Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag
For more than twenty years, the Hermes Birkin bag has been the iconic symbol of fashion, luxury, and wealth. With a fabled waiting list of more than two years to purchase one, the average fashionista has a better chance of climbing Mount Everest in Prada pumps than of possessing this coveted carryall. Unless, of course, she happens to know Michael Tonello. . . .
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This was gossipy and fun, and proof that someone doesn't have to seem "likable" to write a good memoir. Michael Tonello made a living for a while as a "reseller" of the rare Birkin bags, named after Jane Birkin and coveted by highly materialistic, conspicuous consumers everywhere. During one year, he spent $1,600,000 on Hermes merchandise for resale. That's more money than most of us will ever see at once, and it's ridiculous to imagine it ...more
So are you familiar already with what's known as the Birkin bag? It's the product of Hermés, one of those European "designer boutiques" that exists for no other reason than to severely overcharge rich people with self-esteem issues; you know, one of those places that sells hundred-dollar handkerchiefs ...more
In a funny, whip-smart memoir sure to be a sensation among Vogue and W devotees, erstwhile hair and makeup artist Tonello (now a columnist for HuffingtonPost.com) chronicles a surprising (even to him!) trans-Atlantic move from Provincetown, R.I. to a city he’d fallen in love with on a short trip: Barcelona, where he knows no one and doesn’t speak the language. Tonello’s initial euphoria dissolves when his new job fails to materialize. To stay afloat, Tonello starts ...more
Though the book got off to something of a slow start for me, by the time he got to writing about sticker s ...more
It's light, funny, and the story draws you along. The characterisations are fantastic - it's easy to view people and scenes in your mind's eye (important to me!). Michael Tonello doesn't take himself too seriously and better still, knew when to give it all up.
It's going on the shelf as a re-read. A keeper - for at least a while, and I'm off ...more
This was a cute story (I'm sure the author will cringe at my use of the word "cute", but that's how I felt about it). I'm not one for chick-lit and would not have thought to read this if it hadn't been given to me, but I'm glad I did.
This story was quite anecdotal in parts. It didn't feel forced at all or take itself too seri ...more
Tonello, however, came up with a "formula" to byp ...more
I'd also recommend it if you're interested in traveling to Europe just because it gives an American's insight into being dumped into land ...more
I love the authors writing style and storytelling talent. This book is fun and funny, interesting and international.
This is a book that only comes around once in a lifetime!
Michael Tonello went where no man had dared to go. He was the first and the last maverick
in the history of Hermes;to round up such a herd of hides.
Oh, and the cover of the book is too wonderful to hide on a shelf!
Michael Tonello tells of his life as a Hermes luxury items re-seller. Yes - he traveled the world in search of Hermes stores, talked his way into purchasing many thousands of dollars of handbags, scarves, bracelets and other high-end items, then turned around and sold them on eBay. Or to clients who couldn't get enough of them, especially the Birken bag (which could sell a ...more
As a business person, I completely admire his entrepreneurial instincts. As a lover of food/wine, fashion and European travel, I relished every detail he shared. Reading this book was like buying a companion ticket to go along for the ride. Thank you!
Life was too short for list making and excuses.
I was going to handle this like a man. I called my mother.
I loved clothes, sure, but clothes are... clothes. And books... well, they're more like friends.
Nothing convinces you so thoroughly that you truly belong to a place as when your heart beats faster at the thought of being back on its familiar ground once more.
I had the ability to perform a trick that was much better than pulling rabbits out of hats--I knew how to pull Birkins out of ...more
Highly entertaining read! Will recommend for people looking for a light read and people who might be interested in his accidental entrepreneur journey.