January 6, 2015
By Jody Hume
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT HANDBAGSHOP HANDBAGS
Whether you’ve saved up or are buying on a whim, purchasing an investment bag is a big decision. You might plan on keeping it forever to use and enjoy, or maybe you hope to resell it in the future to make room for a style update. Either way, it pays to keep your handbag in excellent condition. Our Senior Director of Authentication, Graham Wetzbarger, is an expert when it comes to all things luxury handbags, including keeping them in top shape. “The better your handbag presents to a prospective buyer, the more interest there will be in it,” he says. Read on for his tips on how to care for your handbag to protect not only its longevity, but also its resale value.
1. Ask The Right Questions & Become A Brand Expert
When you purchase your handbag, ask a brand representative how to care for it. Recommendations may vary based on the bag’s construction and materials, but brand representatives will always be able to tell you how to care for your particular style. For example, sturdy leather will differ from delicate leather, some bags can be taken in the rain while others can’t, and some can be treated with protective products.
Be sure to inquire about restoration services as well, and ask if the brand does in-house restoration or whether they recommend someone. For example, says Wetzbarger, “Hermès won’t touch a bag if someone else has worked on it, so you should always take your bag to an Hermès store for restoration or repair.”
2. Store Your Handbag Properly
“If your bag comes stuffed with tissue, keep it,” says Wetzbarger. “This will help it keep its shape and prevent the leather from relaxing, creasing or losing its form.”
Store your handbag stuffed with tissue, laying down on its side in a dust bag, which will keep it safe from dust as well as potentially damaging light and water. Be especially careful to keep colorful patent leather bags separated in their own dust bags as their colors can transfer.
Wetzbarger also notes that you can ask for a box at the time of purchase so you can easily stack your bags in storage. Print out a picture or take a polaroid to place on the outside of the box for easy reference.
3. Take The Time For Regular Maintenance
Depending on the leather and brand’s recommendation, you might want to treat your handbag with leather conditioner or wipe it down with a damp cloth. “Corners and handles often wear first,” says Wetzbarger. To prevent wear to handles, you can use creams to protect them from the oils of your hands. But beware — you never want to use products like shoe polish that are not fit for luxury handbags. Keep the corners of your handbag in good shape by keeping your bag off of the floor — Wetzbarger suggests using a purse hook.
If hardware starts to lose its luster, use a polishing cloth to restore its shine. And don’t forget your bag’s interior. To keep it looking nice, regularly pull the lining out and brush it clean, or use a vacuum or lint roller.
4. Customize Your Bag
“Some people like to use bag shapers with a rigid bottom and sides with pockets,” says Wetzbarger. “They give structure and organization to handbags.” These are especially useful in unstructured bags like the Louis Vuitton Speedy, as they keep the bag from losing its shape, and can be easily switched from bag to bag making it easy to transfer your essentials.
Another personalized way to protect your handbag from wear is to wrap a small scarf around the handles. One popular way is to wrap a decorative Hermès Twilly scarf around the handles of an Hermès Birkin or Kelly. Below, Wetzbarger shows you how.