Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Elsa Lam writes about her North Face Purple Label backpack.
I will go to extraordinary, obsessive lengths to get what I’ve had my eye on. I went through hoops of fire to get my North Face Purple Label bag. Totally worth it, though. As any insane collector like myself knows, the line is exclusive to Japan only. The journey of how I got this item begins with my friend Jasen, who lives in Korea and was in midst of traveling to Tokyo for the New Year holiday to visit his girlfriend. I got the brilliant idea to have him buy me the bag and ship it over. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Before he went to Tokyo, I had to wire him the money. After two failed attempts at Western Union, the third finally went through. As a precaution, I had a friend write an email to the store, translated into Japanese, requesting to hold the bag so that Jasen could pick it up on X day and time. They took some time to reply back and when they finally did, they said they sold out. I almost cried.
Jasen, ever dedicated, charged ahead, placed an order for the bag to be restocked at the store. At this point, the diligence wasn’t just mine. It took a village to get get this bag. Fast forward to the end of March, a package arrived at my Staten Island house with the Korean Post logo. I opened the box, peeled back the packaging carefully, and upon seeing the backpack that I’ve worked so hard to get, I screamed with joy, the kind of piercing relief that can only come with true satisfaction. This shit jumped continents! My mom looked at me like a crazy person. “What the big deal? It’s just a backpack,” she said. I assured her, calmly, that it is so much more.