The Best Purse Dhani Ever Got Stolen in Milan

I had a great time at Milan Fashion Week... except for the theft.
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Dhani Mau
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I had a great time at Milan Fashion Week... except for the theft.
Photo: A.P.C.

Photo: A.P.C.

In the three years that I've been covering Fashion Month, my interest in "preparing" for it in any way has dwindled. I don't feel the need to dress differently, buy new things or put more effort into the way I look than usual.

But just because I don’t care about whether there’s visible fur in my loafers doesn't mean I don't lust after things. For the past year and a half, one such thing has been A.P.C.'s demi-lune bag. It epitomizes the qualities I look for in a bag — understated, chic, timeless but cool — and it seemed to follow me everywhere I went, from the window of the A.P.C. store I pass near my office to websites I often browse, like Need Supply and La Garçonne, to the Steven Alan store near my apartment that I wander into almost every weekend. After New York Fashion Week, I decided to pull the trigger on the dark navy textured leather version. It cost nearly $500, more than I've ever spent on a bag, but upon hearing it was the last one they had in stock, I felt confident in my decision. And, yes, I was a little excited to wear it to shows during Milan Fashion Week.

I wore it as soon as I arrived, and I loved it. It was functional; it looked more polished than the leather tote I usually carry; it fit most of my invites; and it differed from the statement bags and Mansur Gavriels everyone else was carrying. In a way, I felt as if I'd outsmarted the industry's many fashion victims and street style peacocks, and for a short time, it was my favorite bag ever.

On Sunday, my second-to-last day in Milan, I found myself with about an hour to kill and did some impromptu sightseeing. I wandered around some castle and then into a sidewalk cafe to scarf down some pasta before Missoni — all the while thinking about how this had been my least stressful international fashion week trip yet. I was in a crowded, touristy area, so I hung my bag (yes, that bag) on the side of my chair furthest from the crowd. After finishing my pasta in, I don't know, four minutes, I felt to make sure my bag was still there, and… it wasn't. 

I stood up and shouted some sort of expletive (which is very unlike me) and everyone turned to look at me, their attention pushing me further towards a panic attack. When a couple asked me what happened, I exclaimed, "My purse was stolen," and I started to cry. After that, it was a blur of hyperventilating and my waiter asking me things I didn't understand; trying to call Bank of America to cancel my cards and getting an Italian operator who didn't speak English; asking another waiter who allegedly knew more English how to call the police, and him responding, "What? You want a Coca-Cola?" 

Long story short, the purse I wanted for more than a year, spent an uncharacteristic amount of cash on and got to wear approximately three times is gone forever, along with an old Comme des Garcons wallet, about 65 euros, a debit card, invitations to shows I ended up missing (I wonder if the thief took my seat at Missoni?) and a set of keys to the Airbnb I was sharing with my cousin, who met me in Milan just for fun. When I called her to tell her my purse had been stolen, she exclaimed, "at gunpoint?!" The situation could have been a lot worse, and I realized I was more upset about the bag itself (and missing two shows) than anything inside it. Because it was truly the best bag ever. They say it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, but is that true when said love lasted only a week and cost $500?

If you can find the demi-lune in stock (there's one linked below), I truly recommend picking one up. And keeping it on your person while eating pasta in Italy.

Tl;dr: A.P.C. demi-lune bag, $440, available at A.P.C.