Meet author and bag man Michael Tonello

Books and Books. May 2nd and 3rd, 2008. 8:00 p.m.

Books and Books. Miami Art News
Come hear Michael Tonello’s hilarious insider’s account of his years spent globe-trotting in search of the holy grail of handbags: the Birkin. For more than twenty years, the Hermès Birkin bag has been the iconic symbol of fashion, luxury, and wealth. Though the bag is often seen dangling from the arms of celebrities, there is a fabled waiting list of more than two years to buy one from Hermès, and the average fashionista has a better chance of climbing Mount Everest in Prada pumps than of possessing one of these coveted carryalls. Unless, of course, she happens to know Michael Tonello.

Tonello’s newfound career started with an impulsive move to Barcelona, a vanished job assignment, no work visa, and an Hermès scarf sold on eBay to generate some quick cash. But soon he discovered the truth about the waiting list and figured out the secret to getting Hermès to part with one of these precious bags. Millions of dollars worth of Birkins later, Tonello became one of eBay’s most successful entrepreneurs – and a Robin Hood to thousands of desperate rich women.

Whether he’s relating his wining and dining, buying and selling, dodging and weaving, laughing and crying, or schmoozing and stammering, Michael is a master raconteur who weaves together tales of hunting Birkins in the world’s most posh locales, memories of meals that would make any gastronome salivate, anecdotes of obsessed collectors with insatiable desires, and sweetly intimate stories about his family, friends, and finding true love. The result is a memoir that is distinctive, fun, page turning, and as addictive as its namesake.

Michael Tonello grew up in Massachusetts. He traveled the world as a makeup artist and hairdresser until a chance job assignment in Spain proved fateful, and he resettled in Barcelona. Pressed to find a profession that didn’t necessitate working papers, he started a lucrative business on eBay as a reseller of Hermès. Michael lives and works in Barcelona.

For more information, please call: 305.442.4408

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