Sit back and brace yourself while I tell you a story of fashion horror and heartbreak.
Last summer I traveled to Mississippi for a photo-shoot. Those of you that have been to Mississippi know its humid as hell.
While location scouting in the sticky air I glanced down at my Alexander McQueen putty gray handbag and what I saw would bring any fashionista to tears.
The indigo in my jeans had rubbed off all over my bag, staining it. Meltdown. I don’t know whether it was the humidity or from rubbing against my jeans for an extended period of time but whatever the cause the result wasn’t pretty.
Everyone I spoke with had different advice for me. Use a baby wipe, get some leather cleaner, use some lotion, wash it off with water, get it dyed black. Although I appreciate their efforts there was no way I was going to mess around with a bag this expensive and such a light and temperamental color.
Fast forward 8 sad months. I was in Neiman Marcus talking with their shoe and bag specialist about my dilemma when she told me that I should take my precious bag to Shoe Lab.
I had used Shoe Lab for small repairs on shoes before and was familiar with the amazing quality of their work but I wasn’t sure as to whether they would be able to save my bag (especially with all the detailed leather stamping) while maintaining its color that I loved so much!
Not wanting to waste another minute I placed a call to Shoe Lab and spoke with Jerry Guederian, president of Shoe Lab, who invited me down for a personal tour of their warehouse (Previously I had only been to their retail location).
Jerry graduated from A.R.S. Sutoria Institute of Shoe Design in Milan, Italy. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1970’s, where he first started Shoe Lab. After establishing itself in the local markets, Shoe Lab made a name in the movie industry with its quick turnaround time and ability to customize to any customer’s preference.
As I walked into the workshop I was wowed by wall to wall couture. Louboutins in for re-lacquering of bottoms, showgirl heels in to be refortified, Chanel and Dior bags in for missing hardware to be replaced. My heart actually skipped a beat. It was like the accessories version of a plastic surgeons office! A little lift here, a little nip tuck there and everything back to new!
Jerry explained to me something that EVERY Fashionista and handbag aficionado should know (but probably doesn’t) when you purchase a designer handbag 99% of the time it has NOT been weatherproofed!
Why is weatherproofing important? Weatherproofing your handbag involves applying a chemical shield that will help to preserve the leather’s quality, workmanship and value. Treating your bag as soon as you get it will help you keep it in perfect condition. Besides protecting it from weather, weatherproofing your handbag helps resist moisture, dirt and grime. This is just as important with fabric and canvas bags.
Shoe Lab isn’t just a repair shop they are artists. Each of Shoe Lab’s craftsmen are hand-picked and trained to deliver only the highest quality work to satisfy today’s top designers and high-end retail and department stores.
Let’s say you have a breathtaking Chanel handbag that is missing a piece. If the experts at Shoe Lab cannot find the piece their craftsmen can actually mold a piece to match and achieve a flawless repair!
With their expertise they can recreate any hardware fixtures on designer labels so that your shoes and handbags look factory new. They match the stitch spacing, the exact color and can even weave in missing hair on calf hairpieces.
So what lesson have we learned? Use Protection. The second you purchase a designer bag take it to be weatherproofed straight away! When you make an investment in designer quality take the extra step to ensure it will last you for years to come!
Here is the result, my beautiful bag after cleaning and weatherproofing by Shoe Lab:
Exciting news. Shoe Lab will be launching their e-commerce site sometime in the next 2 months. The site will allow customers all over the country to send in their designer goodies in for Shoe Lab’s quality repairs, no matter how tricky the job. Shoe Lab 702.791.2004
Last Week’s Lucky Winner is: Stefanie Van Aken Congrats!
Shoe Lab is awesome! They are my go-to place for shoe repair and I will definitely keep them in mind for bags as well! xoxoxox
Thank you for this post! The same thing happened to a much beloved, white Marc Jacobs bag of mine and I’ve been looking for a place I can trust to get it cleaned.
My very first job was as an apprentice at a shoe repair shop. I was amazed when I learned all the different things cobblers work on. Thanks!
I would have died, so glad shoe lab was able to fix it. I have yet to run into this problem but now I know where to send people. Great Post
AMAZING! Your handbag looks brand new! I am so glad everything worked out!
This is SO good to know! Neimans is a great resource…they also shared a conditioning creme with me too for my bags. So glad to know about the Shoe Lab!
Good info Christie!
I travel with my bags and shoes in their dust covers because of leaks, etc. – I would have cried on the spot
Ooh! good to know! One day when I fulfill my Carrie Bradshaw dream closet I’ll know what to do so I dont end up crying in the fetal position over my expensive items hehe
This is really cool! First, I didn’t know a place like Shoe Lab even existed, but knowing you could get a bag fixed through them too is AWESOME…so, I pinned to my Awesomeness board: http://pinterest.com/pin/25755029091029654/
Thank you for this fabulous write up. So many consumers are unaware of how to protect their designer goods. Glad you met my dad and he was able to show you around! Xoxo
Thanks for sharing, I am always ruining my stuff!
Awesome find! Thanks for sharing. I had another very reputable shoe place I used for years until they retired, so this is great news. I also have a bunch of LV bags that I should weather-proof. I cringe whenever I am out and it mysteriously rains. I’m sacrificing my life to protect them. Haha!
Wow – Amazing the bag looks like new. I would have never thought of taken my bags to a shoe place.
This is so good to know! With four boys I am constantly worried about my nice things getting ruined.