I love bags. Nearly as much as makeup.
Carrying the right bag is the equivalent of wearing the right lipstick. It can make a look.
Of course, it's always a much bigger investment when you're talking about a Chanel or Dior or Saint Laurent bag versus a Chanel, Dior, or YSL lipstick. And the more you use a bag, the quicker it gets stained, scuffed, and discolored. Often pretty quickly, if you spend on exotic leather, suede, calf skin or fragile lambskin.
I used to think this was part and parcel of owning a bag. Once it got damaged, it got damaged, and you just had to enjoy it while you could.
And then a few months back a friend told me about Dr. Bags
This place is like an aesthetics clinic for your designer bags.
- Protect new bags - You can opt to apply an invisible waterproof silicone HP coating on new bags to prevent damage and stains from water and minor abrasions for up to 8 months.
- Maintain and Restore used bags - You can deep-clean and restore bags to remove minor stains and fill in minor scratches and scuff marks.
- Overhaul and recolor older bags - If your bag is old and completely discolored, you can get them touched up so they look newer - or get them recolored to a completely different shade!
I decided to try out the various Dr Bags services with 2 bags that were perfect "candidates".
- The first was a lambskin Chloé Bronte bag in a soft blush-taupe shade which was so delicate that I had 2 scuffs on it before I even carried it out for the first time. And it was not waterproof so any droplet of water would absorb into the leather and stain it.
- The second was old magenta Balenciaga Velo that was stained and discolored to the point where I would never carry it out in polite company.
Chloé Bronte: HP Coating and Cleaning
If there is one thing I recommend you do for your designer bags, it would be HP coating. It is invisible but repels water and bacteria for months. Don't wait until your bag gets stained and damaged. (Just like skincare, prevention is better than cure.) Repeat wetting and drying and even humidity and rain can cause your leather to dry out and crack very quickly.
I actually splashed water on my Bronte bag to see if it was really waterproof. (I won't lie - my heart almost stopped when I did that because previously, the leather would absorb the water and I had to wait hours for the water stain to fade, and not cause any permanent damage by touching or rubbing it while wet.)
But I waited - and waited.
And the water didn't go in. Amazed. Now I can bring it out without worrying about rain and moisture. HP coating also prevents colored liquids from staining your bag. You can easily wipe off accidental spills and splashes (coffee, sauces, makeup) easily when you have your HP coating on. Just make sure to refresh your coating every 6-8 months if it's a bag you carry very often.
There was also a dark scuff mark from when I'd put the bag down on something, and I'd never been able to remove that mark.
After the cleaning and restoration treatment, it looks pristine.
Basic coatings cost around $150 per bag and can take maybe around a week.
You can also bring in your precious Louboutins and Jimmy Choos (all shoes, boots, and other leather goods) for HP coating so they stay pristine much longer.
Balenciaga Velo: ColourPro Colouring
For my poor beat-up Balenciaga which was stained and discolored from a bright magenta to a grey-prune tone, I decided to try out the ColourPro coloring treatment. This is perfect if you have a bag that's so old that it's no longer the color it used to be, or a stain that can't be removed completely with regular cleaning or restoration.
Dr. Bags offers a huge variety of colors, although the general advice for best results is that you can only go deeper, not lighter. That said, I've seen many people do a complete "white-out" and recolor their bags from another color, so discuss it with the team and see what the recommendations are.