet that when she told me she wouldn't be able to waive it, I didn't argue.  Oh, well, they did accommodate an exchange on an item bought almost a year ago!  The KD ended up going to my sister.  She was more than pleased to get it.  She has perfect olive skin, and it blended quite nicely with her arm.  I think I'll hold out for a lizard or croc in the future.  Here's a pic of "mangue" leather (image is from 
Overall, though, an interesting experience.  I'm not sure other fashion houses would accommodate an exchange for an item purchsed months into the past, but Hermes is an exception. 

Onto the Louis Vuitton story: my sister and I had been exchanging calls back and forth while we debated what to do about the KD dilemma (I involve my family as much as I can in my life--and she's the go-to for fashion crises).  She asked that, while I was in Beverly Hills, could I pop into the LV boutiques (the store on Rodeo and the store-in-store at Saks) and see if any polka-dot Kusama Speedy bags were left.  For someone really into fashion, I thought she was kinda slow on this bandwagon...but anyway...I did.  Both were sold out of them totally (although a couple of Neverfulls were left--go figure), but a nice saleslady at Rodeo Drive told me that the Topanga Plaza store had a yellow and green left.   It was kinda funny cuz she made a disappointed-looking face as she told me this and said, " know where that is?  It's way out in the Valley!".  I smiled and said, "That's where I live".  She then offered to put one on hold for me, but I said no thanks and called my sister right away.  She then told me to go to her house, only 15 minutes away and bring the KD over.  I did, and when I got there, she had a huge smile and told me she was heading to the Valley to pick up the yellow Kusama Speedy at Topanga Plaza.  We headed there in our separate cars and got there within an hour, she before me.  When I got there, she excitedly told me she had just purchased the yellow AND the green Kusama Speedy bags!  They were the last 2 in the store, and now all the stores in the Los Angeles area are sold out of Kusama Speedy bags.  I just laughingly shake my head at my crazy sister =)

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