It’s been one year, seven months and 23 days since I last saw Christian. I’m logo-free now. I blame it all on Louis, Louis Vuitton. If it wasn’t for him I might not have turned into a logophile. I clinged on to those labels. At one time L and V meant something to me. It happened before he became popular. I was 16 years old, naïve and needy. He seduced me with his irresistible dark caramel skin. I fell for him. With him on my arm I became the girl with the bob and the LV handbag. I could go anywhere. My Petit Noe made me look better. He made me feel I belong.
Monogram, Epi and Damier became part of our everyday dialogue. We went on vacation together to Greece and gazed out across the turquoise waters of Santorini. We came back home happy, bursting at the seams, with sand in our pockets. He accompanied me to Paris, his hometown and as we climbed up the steps of the Eiffel Tower together, I held onto him tighter then I had before.
Then I noticed a gradual shift in his behavior. I had known all along that I wasn’t the only one. It was something he had told me from the beginning but I thought I could handle it. At first I turned a blind eye to his indiscretions but it gnawed at me. He started showing up on the arms of strangers on the street. I started noticing it more. Sometimes I would see him with someone younger and prettier but often they were nothing special. There were secretaries, moms, executives and even my manicurist. There was nothing I could do. The harder I hung on to him the less discriminate he became. Then one day I saw him on the arm of my best friend. He’d got to her too. That night I threw him out. I never let him into my life again.
Addictions are not erased; only replaced. I replaced him with Gucci first. Then with Fendi and Laurent. I even had a fling with Chanel, once. She was a beauty but it was during my college years and I was just experimenting. I had to have them all. They were dark, rich and foreign. Their names and logos meant nothing to me. They gave me a temporary fix. Each one satisfied my insatiable appetite for the newest. It gave me such a high. But it was hurting my bank account and me. “You need to stop,” my mother told me.
I hated myself for being so weak. No one can tell you to stop. You have to do when it feels right. I remember when it happened. Christian and I were sitting at a cafe on a bright Sunday morning. By the time I had drank my last sip of coffee, I had counted, seven Louis Vuitton handbags, four Gucci’s and one Fendi, walk past me. They were all with women like me. Women that didn’t have the confidence to be alone, they needed someone on their arm. They needed a Louis to hold onto. I didn’t want to be like them anymore.
At that moment I looked down at Christian. I didn’t say a word but he knew it was over. I took my things from him and left him sitting there. He looked torn and tired. He tried to email me through Saks Fifth Avenue, but I just hit the unsubscribe button. I haven’t looked back since. It hasn’t been easy. A few months ago, I walked past Neiman Marcus in Fashion Island and saw Marc Jacobs in the window; I looked the other way, and pretended I hadn’t seen him. Christian and Marc run around in the same circles, and I’m sure he’s told him he saw me, but I’ve stopped caring about all of them.
I’ve now moved on and made a fresh start. I’ve changed my perspective and expanded my horizons. And when I least expected it, I met someone local. Although no one recognizes him, he’s refreshingly low-key and unpretentious. I don’t know what the future holds for us but I’m taking things slow and I’m not giving any names.