Fashion editor David Hellqvist and his wanderlust wallet.
A Curious story with some travelling Loewe
Interview by Hugo Ross
Photo by David Hellqvist
Aug 26, 2019
VM: Please choose an object…
DH: I've chosen my Loewe wallet.
VM: Describe it, ‘objectify’ it and describe it in concrete terms.
DH: It's a bifold wallet, embossed with the Spanish brand's monogram. It's black with two note pocket and space for eight bank cards. No coin pocket. Except for notes and bank cards, it carries my Oyster, driving license, a few 'Buy 9 and get the 10th for Free' cards from various cafes and lunch restaurants I frequent, and a couple of discount cards. Oh yeah, and my membership card from Selco, which I'm very proud of. Having lost a few wallets I know better than to have photos or other items of *real* value in it ... Wallets can be replaced and bank cards are really easy to cancel and order new ones. I would have more of an issue with losing my phone due to images and contacts ... plus the access it gives to my life through various SM accounts etc ...
VM: What’s your relationship with it? Why did you choose this piece?
DH: The reason I chose it for this piece is because of what happened to it last summer.
VM: Curious...what transpired last summer?
Basically, it had a pretty hectic holiday season; the wallet travelled more than I did and saw the world on its own ... a bit like it got an Interrail card and fucked off through Europe by itself. Having attended Pitti in Florence in June, I flew back from Bologna to London but managed to lose the wallet on the plane. Most likely I took it out to buy something and then, thinking I put it back into my bag on the floor, it slid into the space between the seat and the window. When I got home and realised I cancelled the cards and forgot about it
But the wallet hadn't forgotten about me. The plane I had travelled on was then put on another route, taking it to Palermo, Sicily. Here, a flight attendant found the wallet and handed it to the local airport police. One day I got a message over Facebook from someone saying they had found a "walker at Palermo airport". Clearly that didn't make sense to me but a few days later I connected the two; walker equals wallet ... obviously! After a lot of messaging I was told firstly that they could only send me the bank cards and not the wallet, which was basically the complete opposite to what I wanted. Eventually they decided to send the wallet to the Swedish Embassy (as I'm Swedish) – but in Rome and not London!
VM: This wallet is getting around!
DH: Here, they told me that they couldn't send it to me or the embassy here so it went with diplomatic post to the foreign ministry in Sweden, where I was told afterwards, it was the cause of much discussion. Who was I, where did I live, why was it sent to Stockholm, why did they use diplomatic post, the most expensive way possible to send anything ... and what were they to do with it? I called the foreign ministry, was immediately put through to the senior bureaucrat in charge of this. There was no way they could send it to London. Obviously. Could I come and pick it up? No? Could they send to someone else? Yes, my brother. OK great. Eventually my brother took delivery of it and sent it on to me. Three months after losing it me and my wallet were reunited.
VM: What a grand expedition for such a tiny little guy...
DH: So, it disappeared in Bologna, went to Sicily and Rome and travelled on to Stockholm and then, unbelievably, to my tiny hometown of Lidköping before coming home to London. When it reached me the wallet had a smug smile on its face, mainly because it had been to Rome, and it knows I haven't!
VM: Look after your wallet kids...they have a mind of their own. Thanks for your time David, what a funny story :-)