Savvy connoisseurs of coveted arm candy are discovering the lucrative world of handbag restoration through Handbag Clinic. A market that has taken the luxury goods industry by storm, vintage and discontinued bags have seen a sharp rise in desirability and value on the resale market as they become harder to source and as supply fails to meet demand.
With noteworthy differences in the craftsmanship and materials used in vintage bags, for example the 24-carat gold plating of the iconic Chanel clasp on older models and the use of rare leathers used on bags, the uniqueness of these styles has made them more sought after then ever before.
In a modern-day society where over excessiveness and fast-fashion are becoming less of a fad, both collectors and shoppers are now looking to the preloved market to do their part for the circular economy as part of a more sustainable way in consuming fashion.
Co-founder of Handbag Clinic Charlotte Staerck has quickly seen her business grow on a global scale over the past decade with outposts across the UK, Europe and Middle East along with a team of meticulously trained artisans specialising in the field of handbag restoration as well as numerous retail outlets selling preloved designer bags.
“As a business, we span both the restoration and the preowned resale market so we’re in a unique position to see the direct monetary value that restoration and modernisation treatments add to the value of shoes or bags. We’ve had all manner of restoration challenges, from handbags being burnt in fires or chewed by dogs to reconstructing the inside of vintage trunks or restoring satin-white wedding shoes. Every case is unique, and our technicians undergo an extensive three-year incubation and training programme to ensure they’re equipped with the most advanced techniques.”
Perhaps one of the most appealing propositions of restoring a bag that would otherwise sit in the closet unloved and unworn is the monetary value that can be added. In an era of post-opulence, the pre-owned market is booming with conscious shoppers looking to buy bags and increase their longevity in the lifecycle making it the best time to part with unwanted bags and services such as Handbag Clinic’s concierge service make this very easy. The clinic can arrange for your collection of bags to be taken in, restored and then sold at the best possible price.
In some cases, rarer bags can even be restored to exceed their original retail value as demand of brands such as Hermes and Chanel reach record highs in wave of price increases and lower production rates.
With new bags becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, Handbag Clinic is also seeing a trend of people reviving their own bags for personal use giving them a new lease of life and in some cases avoiding being thrown out and destined for landfill.
The positive impact on the environment and substantial saving in cost on restoring a currently owned bag compared to buying one has made it a popular way for fashion lovers to enhance their wardrobes without breaking the bag. Using the best skills and techniques, Handbag Clinic is able to do just about anything to bring a bag (or even a pair of shoes) back to its former glory, from replacing zips and hardware to removing stains and even completely recolouring bags altogether all whilst maintaining its original aesthetic.
With costs of restoration varying depending on the work required and type of bag (Birkin bags are exclusively handled by the Clinic’s most senior artisan) the added value to a restored bag makes for a hefty return on investment. Notable examples of some the Clinic’s work include restoring a classic Chanel flap bag doubling its resell value and removing stains from an otherwise unsaleable Birkin bag valuing it at over £8,000.
Discover Handbag Clinic’s services here.