I recently sent a Chanel bag from my personal collection to Gerry at Leather Surgeon for spa and re-plating services. With 1980s and 1990s Chanel bags, there’s a wide range of quality out there and he has over 30 years of experience restoring and authenticating bags.
The condition of my bag before I sent it definitely wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen but also would not be a condition I would sell in my vintage shop. I’m incredibly particular about sourcing excellent to mint condition quality on all of the items I sell. As you can see from the before photos, the plating on the chain of my bag was rubbed off in some areas and also the leather had a lot of fading and scratches, especially around the corners and turn lock clasp.
Leather Surgeon offers two types of services, plating and spa. I opted for both even though I initially was thinking the biggest improvement would come from re-plating the chain. During the re-plating process, the leather is removed from the chain and then all hardware is removed, hand polished and then re-plated back to the original 24kt gold finish, which gives it that dreamy yellow gold color which is no longer used on Chanel bags starting in the 2000s. All of the original hardware is put back on the bag except the grommets on the inside which are replaced with new.
Next up, the spa! The bag is thoroughly cleaned inside and out and the leather is conditioned. Then pigment is applied to any areas that are fading. I feel like this made such a huge difference to the bag I couldn’t believe it! The leather from the chain is taken through the same process and if they feel it would be better to replace it, they do. They cannot remove every scratch, add puffiness to flattened quality or restore texture if the leather is worn through but thankfully, my bag wasn’t in a condition that it needed that type of care.
I was so pleased with the results that I wanted to share the before and after photos and recommend these services to anyone with a bag that needs some extra love. The cost was $395 for both services which I think is reasonable given the overall value of the bag! Communicating with them is easy, their shipping process is handled with insurance and care and the turnaround time is quick. You can inquire about the services here: firstname.lastname@example.org