- The Insider Show “Refurbished” gives you a taste of what it takes to restore designer items.
- These range from Sharpie-stained Chanel bags to dog-bitten Louboutin shoes.
- In this video, we shine a light on 10 of these restoration experts and how they bring things back to life.
Here is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Restoring an item to its original state is a tedious and delicate process. Add a high price and the stakes are even higher. Watch 10 restoration experts transform designer items like Sharpie-stained Chanel bags, dog-bitten Louboutin shoes and worn Louis Vuitton wallets into new. Each craftsman has his own way of restoring these luxury products.
Gerry Gallagher has been repairing luxury handbags for over 30 years. This $ 3,000 Chanel GST was accidentally burnt by a candle. Gerry replaces the damaged leather in the back pocket of the bag with caviar leather. This is the same type of leather it was originally made with. After the burnt section is replaced, Gerry sews the bag back on … making sure the sewing needle falls into the original seam holes.
Rio is the owner of Kim’s Shoe and Bag Repair. He restores a pair of Chanel ballerinas. He starts by removing the heel plates with a door opener. Then he makes new rubber soles and glues them. The suede of the shoes has faded, so it is being dyed.
Handbag Clinic restores designer handbags and shoes. This white Chanel GST was designed with Sharpie. Handbag Clinic craftswoman Chloe begins by using a special ink remover to contain the spread of the ink. She then matches the paint color to the original color of the bag. Color matching is important to blend the restored parts with the original. Chloé applies it lightly with an airbrush, ensuring that the texture of the leather is maintained.
Rago Brothers Shoe & Leather Repair restores shoes and leather goods. These $ 1,000 Louboutins were badly chewed by a dog. The team removes and rebuilds the entire upper part of the shoe. They heat the new patent leather to make it more malleable and stretch it over the upper part of the shoe. Then they reattach the platform.
Heath Potter is a professional shoemaker and co-founder of Potter & Sons. The owner of these Ferragamo moccasins wore the soles throughout. Heath replaces the outsole with German pit tanned leather. It is durable and waterproof. To complete the process, he sews the shoes together and puts them on a press.
Vincent Rao Jr. is the owner of Vince’s Village Cobbler. The famous red painted stockings of these Louboutins are worn. Vincent sticks a rubber sole protector to add the red color. It will last much longer than the original red paint.
Daniel James of Handbag Clinic restores a Louis Vuitton vanity case. The interior lining has deteriorated after years of use. He makes patterns from old parts and replaces them with pigskin. The metal corners of the case are worn. Daniel uses a special electrically conductive pen to replate the metal.
Gerry Gallagher restores a classic Chanel flap bag. He was badly burned by an incandescent light bulb. It only cuts damaged leather in order to preserve most of the original bag. He creates a new piece in caviar leather. He shaves the leather until it is as thin as paper. When he places the piece on the bag, the transition from the original leather to the new leather is seamless.
Bag Remake Studio in Shonan, Japan, repairs designer bags and accessories. The leather of this Louis Vuitton wallet has faded from heavy use. The artist’s color matches the portfolio and slowly paints the discolored areas. The leather around the edges is flaking off as it is in the most frequently affected areas. It is sealed using an edge layer. This will help protect the corners from peeling and further damage.
Rio is restoring a pair of Gucci sneakers to $ 680. The metallic green panel on the back of the shoes is peeling off. Rio uses leather glue and an awl to glue the peeled areas back together. He also uses a small paintbrush to fill in the discolored areas on the panel. To finish the job, he goes over the sneakers with white paint to touch up any scuffed areas.