After travelling the globe for seven years in search of a coveted Birkin to add to her 200-plus bag collection, Jenniffer Proskiw finally tracked one down in San Diego. “I went to boutiques in Paris, New York, Capri, Venice, Saint Maarten, St. Barth’s, Argentina—they all said no,” recalls the Calgary-based realtor. “I called the Hermès store in San Diego and the salesperson said, ‘If you can be here in person, I may have something.’ I know it sounds silly, but I was so excited to get my hands on one, I was shaking. When you open it up and smell that leather, when you see the handiwork—it’s something you want to look after and love.”
Fashion collectors like Proskiw—who obsessively collect a specific type of clothing or accessory—are a rare but growing breed. You probably know a shopping addict or two, but serious collectors are interested in more than the high a spree provides; a deeper passion fuels their spending. Many don’t even wear their purchases, instead displaying them like precious works of art.
Proskiw has built an entire closet and library in her new home around that premise. She plans to display her favourite handbags, including a Judith Leiber pearl- and crystal-encrusted peacock clutch that’s never left its dust bag and a Christian Dior evening bag that once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor (she woke up at 6 a.m. to bid on it the day Taylor’s estate was auctioned off at Christie’s in New York). Proskiw also collects eyewear—nearly 200 pairs, including prescription Dolce & Gabbana ski goggles. Read more »