As we dust off our office clothes and get ready to tiptoe our way back to in-person work, one essential item that shouldn’t be left behind is the all-important work bag. Our bag is not only a tool that helps us do our jobs but it also says a lot about who we are. Does your bag say you are professional and organized? Hip and creative? Koreans even have an old adage that translates to: “Clothes are your wings”. Accessories like the right work bag will help get you flying.
Another Korean adage that many of us try to live by needs no translation: “Never pay retail”. It might be true that some luxury brands never go on sale. However, a new industry that has been thriving in recent years has been the online luxury resale market. Guaranteed authentic by professional inspectors, the goods are rated according to the level of wear with some products looking nearly perfect. Fashionphile is one of our favorites, offering free shipping and returns on all domestic orders, and sometimes listing prices that are up to half off the original retail price on brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. They’ll even buy goods back from you if you want to trade them in later.
Many offices are making the shift to a more casual wardrobe. But personal tastes still rule the day with geography playing a big role in determining what kind of bag is best for work. We were curious what Korean American executives favored as they start to navigate a post-pandemic world so we asked women across the country to share their favorite work bag. While some like to carry everything in their daily bags from laptops to extra clothes, others like to commute light with just a wallet, phone, and emergency grooming tools.
Here’s a look at what top Korean American executives across the country carry today when they mean business. Not every style is available pre-owned but we’ve included links to the ones that are.
NYC Banker: Celine Cabas Phantom
My go to is my Celine Cabas Phantom bag. It fits everything I need and is super light.Jenny Lee, JP Morgan
LA Entrepreneur: Balenciaga City Bag
I use Balenciaga as my laptop/work/travel bag.Esther Song, The Song Group
Chicago Private Equity CEO: State Backpack
I have a collection of nice purses but I’ve been carrying backpacks for meetings because they are functional, modern, and hip.Suzanne Yoon, Kinzie Capital Partners
San Francisco Tech Strategist: Madewell Transport Tote
I have a Madewell leather tote with my initials.Isabel Lee, Airtable
NYC Insurance Exec: Valentino New Diamond Verra
I gravitate toward my Valentino because it is big and supple, a neutral color that goes with whatever I am wearing.Christina Lee, CNA
Palo Alto Finance Consultant: Hermes Evelyn
Everyone I know in the Bay Area has this bag. It’s just easy, and it holds a lot.Grace Yang, Liberty Partners
NYC Attorney: Gucci Micro GG Guccissima Joy Large
For me a power work bag needs to be big and wide for docs and laptop. My Gucci tote is from an outlet store in Italy.Susan Shin, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Cary CEO: Louis Vuitton Capucines
I splurge on my pocketbooks and the last one I bought was a Louis Vuitton Capucines in black.Rose Lee, Cornerstone Building Brands
NYC Real Estate Exec: Hermes Birkin
My work bag is a black Birkin with gold hardware. Definitely a power bag.Laura Hong, Sotheby’s
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