As a Portero shopper, you might wonder how we guarantee the pre-owned and vintage handbags listed are authentic. The key – we have experts on staff. When it comes to handbags, Elizabeth Bernstein knows everything. And for a good reason, she loves and treasures them. Case in point: She’s pictured here with a vintage bright pink ostrich Hermès envelope clutch.
We’ve been featuring Elizabeth’s favorite picks, so here’s the scoop about her personal approach to handbags and collecting.
Q What is your handbag right now?
A For everyday right now, I am in love with a large Fendi peekaboo that is the perfect size for my MacBook, and has the perfect strap for carrying on my shoulder. Often when you think about having to put a computer into a bag, they can look sloppy. This seems to be my current answer to a heavy yet chic load. Same goes for my brown suede Celine phantom tote. For evening I prefer a 28cm or 32cm Kelly or something crocodile in a good color. Oh, and cross-body bags on weekend days, no matter what.
Q How did you become an authenticator?
A Over the years I have always been an extremely passionate handbag collector and a lover of vintage pieces. If you like vintage as much as I do, you better learn a thing or two about authentication because department stores do not sell these kinds of treasures. I am an investigative person by nature, and I became fascinated with the construction of bags, furs, clothing and accessories at a very young age. I have been gathering tidbits of knowledge through many years of working, traveling, studying, meeting artisans, visiting factories and finding great mentors. It is truly a labor of love to continue acquiring more knowledge about luxury craftsmanship . The “learning” process of authenticating is never over, as long as our beloved luxury brands continue to provide innovation and creations that we all adore – there is always more to be learned!
Q Why handbags?
A A handbag says so much about a person. I can often tell where they might be from, age, interests, if they have children, if they are a romantic or conservative, type of clothing they might buy, where they vacation, etc. Yes, it sounds crazy, but very true. It is a type of language in fashion that is one of my favorites to speak.
I have always been in love with luxury craftsmanship, leathers, exotic skins, details, handwork, etc. A great bag and accessories can make make outfit sublime, rather than just a little bit better. Especially over the last 20 years, women have taken so much pride in their bag collections – they really say a lot about who they are. I often meet people who have little interest in the traditional adornment of jewelry, yet have bag collections could that bring a tear to your eye.
I myself have always been a busy person on the go with a lot to carry. It has always been important to me to look very chic whilst toting my essentials all over the city and the world!