One of my more frequently used bags is my black Balenciaga “City” moto bag. I’ve had it for a few years now and it’s still one of the most practical bag styles around in my opinion – light, can be hand held or shoulder carried, has enough pockets and is decently roomy. And horrific as this may sound, at $1500 it is a relatively “decent” price for a high end designer handbag that will fit a variety of occasions.That being said, the bags have their drawbacks – a big one being color fading – which is why I’ve stayed away from buying any more Balenciagas, a bummer because they always come out with lovely colors. I got my City in 2009 directly from Balenciaga NY, and have used it pretty regularly since. The bag started out looking a deep true black like below:
And a few years later, ended up looking like this:
Such a sad, faded bag. For a while I was okay with the fading because it gave it kind of a cool “worn” look, but over the years the bag has gotten patchier and patchier, with some parts green, others gray, and others still black. I put my Nikon lens cap on the bag so you can see just how far off the color ended up from black.
I’d heard Balenciaga itself was pretty unhelpful in these sorts of situations (“So what?” being a good approximation of their mantra I’m told) so I didn’t even bother taking my bag into them. Instead I went straight to my cobbler where he clucked disapprovingly over it. He recommended a Tarrago black shoe cream to touch it up, which cost me about $5.
I brought it home and got started – all done while watching reruns of Friday Night Lights.
I was a D/F level art student so am pretty messy – I ran the sponge tip back and forth on the bag, trying to make sure I covered every bit of the leather, while giving each area about ~10 minutes to dry (the bottle says you need only 5). After I was done, I let the entire bag dry overnight on a few plastic bags on the ground.
The next day:
Hooray! Back to black – and the bag is now a much, much closer shade to my Nikon cap. I took this bag out immediately to test it out, and got no black paint on my clothes – it had completely dried. It even started raining later on, with water all over the bag – and still no smearing on clothing. Proceed with caution though!
Another before and after, with close ups:
Such an improvement on the bag, and it was only $5. However it does make me peeved that I had to do this on a luxury bag to begin with, especially since for me the whole point of paying top dollar for “luxury” brands are that they are supposed to last longer. However, at least there was a good and cheap solution at hand. I hope this helps some of you who have been thinking about touching up your own items. If you have any accessories that aren’t getting used because of wear and tear, I highly suggest a visit to your local cobbler – you may just be surprised by all the do-it-yourself solutions available!
What do you think about the fading that happened on my bag? Would you expect this from a luxury brand?