My Life In Handbags: Alice Hebrard-Lemaire

My Life In Handbags: Alice Hebrard-Lemaire

As head of vintage & bags at luxury fashion resale site Vestiaire Collective, what Alice Hebrard-Lemaire doesn’t know about handbags isn’t worth knowing. From timeless classics to what’s on her wish list, here she talks us through her highlights…

I have always loved fashion but I was around 12 years old when I realised I had a real thing for handbags. I saved up to buy a tiny Dior by Galliano pink backpack at a clearance sale, which sparked the beginning of a lifelong love for bags. 

My experience with luxury handbags goes back a number of years. Before I joined Vestiaire Collective, I was an expert for auction houses in Paris, selling haute couture pieces from fashion houses like Hermès and Louis Vuitton, which meant I was in touch with archives, museums and worldwide collectors. Since moving to Vestiaire, it has been amazing to work on vintage trends brought back by the interest in designer archives, such as Hedi Slimane at Celine, or the Saddle bag from Dior.

Besides the pink backpack, my first designer bag was a Louis Vuitton Pochette by Murakami. I got it when I was a teenager and sold it a few years ago – something I regret now as there’s a lot of hype around the style nowadays. 


Since moving to Vestiaire, it has been amazing to work on vintage trends brought back by the interest in designer archives, such as Hedi Slimane at Celine, or the Saddle bag from Dior.

I don’t own as many handbags as you might think. I would say I have around 20, because I prefer to stick to one bag for several months, then switch over to another for another chunk of time. My aim is also to be more sustainable, so rather than buying lots of bags to follow every trend, I prefer to invest in timeless styles.

My all-time favourite bag is a small Prada bucket bag. I’d wanted it for months and my fiancé bought it for me for no reason, which makes it all the more special.  

I rarely use handbags on holidays but if I do it’s usually a basket style. For luggage, I always take my Gucci velvet carpet bag. It’s the perfect weekender size and has been with me on a thousand trips already. 



The bag that holds the most sentimental value for me is a small unsigned chain bag that my grandmother wore at my parents’ wedding. It's black and quilted and unfortunately rather fragile these days, so I tend to save it for special occasions if I do use it.

My best bargain find has to be my vintage Fendi Mama Baguette. It’s a black cashmere design that I got for less than €300 on Vestiaire Collective – one of the perks of the job means scrolling our platform all the time, which means you come across some great deals. 

For evenings out my favourite bag to take is a 70s Dior Oblique clutch. It’s a clean white colour that’s very simple and efficient in design, making it versatile enough to wear with a variety of outfits. 


My favourite handbag designer has to be Chanel. My first one was their Boy design from the Métiers d’Arts Paris Cosmopolite Collection, which I got for my 25th birthday.

I try to avoid fleeting trends when it comes to bags. I think a lot of the new designer trends you see look great on younger girls, but I prefer to stick to the classics. I suppose that’s down to my obsession with vintage. 

My favourite handbag designer has to be Chanel. I’d always lusted after a Chanel handbag and my father kindly made that dream come true for my 25th birthday with the Boy style from the Métiers d’Arts Paris Cosmopolite Collection. I also love Bottega Veneta, both old and new, as the craftsmanship is always impeccable. I recently bought a black and grey Intrecciato style, which I’d spent months looking for.  

My favourite era for handbags was the early 2000s, which really marked the beginning of the ‘It’ bag. It was the era of Sex and the City, which championed the Fendi Baguette, the City bag by Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, as well as the first Louis Vuitton collabs. It was a very creative time to be working with handbags.

If I could design a bag it would be in a really incredible leather, quite small to keep it practical, and very classic in design so I could wear it all the time. 

I have a couple of bags on my wish list. In a dream world, it would be a Birkin Sellier 25, but as with most Hermès bags, it is eye-wateringly expensive! On my more realistic wish list, it would be a small Louis Vuitton Boîte Chapeau Souple – while it's both practical and cute, I love the story behind it as it gives the brand's trunk-inspired heritage a contemporary spin.


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