COLLECTION COINCIDES WITH MARRIAGE TO LEGENDARY HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER
By Barbara Tunick
Tony Award-winning producer, best-selling author, television producer and philanthropist Candy Spelling has an incurable passion for collecting.
When she’s not producing Broadway shows such as this year’s King Lear, Tootsie and Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Spelling collects a variety of items, including impressionist art, jewelry, Steuben animals, Mahjong sets and perfume bottles with silver overlay. One of her most beloved collections, however, is an extensive assortment of luxury bags and accessories.
It’s no coincidence that Spelling’s love affair with handbags coincides with the marriage to the love of her life, legendary Hollywood producer Aaron Spelling (Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Dynasty).
“Before we got married, I had two or three nice purses but nothing truly special,” Spelling says. “It wasn’t until I saw this beautiful Judith Leiber bag in Robinson’s. It was a little black satin bag with a peacock on either side. One was gold and the other silver. We didn’t have a lot of money back then, but I wanted it so badly that I would just go to the store and visit it,” she recalls. “There was something very pretty and graceful about it. After we had been married for about six months, I decided to buy it.
“Even though I was 23, I looked like I was 12, so when I used my husband’s credit card, they didn’t believe it was mine,” she laughs. Fifty years later, Spelling still has the bag she first coveted.
Spelling’s extensive collection includes runway pieces from Hermès and Chanel, plus Dior, Prada and Bottega Veneta. While she favors neutral colors such as black, brown and navy, she also owns a selection of vibrant statement bags, and rare, whimsical pieces such as the Chanel Perfume Bottle Bag. “I’ve never bought a bag as an investment. I buy what I love and what brings me joy,” she says. That reasoning helped her decide to part with some of her collection in Heritage’s upcoming luxury accessories auction.
“I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but I’m an incurable collector. When I see something incredible, I have to have it. I realized I had all these beautiful bags that I’ve never worn just taking up shelf space. It just didn’t seem right, so I decided to clear some out and let someone else enjoy them.”
By far, the bag Spelling cherishes the most is an Hermès Black Crocodile Kelly with diamonds. “About six to eight months after my husband died, I received this bag from Hermès. He ordered it for me three years earlier as a present. I had no idea until it arrived. I can’t begin to tell you what it means to me.”
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2019 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.