Moda Operandi’s Tatiana Hambro Arader Is Still Dreaming About This *One* Bag

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Sometimes I lay restless in the night, wondering about other peoples’ hyper-specific search terms, guarded like sapphires at the Smithsonian. What first editions of books do my contemporaries find worthy of rooting around the Internet for? Whose bedroom will finally feel tied together if they have a Valentine Olivetti typewriter perched on their desk? Who will swear off all other vessels if they can carry their wallet and keys in a Christopher Kane jelly clutch? What else do they find on their journeys down these rabbit holes? My curiosity became so overwhelming, so egregious, so probing, that I caved and just asked.

And aren’t I glad that I did: I heard stories that were the 21st century equivalent of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road—the road, in this case, is the information superhighway—and so we’ll be publishing these ditties as a series over the course of this week. Ruby Redstone was first up in the series, with her tale of tracking down a 2013 pair of Acne Studios glitter boots. Come back tomorrow for more where this came from!

Tatiana Hambro Arader, Deputy Editor at Moda Operandi

Your shopping rabbit hole: The Wonton Boyy bag. Unusual for two reasons. 1. I rarely shop—window or otherwise—for fashion outside of Moda and 2. I am not a “bag girl”—never have been. I will salivate over shoes and then toss on whatever free tote comes my way. But this wasn’t any old Wonton. We met in person (is that what made all the difference?). Seduced by the handsome marble door of the Boyy boutique while strolling around Copenhagen one Fashion Week, I entered. And there she was, sitting pretty on a geometric plinth. Beautifully lit, might I add. I was struck by her nuanced size (carries everything yet folds up to appear pleasantly sculptural, boasts a shoulder and top handle); her very specific hue (a luxuriously swampy shade of olive—this, ladies and gentleman, is what fashion loves to christen a “not-your-average-neutral”), and her velvety, stop-it-she’s-so-deliciously-smooth leather.

Can you walk me through what going down this rabbit hole entails? I didn’t buy it then, something I regret now. My desire followed me back to Manhattan like a shadow, where, one night sitting on the sofa, I confided in my husband. Prefacing the topic with the words, “So you know how I don’t covet stuff, especially not handbags—(ick)—well, it’s funny, in Copenhagen…” Once reassured it was not exorbitantly expensive, relatively speaking for a designer bag, he smiled and asked to see it (Valentine’s Day was nigh). At that moment, my search began. What followed was weeks of endless scrolling. Groping around for my iPhone in the middle of the night and tugging it from its charger, tyrannizing my Chrome bar with an endless addition of tabs bearing some amalgamation of “Wonton+Boyy+Bag+Olive,” messaging friends in fashion.

From the usual suspects (Moda, Bergorfs, Saks, SSENSE, Matches, NAP…) to The RealReal, The Outnet, and eBay, I swarmed the digital shelves of online retail. I even went through the arduous process of updating my password on Vestiaire Collective to access their search tool. I trawled Google Shopping, leaving no stone unturned, index finger rhythmically tapping the arrow key that points right: next, next, next. Nothing. Not yet defeated, I graduated to Google Images to do it all over again. When that didn’t work, I texted a handbag buyer to ask where the old Boyy stock ends up, and then called and emailed the warehouse. My search yielded plenty of similar options, but not the one. After that, I just stopped looking. Cold turkey.

What ultimately satiates the quest? They say time is a healer. Let’s see…

Intrigued? Start your own rabbit hole here.

Graphics by Lorenza Centi.

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