The Highest Bidder

BY Mackenzie Wagoner

Christie’s is the world’s leading art business, and of all of its driving forces—the hundred-million dollar Picassos, the hundred-plus carat Ceylon sapphires— one of its fastest growing auction categories is handbags. Heading the sales of that closely watched five-year-old department in the United States is Caitlin Donovan, a 29-year-old with an encyclopedic command of leather, hardware, finishes and color. “I joke that I see the world in Hermès colors,” says the New York native of her ability to date a bag to a specific season on sight by its telltale shade. “You have to surround yourself and bury yourself in it to understand it.”

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