If you were to ask a woman about her favourite things to buy there’s a very good chance the answer will be handbags and shoes, particularly gorgeous, designer bags. An iconic handbag, be it Fendi’s Baguette or the Kelly from Hermes, has become a serious object of desire not just for celebrities but for working women from all walks of life. For a woman, a handbag is an expression of who they are, it is both functional and symbolic, as well as a demonstration of their personal style.
Handbags come in all shapes and sizes and are expected to perform a whole range of functions, from the glamorous evening clutch to the roomy and practical tote. Made from a dizzying array of leathers, skins, canvas or fabric accompanied by an eye-popping price tag, it is crucial to take care of your bags so that not only do you protect your investment but you can enjoy them for as long as possible.
There’s nothing quite like showing off your beautiful new piece of arm candy, but before dashing out it’s important to protect it from spills and the elements. Do your homework and choose a protector spray carefully as different leathers, fabrics or skins require different approaches. For instance, the lambskin Chanel 2.55 requires a different type of protection compared with the suede Longchamp La Pliage. Also, try to avoid a heavy silicone based spray as this can cause long term damage and hinder future restoration efforts.
Store your bags with care, place them in their original dust bag with some packets of silica gel and stuff them with tissue paper to help maintain their shape. Avoid using newspaper as you don’t want ink smears all over the lining. Air your bag every couple of weeks to stop the growth of mould.
Keep your bag clean by removing any build-up of dirt, wipe down with a cleaner that is specific to the leather, fabric or skin in question. Louis Vuitton uses both Epi and Vachetta leather in their fabulous bags and as Epi leather is much more durable than the untreated Vachetta, appropriate products need to be used. Regular conditioning is a great idea, a bit like moisturiser for your leather, and it will help prevent cracking and flaking.
To try and minimise stains on the lining keep your make up in a bag and hopefully your bright red lipstick won’t redecorate the interior of your beloved Hermes Birkin. Another tip is to let water spills dry naturally, so keep away from the hairdryer as you run the risk of causing further damage that is beyond restoration. Never overload your bag and therefore over stress the handles or straps and prevent colour transfer by resisting the urge to rest your bag on your jeans.
Should you need some help maintaining the leather on your Givenchy Antigone or the unthinkable has happened and your beloved everyday suede bag is a victim of the British weather. First reach for the kitchen paper and blot up as much rain as you can and then reach for your phone! Head straight to Vogue Magazine’s go-to handbag and shoe restoration service The Restory. You are putting yourself, as well as your shoes/handbags, in the hands of a team of skilled craftspeople who have decades of experience and artistic talent. An utterly charming consultant will meet with you at your convenience to discuss your needs and then the item requiring attention is whisked away to their Atelier where dedicated artisans will get to work.
The Restory offers a huge range of services to revive, restore or even reimagine your favourites. Conditioning, cleaning and colour touch ups, replacement of missing or damaged hardware or stained linings and the reinforcement of stretched straps are just some of the magic they can work on precious bags. In addition to this, if you feel your favourite bag is simply not in fashion any more, the colour has faded or jars with your latest outfit, then The Restory can advise, consult and collaborate on changing the look, colour or tone. They can then be refashioned in keeping with the latest trends, updated to fit with your latest style or repurposed to keep them fresh for you to appreciate anew.
With their ethos of revive, repair and reimagine, The Restory are leading the way when it comes to sustainable, circular fashion. Their underlying philosophy is to care for and maintain quality purchases, preserving their value, associated memories and heritage. Your superbly designed luxury items should exist for more than just a few seasons or even just a few outings. The Restory’s skills and experience ensure that investment pieces and beloved items are kept fit for purpose, improved and enhanced according to your needs.
Once your bag has been restored, revived or reimagined, the item is beautifully packaged up with tissue, dust bags and returned to you, within 72 hours, at a time and place of your choosing. Getting your treasured bag back, now immaculately renewed, is a fabulous feeling and reminds you just why you fell in love with it in the first place.
The Restory is the brainchild of Vanessa Jacobs who started the service after a simple repair on her favourite boots went wrong. The Restory offers repair, restoration and refashioning of boots, shoes and handbags by highly skilled craftsmen, via the convenience of the internet but all the while maintaining a highly personal touch.