I have to be honest… I ripped off this idea. I saw the chicest woman at the vintage clothing show in New York City around the year 2000, and she was carrying a multi-patched, worn-in Louis Vuitton tote bag. And at that moment, I fell in love with the patch bag.
The Bermuda patch was the first one I bought, in 2001. Slowly, over the years, I collected patches. They lived tucked in an envelope, they moved homes with me. And I dreamed of the day I would have enough patches to make my own bag.
My daughter’s name is Gigi and her first and last name initials are G.G., so I thought I would do Gucci to pass down to her. I looked for the right bag for over a year. This one wasn’t really my favorite, but I was feeling ready to commit and I was tired of looking. I still didn’t have enough patches (I wish I traveled more!), so I filled in the blanks with patches from places her dad had served overseas and with others that represented me: The Beatles, the Stratocaster (my first gold electric guitar), the ‘roo (Go Killeen Kangaroos!), the birds (like my bird tattoos on my back, for my little girls). It was very scary to sew these on- I had a professional open the lining and I pinned them where I wanted them because I was too scared to make an expensive disastrous mistake. And here, you see, the result.
It took many years, and money, and effort, but this is one of my favorite possessions, by far. Every time I carry it, without fail, someone stops me to ask about it and compliment it. I will add to it as the years go by (I already have Miami and a few other patches stashed in the inside pocket, ready for their debut someday), and ages from now, I will pass it down to Gigi in hopes that she will love it too.