Bags of style

AS someone who regularly covets the designer bags featured in Vogue but whose usual bag is an £8 number from Primark, discovering Fashion Hire was like a fantasy made reality.

Rebecca Young finds out what it’s like to borrow a designer bag.

AS someone who regularly covets the designer bags featured in Vogue but whose usual bag is an £8 number from Primark, discovering Fashion Hire was like a fantasy made reality.

Fashion Hire introduces the idea of borrowing a designer bag for a month before sending it back and choosing another. For those who are fashion conscious, it presents the perfect opportunity to keep up with all the latest trends without paying the full designer price tag each time. It also allows those who are simply looking for a bag for a special occasion to try something new.

I was sent one of the designer bags from Fashion Hire to borrow for a few days to see how the process works and what it’s like to have in my possession a Balenciaga bag worth about £800. Some women have a thing for shoes, some for expensive jewellery, but for those who love bags, Fashion Hire is a must-visit.

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The bag was delivered to the office this afternoon. I’ve never felt so much joy at seeing a package before (especially as most of the parcels I receive are either for someone else or full of stationery!)

I promptly unpacked it (very carefully) and took it over to show the women in the office, who had been just as excited as me about the arrival. Once I’d had a good look at it, I took everything out of my old Primark bag and carefully re-packed it in my new designer bag.

I have to say, I’ve never felt so glamorous walking along the street as I did when I had that bag on my arm for the first time!


I have to admit that choosing my outfit for the day was made a lot easier by the fact that I knew anything would look good with the bag.

In the office it sparked a debate about whether you could tell the difference between my designer bag and something on the high street. Interestingly, this is something that came up in pretty much every conversation I had with people about the bag.

As someone who knows her designers and their bags, I could definitely tell the difference – the detailing, feel and even smell of the bag were far superior to anything that you could ever find on the high street. Those who took part in the discussion in the office (both male and female) decided that they couldn’t tell the difference and spending that amount of money on a bag was ridiculous!


The weekend! I was out tonight at a friend’s hen do. We were all dressed in the same pink tops, but the bag definitely helped me to stand out a little and added a soupçon of sophistication.

I had loads of compliments about the bag throughout the evening from the girls. We had the same discussion about whether you could tell it was designer or not. They decided that although it was a beautiful bag, they were a little apprehensive about the price!


I went down to York for the day to meet up with a friend who loves her fashion just as much as I do. I had told her about getting the bag and she was more excited about seeing the bag than she was me!

I told her about the discussions I’d been having with people all week and she agreed with me. From a distance you might assume it’s from the high street, but once you get closer you can definitely tell it’s designer.


My last day with the bag. Back in the office it sat pride of place on my desk. I made the call to UPS to arrange collection for it the next day.

Before I left, the women in the office had to say goodbye to it.

I met a friend for a drink tonight and for the first time since I got it, the bag wasn’t mentioned once. It was quite nice just to enjoy using it instead of trying to justify why you might want to borrow or buy it!


I carefully packed the bag up this morning and took it to the post room for collection.

I was of course sad to see it go, especially as my Primark bag now seems to pale in comparison. I have to admit though, I did seem to worry a lot more when I had the Balenciaga bag in my possession. I was extra careful what I put in it and where I left it. Now I have my Primark bag back, I just chuck anything in it and put it anywhere! I think this had more to do with the fact that I knew it didn’t belong to me more than anything else.

That said, I think that if I were to have my very own designer bag I would take just as good care of it, but perhaps be ever so slightly less paranoid about spilling something on it or having it stolen. Despite what others have said, I see a bag like this as an investment and would definitely consider buying designer in the future. And I have to admit that I feel ever so slightly less glamorous now I no longer have the bag on my arm.

After experiencing the sheer pleasure of borrowing my very first designer bag, I can safely say that I am hooked and would use Fashion Hire again to get my next designer fix .


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer