I met Michael Tonello for lunch recently in Beverly Hills, and it is easy to see that he would fit comfortably in the most rarified social milieu. Trim and handsome, he dresses impeccably in a beautifully tailored blazer and a crisp shirt, with the added touch of a silk pocket square (undoubtedly from Hermes). But he is anything but a snob. In fact, he still retains concern for several of his Birkin clients who loaded debt on several credit cards to purchase a single Birkin bag from him. "That's the sign of a person who shouldn't be buying a Birkin," he said, shaking his head.
Given the fact that it reads like a memoir crossed with an expensive travel guide, it is hardly surprising that Bringing Home the Birkin has been optioned for a movie. When asked which actor he'd choose to portray him, Tonello shrugged. "They'd probably want to show me in my twenties, so maybe someone like Matt Damon. And then Diane Keaton could play my mother," he added with a conspiratorial smile. After that, he'll be out of the Birkin business and on to a career writing children's books about the adventures of his two cats. No word yet on whether they will carry (or be carried in) Birkin bags.