At Lovin My Bags, we get hundreds of inquiries regarding handbag restoration services for people's designer handbags that have diminished in their beauty over time. Due to the number of years that we have been involved in the leather industry and the leather designer handbag industry, we have been able to come to some general conclusions regarding handbags and what we believe customers should consider prior to making their big, exciting purchase.
In future blogs, I will go into a little "history of leather" lesson, but for today, I will keep it simple. I believe that the most important consideration that should be made FIRST is to ask yourself the following question: How do I plan on using my handbag?
What you are looking to answer is whether or not you plan on using this handbag as an every day bag, occasional bag or as a one-time special occasion bag.
What may be counterintuitive is to consider that even though a bag may cost over $1000, it does not necessarily mean that it was made to withstand every day use! It seems absurd to think that a bag costing $2000 could be damaged within seconds of exiting a designer's boutique, but we have seen this exact scenario play out! It is terrible to hear of such stories, but they are more common than you could ever imagine!
The best way I can explain this to you, while being sensitive to the fact that we all have favourite designers and designers to whom we are loyal customers to, is like this: the handbag business is a BUSINESS. If handbags were all made by designers with the advanced leather technologies that are indeed available, handbags would last you well into the 10-year-range. Easily into 10 years. While that sounds amazing to us, the customer, you have to think about it from a business perspective. If designers are only selling you, their dedicated customers, bags every 10 years, that does not result in a profitable business! So, how does a business make money? It makes money by creating a brand, creating a loyal customer base, creating a need, and thus creating a profit (there is obviously a lot more that goes into a 'real' business model, but this is not a business blog!). Basically, they want you buying bags, and buying them often. Return customers are much better from a business perspective, than a customer who has a handbag that can withstand the elements for 10+ years and only returns after that time.
So, this is where your RESEARCH comes into play! If you are loving the newest Celine line or Louis Vuitton handbag, we recommend researching the exact bag that you are considering. Do the reviewers complain about staining, fading, cracking, corner issues, and etcetera? Do the reviews tell a dramatic tale of a woman going out for lunch on a patio, only to come home with almost a completely different coloured bag? These are things to consider! "But, my favourite celebrity (insert name here) has this exact bag and gets photographed with it all the time!". Ok, but you do realize that often (MOST OFTEN) designers are giving their bags to celebrities as a means of creating a following and branding? You do realize that a celebrity can afford a $5000 semi-disposable designer bag weekly, right?
After your research is complete, and you have established your budget, you are a little bit closer to choosing a bag that will best suit your lifestyle and needs. If your handbag income is unlimited, you have many more options available to you. If your budget is conservative, we suggest that you do some reading of handbag reviews that reflect experiences that are more similar to your lifestyle and projected handbag usage.
I hope I didn't crush your designer handbag dreams, but I am trying to help you avoid what so many of our customers have gone through with their beloved handbags.
More to come on this topic! In the meantime, Happy Review Reviewing!