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The Stam

7 years ago by

Is this what true love feels like?

I asked myself that very question during college when I first laid eyes on the Marc Jacobs Stam bag. I had for years dreamed of owning (and do still dream) a classic Chanel bag but the Stam was something different. The Chanel was for someday, the Stam was for right that second. I’d walk through Neiman Marcus on my way to work, stopping by the handbags to gently stroke and smell that beautiful bag that had become, I was certain, the essence of my being.

Sometimes when they had a color I really liked, I would put it on hold. The saleswoman would roll her eyes, knowing I would never actually make the purchase. “Okay sweet angel,” I would say to the Stam. “I’ll come for you soon.”

Thankfully, I was not alone in my desire to own a Stam, outside of Lindsay Lohan and Eva Mendes, my friend (and now roommate– the Stam brought us together!) shared an equal passion for the handbag. We talked endlessly about which color we would buy, how great of an investment it would be to own, and finally how to come up with $1,300 in order to buy one.

We could sell our plasma (come on, every college student ever has one time contemplated this as a solution to financial woes)! We could sell our eggs (okay, not really…)!

Then one day, I walked into a Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet and stopped dead in the middle of the store. In front of me stood a sign: “Buy One Get One Handbags. Two Days Only.”

Is this what true love feels like?

Finally, the fashion gods, and possibly Marc Jacobs himself, had decided it was time. I immediately called up my friend, and we brainstormed how to come up with $650 each as fast as possible. We could sell our eggs!

Reality was setting in. We were college students working part-time. We liked $1 shot night (a little too much). $650 might as well have been $650,000. After all of the longing and desire we had to face the truth: we could not buy a Stam bag. So, we slowly let go of your Stam dreams (I have since refocused my energy on Céline clutches and Givenchy boots).

For me, Stam will always be the one that got away.


Add yours
  • asianfreak September, 4 2013, 12:14 / Reply

    Hi Alex,
    My Stam is a Birkin, so I totally understand what you mean.

    But one day I hope the dream will come true.

  • Mine is a Birkin too! It would cost more than my car, but maybe someday I’ll get there.

    Some people dream of buying a house. I dream of a purse that costs more than a year of college.

    Does that make me weird? Probably. :-)

  • I actually bike to work with my CHANEL bag in the basket…
    Is that serious, Doctor Alex? :-)

    Wanna visit my blog? Love to hear what you think!

    Xoxo Cory

  • i think i’d rather go for a rick owens biker jacket instead of a bag :)


  • Ah la la… Pour moi, l’Inaccessible, c’est le Birkin d’Hermès…Plus de 2 mois de salaire, c’est juste pas envisageable. Et je suis plus étudiante!;)

  • To be honest, I’ve never coveted an actual piece of clothing or accessory. What I have always focused on is having a wardrobe that is well maintained with pieces that are versatile, of good quality, and suit my body well (no trends!).

  • Moi, c’est un sac Céline ! un grand neon python Phantom luggage que j’ai vu dans une vitrine…. à tomber raide!

  • Haha, pendant des années c’etait le Miu Miu vitello (avec les noeuds). Je passais aux Galeries Lafayette une fois par mois pour le regarder, le porter, le caresser… Au final je ne l’ai jamais acheté, et aujourd’hui je ne me vois pas trÈs bien porter un sac à noeuds, haha.

  • Hahaha! I love this! The one that got away…
    My true love might be a prada classic purse!
    If you have time take a look at my new blogpost http://www.androbelinsider.blogspot.com

  • Oh c’est triste, j’ai cru que tu finirai par l’avoir en lisant ton article :( mais patience!
    xx http://wildlysweet.blogspot.fr

  • Alex…You are too cute. lol.

  • Mais si , un jour surement, bientôt ;)
    Soon !


  • cute story, although I was really hoping for a happy ending… :( I think all of us have one or two designer items we’re obsessed about, and will never be able to buy. My nr.1 is a Chloé paraty.

  • Oh Alex, you are so adorable (and just when I think I can’t like you any more, you write this)! The Chanel was the first bag I dreamed about (and it is my favourite bag to this day), but the Stam was the first bag I really, really longed for in a way you can only long for something that is within your stratosphere, if not your immediate reach (the Chanel was certainly beyond this to my former University-student-self). I stalked the Fashion Spot Stam bag forum daily, stared at it in department stores and lusted for it every time I saw it swinging from the arm of an It Girl.

    I ended up collecting three of them over the years, and even though they’re now ‘SO last season’, I still pull them out every season or so and adore them and the memories they bring back.

    Briony xx


  • Briony! You are far too kind :) I have to say, I’m a little jealous you have three of them!xx

  • Funny and true! There is always a “one that got away” for every girl. Lovely voice in this, too, Alex :)

  • When I saw the word Stam I immediately thought of the handbag. I actually bought one (a smaller version in black) from Nordstrom when it had a sale (not the 2 for 1 but a % discount) because it was dreamy. Still is highly recognizable today.

    however, after prancing around in my place pairing with various outfits, I realized that it was too heavy. I absolutely can’t stand heavy handbags. So I returned it back to Nordstrom.

    Do I have a Stam? Perhaps a $7000 dark brown birkin (a 30 I think) I passed in Hermes store Honolulu a few years ago. I debated and debated but decided not to after about an hour. I still think about that bag (perfect size and color) and wonder if I should have bought it…..

  • Ok maybe, I’ll start selling my stuff just to get the Chanel. LOL. Thanks for the idea.
    Your Friend, Jess

  • Moi, le sac que je désire c’est tout simplement le Alexander Wang Rocco duffel! Environ 900$ il est quand même accessible selon moi. Un jour je l’aurai il faut juste le bon «timing». En tout cas, je désire avant tout mon Acura TSX (on parle d’auto là) avant le sac ou les deux en même temps je ne dis pas non.

  • Alex, I loved this article! It really bought back memories, although it was with the Chloe Paddington bag for me… I too would eye it on the internet, like, every day, but wasn’t able to purchase it being a student at the time! I guess for me the Paddington was ‘the one that got away’… xx May

  • MJ bag was perfection..now that u put your desire out to the universe, i hope it find u xx

  • On a toutes notre idéal quasi inaccessible en matière de sac à main. Moi, c’est cet adorable sac Chloé que j’aime tant mais inaccessible avec mon train de vie d’étudiante… J’essaye bien de me trouver un autre sac compatible avec ma CB mais après avoir vu THE Chloé, les autres ne me semblent vraiment plus à la hauteur… Patience !

  • I worked as a cleaner on a mine site (tough conditions but very well paid for the job!) for 3 months during my mid-year uni break to a) pay for the next semester and b) purchase myself a stam bag that I’d literally been dreeeeeaming about for months. By the end of those 3 months I was back in the city, swinging a cream and gold (HEAVY- you’re totally right about that @33) stam bag on my forearm while dressed as a mini-me cross between Sienna Miller and Mischa Barton. That bag, in my eyes, is priceless. It hasn’t seen the light of day for a few years but I still LOVE it as much as the day I brought it home and pet it’s quilted exterior and maroon suede interior. Thank you Marc Jacobs for that beautiful love affair.

  • Jane with the noisy terrier September, 5 2013, 8:50 / Reply

    When Petey (aka the noisy terrier) was a pup requiring many daily walks, the Marc Jacobs handbag store opened on Bleecker Street ( it’s currently the makeup store) and it became one of our regular stops because 1.) they always had dog biscuits behind the counter (still do!) and 2.) one of the salesgirls would frequently bring her black miniature poodle Otis to the store –Otis would take Petey’s leash firmly in his mouth and give him a tour of the newest items in the store. I got to know those coolMarc Jacobs kids well during those halcyon days and would get advanced notice of hugely discounted sales, which resulted in me having about a dozen of those classic MJ bags over a two-year period. (Granted this was when they were about half the price they are now.) but the Queen of the collection is my pale dusty pink patent leather Stam. Heavy as hell, but still gorgeous. May have to take her out for a in this fall–maybe a walk down Bleecker street with Petey.

  • Great blog post. I think any bag that you love, set out to purchase and are happy with is timeless. Personally, I don’t find the Stam to be last season, Marc Jacobs makes amazing ones year after year. I still wear my crystal one, my sequins one, my leather one. I have Birkin’s, Chanel’s, Dior’s ect but I always go back to my Stam. It’s simple, understated and goes with everything!

  • Even if I like Chanel 2.55 I really don’t have a bag I dream about, I mean something that feels like “true love” even if I dream about a Pandora or a “book” by Olympia Le Tan, but I understand what you mean. Who doesn’t?

  • I share your sentiments about the Stam. But lucky me, I have two in my possession. I will never forget those nights I spent watching how the ebay biddings will end.. I would always wake up heartbroken because someone else outdbid poor me. But, indeed, good things come to those who wait. I finally got my hands on a Patchwork Stam in Peanut. My heart went on a leaping, throbbing frenzy the moment I laid my hands on its luscious leather and polished hardware. I knew right then and there, I had forged a lifetime love affair with my Stam. Over the years, I have collected a number of designer handbags, but the Stam is my ultimate favorite.. I had never drooled over a bag as much I did with it. I recently gave my Stam a sister.. an Ivory Patchwork. Go, get yourself a Stam, Alex! It’s never too late..

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