CAUTION: There are passages here that are shallow, narcissistic and pathetic. I give to a few charities other than myself but beware, this harmful content might make you throw up, just a little. Or applaud me or tell me to get a fucking life.
I shop. I shop a lot. I am an obsessive hoarder of anything that’s hot. It’s never enough even when I get something I crave.
You know that feeling? You need three of the same-ish pairs of Stella McCartney gummy soled creepers and even though they look the same, they’re really not? In my whack-job mind I can justify owning all of them.
Some say it’s talent. Most say it’s a sickness. I made a career out of it and one day it was all over.
Two years ago, I was laid off from my ice cream castle job that I loved — no, adored — at Us Weekly magazine. I was the fashion director who produced “Who Wore it Best” pages and many red carpet spreads of celebrities in juicy, fancy duds. That was my job.
And one day it was gone. Goodbye editorial. And goodbye to the little secret fashion editors keep hidden: SWWWWAAAAAG. I have been awarded obscene amounts of must-have jeans, celebrity “it” bags, sunglasses, plaid shirts, sweaters with stars and pre-ripped holes — so much shit that I didn’t really have to buy a thing. You are rewarded for all your hard work with tutus and embellished clutch bags with your name on it in mirrored metallic letters. Nuts.
Not that that stopped me from store shopping. I had a thirst for hot, new, must, will have, I’ll make you mine come hell or high water, craziness. And when the job ended, it also halted a 30-year barrage of gifts. So, I became a shopaholic.
Out of the womb, I was shopping. It’s in my genes. My mother loves everything chic and elegant. She shopped high/low prices and mixed them up before it became a thing. My father bought like a mad man: massive amounts of hippie furs and T-shirts and jeans and all-white only tube socks, mixing them with his Bottega Veneta loafers. I didn’t stand a chance.
My parents split and my father married Jade Hobson, the creative director at Vogue. That’s when I learned to take all of that shopping and turn it into a career — being paid to shop! Work led me to Allure, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Seventeen and Us Weekly as a fashion editor who worked with designers and press agents and boutiques and stores, putting them in the magazine.
But back to reality — I was out on the pavement with 4,000 “It” bags, 2,500 pairs of must-have shoes, mountains of stonewashed denim and enough jeweled statement pieces to make a royal blush. I was dumbfounded and clueless.
My shopping addiction was characterized by my buying things incessantly and compulsively (I need both the kitten heel and the high heel!) despite harmful consequences (debt, envy of others… You get the picture.) How was I going to satiate my insatiable desire for stuff when I actually had to pay for this shit?
There were, of course, more important things to worry about like loss of health benefits for my family and the cost of tutoring, guitar, basketball and food for my teenaged sons. But oh! It’s hard to be normal. I was oblivious to the actual retail cost of my lifestyle.
And I wasn’t ready to abandon my shopping ways. I needed to make it work for me and my very limited budget. I needed a plan — a 12-step plan.
Enter: eBay, The RealReal, Rebagg and Vestiaire Collective. I started bidding, making offers and buying what I craved, but for much less. I also developed crushes on slightly worn, older pieces that weren’t “vintage” but no longer produced.
For example, I started collecting Marni clogs that I missed out on buying back in 1990 — in all the colors. Rings and furry bags from Stella McCartney that were 10 years old. Need.
So now, when I sit having coffee after school dropoff with my BFF Caryn, a former fashion editor, we look damn good in our purchases. We document it and it’s fun. And when the trend is over, what do we do? We resell. Genius!
I know I’ll never fully lose the itch to shop — I am who I am — simply Sasha. I freelance now and consult. I buy, I sell. I’m thinking of opening a store online. I’m operating at a slower pace. I am getting close to being a grown up and trying really hard to act responsibly. You know, like splitting things on, say, two credit cards with 0% APRs.
I still am slightly fucked up in the head and trying to limit myself to one Prada and Marni a season. Addictions and compulsions are downgrading, ever so slightly. I’m in recovery but as any die hard, freelancing, debt consolidating, recessionista would do, I am always wondering what’s on The Outnet.