The Big Expletive On My Back

Written By bryanboy

I’ll never forget this girl named Katrina in my school bus back when I was in freshman high school. I must have been 13 at that time. While all the other kids played with each other in the bus, I chose to read my mom’s magazines. Back issues of Vogue were my after-school best friend. They made that agonizing thirty minute ride home bearable. Whenever Gucci ad pages came up, Katrina, who sat across me, always chanted “look at my Gucci watch, look at my Gucci watch!” before shoving her wrist to my face. If memory served me right, she was the daughter of a lawyer and for what seemed like eternity, she bragged about her stupid Gucci watch that she received as a gift. It was sickening. Deep down inside, I felt rather inferior because all I had at that time was this neon orange and neon green rubber and fabric “POP” Swatch that my aunt gave me as a Christmas present. I’m not a combative type of person so I didn’t say anything. Besides, she was a year older than me. She had Benetton accessories. I had Penshoppe (a Filipino brand akin to I dunno, Forever 21). I simply shut up and flipped through my magazines. That same year, I begged my parents to buy me that iconic Prada black nylon backpack with two pockets on the front. My parents weren’t having it from a thirteen year old child, of course. It wasn’t until I was fifteen that my mom finally bought one for me.

Fast forward a decade and a half later… I popped by the Prada store on Corso Venezia in Milan last week to stock up on some spring/summer goodies. I bought another pair of golf shoes, two trousers and this navy blue backpack. Just seeing it on the rack (they come in gray and brown as well) brought back childhood memories. I took it out for a spin in Amsterdam this weekend.

Prada backpack in nylon navy blue
Bryanboy's Prada backpack

Hat, shirt, shorts by Acne, sunglasses by Yves Saint Laurent, jacket gifted by Versace, backpack and shoes by Prada

I guess one cannot erase the emotional scars of yesteryear (I can’t say I’m very angry because thinking about it, we were all young and naive) but let me tell you, walking out of a store after buying something you really like, on your own terms, with your own money, is always an exhilarating experience.

Like a big FUCK YOU to everyone.


  1. You are an inspiration. I’m 16 and being the broke princessa that I am, I surely share the exact sentiment you have years ago. All I have are my magazines: 3 Vogues, some Elle, and Preview magazines here and there. Add my thrift store finds and I’m the trying hard fasyonista that I am. Hearing your story made me realize a lot of things, that everything happens for a reason and good things come to those who wait. Right now my huge problem is how I can get my hands on every issue of Vogue magazine…. I guess in the future, I can have a subscription and flip the pages like there’s no tomorrow. Thanks for being awesome BB. I laaav yeew!

  2. Thanks for sharing your memories and you know how things can change… for everything will be a reason and look where you are now – Today… Congrats BB… Van – PureGlam

  3. OMG this is sooo true! I grew up in Manila and worked there for years before moving to NYC. I can’t even get a job interview at ABS CBN or GMA but now I am working at AMC Networks (hello MAD Men) and have previously worked at A&E Networks and an ad agency in NYC!!! Yes sometimes you just want to go back & say F*%K you ho bags for not hiring me, I’ll take my talents somewhere else!

  4. I’m not one to usually comment, but I just had to for this one. I love the little story you incorporated.
    “Like a big FUCK YOU to everyone”
    well said BB. I hope one day I can say those exact same words.

  5. Gerardo Arenas

    inspirational, you know i save my whole money to buy i dont know last season rick owens or damir doma,i buy a lot of thrift store vintage designer things, i save my whole to buy clothes and it is a big fuck you to all people ,to be able to wear designer clothe’s ( even if it is last season or thrifted )and for us poor fahsion people ( ahahaha ) is amazing to be able to spend a couple hundreds in something that you really want , you feel updated ! its a great sensation

  6. I love reading these inspirational pieces. This is what has always been about, at least for me. It’s all about a personal take on fashion and your anectodes and stories make it interesting to read. Please continue to write these long memoir type of pieces that we look forward to reading. A warm hug from milan, Yigit

  7. You are bringing fashion back bb! This will be the return of Prada zaino on the high street. I simply cannot stop commenting, I can feel you on this. It may not be the same item but you know those Jansport backpacks? It was an “it” bag way back in high school. Now, I don’t even want to look at them – i might buy the one you got on your back. I wish I can have the same “F” moment you have – one that is glorifying! Ciao from Milano – bambi eyes of

  8. I hope Katrina is her real name…and I hope she reads this. Its always the unbearable people…. the ones who call themselves “alpha”…. in school who end up stalling in adulthood.

    i love “who’s laughing now” endings. good for you

  9. But essentially, isn’t this entire blog, showcasing your seemingly endless array of expensive designer goods, just one continuous “Look at my Gucci watch?”

  10. Hey Bryan! I love your blog, your style, well just about everything. You are a huge inspiration for me! I would like to know what camera you’re using and what lenses you have for it?
    Greeting from Finland x

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