If you don't know me, I will tell you, I have a few vices. One of which is my insane love of Louis Vuitton purses (authentic only!) I am not Kimora Lee Simmons and don't yet have the bank to get every new model that comes out. That's okay because I only really want the Classic Brown Monogram and the Damier Azure.
One way I have found to expand my Louis Vuitton collection is to invest in vintage, classic pieces. I purchase from sites such as Malleries, and very carefully from Ebay.
Word to the wise, there are lots of fakes on Ebay so if you don't know what you are doing, buyer beware, in other words, I wouldn't do it. I also have the bags authenticated on The Purse Forum, or Carol Diva who use pictures to authenticate. You can also take your bag to a Louis Vuitton store, which I do. I also like to tell sellers that I am going to take my bag and have it authenticated at a Louis Vuitton Boutique. With this warning, many sellers have cancelled my bids. That's fine too, I don't want their fake crap.
With that said, there are still some great deals to be had. I recently purchased a Louis Vuitton Saint Cloud GM( the big one.) It is vintage, no longer in production and I love it. It was a little rough when I purchased it but I knew I could revive it.
Don't buy a hopeless piece that is broken and the leather is dead and cracked. Sometimes Louis Vuitton can fix it but there are a lot of variables involved: Is the canvas cracked? If so, they won't touch it. Has it been repaired by someone other than LV? If so, they won't touch it. Do they have the pieces needed anymore? If not, no go.
Here is what you need to bring one of these beauties back to life:
- GOO GONE Xtreme
- Wool Daubers
- Paper Towels
- Apple Care Leather Conditioner
- Fiebings Edge Kote
- Fiebings Acrylic Resolene
The pockets of many of these vintage bags have sticky peeling pocket linings. Underneath these pockets are nice suede-like interior but removing the sticky mess is just that a mess. GOO GONE is great for this, it takes it off pretty fast. It smells like nail polish remover and you will need to air out your bag after you clean it, but it will be worth it.
Apply GOO GONE to the sticky mess with a wool dauber and scrub until the sticky stuff comes off. Use paper towels to dry it off and judge weather the sticky stuff is gone. Please use gloves. This stuff sticks to everything and is hard to get off. Also be careful with the GOO GONE, It will strip paint. ( I took color off of my dining table by mistake)
My bag had good leather that was a little dry. I used Apple Care leather conditioner. I conditioned it twice and now the leather is nice, soft and supple.
After the conditioner is dry, apply Acrylic Resolene, this will give a great shine and waterproof protection to the delicate Louis Vuitton Leather.
The edges of the bag were also a bit raggedy. I cut off any stray strings and then resealed the edges with Edge Kote by Fieblings.
Armorall is great for cleaning and shining up the canvas monogram but don't get it on the leather. Before Pictures: