Magazine article The New Yorker

Bagman

Magazine article The New Yorker

Bagman

Article excerpt

"I've felt every emotion over the last few days," Ryan Dziadul said, sitting at his desk in the offices of Jonathan Adler, the homewares designer. "My immediate reaction was: This was a huge mistake--what have I done?" Dziadul, who is thirty-one and works as Adler's public-relations manager, shook his head. "Then I was really excited and it felt like an accomplishment." But, he said, his mother, back in Massachusetts, was "furious." The accomplishment, or mistake, was Dziadul's purchase of a twelve-thousand-dollar Birkin bag from Hermes. It was sitting on top of his desk, and a circle of his colleagues had gathered around to behold the bag.

"Everyone's been quite distracted by it," Adler said. "It's our first office Birkin." The arrival of the handbag had decreased the staff's productivity, but no one's more than Dziadul's. "He's got his eye on it at all times," Adler said. "It's like there's a Birkin-cam."

Dziadul, who had on jeans, an oxford shirt from L.L. Bean, and green loafers, recounted the story of his purchase to his co-workers, several of whom had taken cell-phone pictures of themselves with the bag to send to friends. He had been saving for a Birkin bag since his graduation from N.Y.U., in 2004, he said, "but pulling the trigger was actually difficult." It happened spontaneously the week before, when he wandered into Hermes while waiting for a friend on Madison Avenue. He approached a saleswoman and asked if there were any Birkins available. "She said, 'Would you follow me to the V.I.P. room?' Which, of course, I did: it's behind two mirrored sliding doors; there's a leather couch, and they had a beautiful floral arrangement. She unveiled an elephant-gray bag, and I wanted to see what it would look like open, so I went to undo the straps and I was literally shaking." He did not get to choose the color of his twelve-thousand-dollar purse--the store had only one--and there was little time to equivocate. "I told her, 'If I buy this, it will be a large purchase for me, so I want to have my friend come and look at it,' " Dziadul continued. The saleswoman said that she could hold it for five minutes. (When the friend came and gave the bag the thumbs-up, and Dziadul said that he would take it, the saleswoman was "zero excited," Dziadul recalled.)

At the office, Dziadul kept the handbag under his desk, on top of a copy of a magazine called Just for Canadian Dentists, which had published an article about Adler. …

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