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Neat Bit Blogger Bettina Has a Thing for Balenciaga Leathers

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We're dedicating this week to the kind of fantastical shopping that most of us only get to experience in dreams. Taking a page from casino parlance, we'll be talking a lot about "whales," those big spenders who feel perfectly comfortable dropping tens of thousands of dollars every night on roulette, or, in our case, on Cartier, caviar facials, and Chanel. Welcome to Whale Week 2013.

Blogger Bettina of the Neat Bit personal style blog frequently puts forth polished workday and weekend outfits. High-low looks feature 3.1 Phillip Lim bags with of-the-moment Zara booties, but one of the designers we see making repeat appearances is Balenciaga. Moto jackets and multiple City bags always look fresh in her balanced getups. In typical Racked form, we asked Bettina about her growing Balenciaga obsession and collection. Here is what she had to say about maintaing her leathers and which style she would buy if she could only get one more.

What attracts you to Balenciaga?
Their leathers are spectacular. Soft, smooshy, and they truly get better the more you wear them.

Tell us about the first item you bought, your gateway piece, if you will.
It was a black bag in the classic City style, with giant hardware. I was at Barneys, and it was like being a kid in a candy store. There were so many colors to choose from!

How many Balenciaga items do you own?
Five or six if you include jackets.

How do you maintain your pieces? Are they stored specially?
After heavy use, some leathers need a little moisturization and TLC. Leather Honey is a great product that helps restore moisture. When not in use, I keep my bags on shelves in my closet. They're organized by brand, which makes for quick, easy switches in the morning!

Have you ever met an influential person from the brand? If so, what was that like?
No, but my husband's company is owned by PPR (which also owns Balenciaga) so you never know!

Where do you tend to buy your Balenciaga?
Everywhere. Brick and mortar, online...buying in store is great because you pick the exact bag you want, but there is also something fun about UPS walking up with your package, and getting to unwrap your new bag.

Have you ever suffered buyer's remorse?
Yes. I've also experienced seller's remorse, which feels even worse!

If you could only buy one more leather, would it be a bag or a jacket?
A jacket. Balenciaga jackets come in insanely beautiful color and hardware options, and the leathers are some of the softest I've felt.

What other designers are blossoming in your wardrobe? We see some Rebecca Minkoff and Chanel action going on.
Bottega Veneta is one of my quieter, understated favorites. I like Chanel too, but their price hikes in recent years have been quite astronomical.

And there you have it, folks. Go buy some leather!
· Neat Bit [Official Blog]
· Balenciaga [Official Site]
· All Whale Week coverage [Racked Boston]