Incredible Vintage Grail and Rehab Help

ChanelChap

City Chic
Nov 7, 2010
431
3
I've found my dream bag. It's small, simple, discrete, and (hopefully) durable.

I've been eyeing portfolios for quite some time. I've always wanted a vintage Coach portfolio, but, up until last week, I thought that Coach made only one portfolio: the Bonnie Cashin design. Now, I guess that I liked this design, but it also bored me. It was too feminine, and it was missing my favorite Coach trademark, the turnlock.

I saw this on eBay, and I nearly died. I've never seen anything like it. When I first started bidding, it was at sixteen dollars. One thing I've always hated about the Bonnie Cashin portfolio is that the ones in good condition sell for around eighty dollars. That's too much for me to pay for a simple leather sleeve. Now for this, incredibly rare, Coach piece, I knew that it was an investment. I had to have it. I threw in a max bid of around sixty dollars.

Luckily, I ended up winning without getting into a bidding war. And I got it for thirty-one dollars!

Let me present my holy grail:



Here's an average sized hardcover novel for size comparison:



Finally, when I received the package I peeked inside for an awesome surprise.



IT'S MADE IN NEW YORK CITY! :yahoo:

After the fun part is over, I have to work on restoring this bad boy. The exterior leather is really, really worn. It almost feels like suede. There's almost no moisture in it. Is it safe to use Apple Conditioner?

I have already ordered a new turnlock from Coach, and I plan to replace the current one when it arrives. I'm also changing the hardware where the handle attaches with the d-rings found on the Willis bag.

The suede on the inside has quite some wear, too. What is the best way to go about cleaning it?

I also want to take it to a cobbler and have it dyed a darker, more unified brown.

I know that I have a lot of work cut out for me, but I'm so fortunate to have nabbed this beauty for such a low price. Thank god the auction didn't have it listed as "Made in New York." I feel as though other bidders may have gone the extra mile if they knew this little secret.
 

katev

"The Bag Whisperer!"
O.G.
Dec 18, 2009
15,496
10,885
Congratulations but I can't see the pics either and I am using a PC with IE as my browser. Can you post a link to the completed auction so we can see the auction photos?
 

katev

"The Bag Whisperer!"
O.G.
Dec 18, 2009
15,496
10,885
I think I've found your auction, is this it?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150732876681

It's a beauty and a great price, congrats! The first think you should do is call Coach customer service and ask them for a free replacement hangtag because it appears to be missing. They will ask the color of the bag (British Tan) and the color of the hardware (Brass, I think?)

I am sure that it will rehab nicely but lighter-colored bags are challenging. I don't have time to give my advice right now but I will try and post more fully later. And I am sure that many other rehabbers will also be happy to advise you!
 

ChanelChap

City Chic
Nov 7, 2010
431
3
Ah, zut! I can't figure out how to edit my OP. However, I am attaching the pictures to the bottom of this post.

With the recent menswear trend of large document holders (cough, clutches, cough) and portfolios, I hope this rehabs well. I'm just afraid of damage occurring to it if I take it out in its current condition. Especially with the recent shift in Chicago weather!

By the way, Katev, I know that you're from the Chicago suburbs, too. Do you know where one could purchase some Apple Conditioner around here?
 

Attachments

katev

"The Bag Whisperer!"
O.G.
Dec 18, 2009
15,496
10,885
Ah, zut! I can't figure out how to edit my OP. However, I am attaching the pictures to the bottom of this post.

With the recent menswear trend of large document holders (cough, clutches, cough) and portfolios, I hope this rehabs well. I'm just afraid of damage occurring to it if I take it out in its current condition. Especially with the recent shift in Chicago weather!

By the way, Katev, I know that you're from the Chicago suburbs, too. Do you know where one could purchase some Apple Conditioner around here?
Beautiful bag! It appears to have been made in the 1980s.

I forgot to say that when you call Coach JAX and ask for a free hangtag don't mention ebay - they hate ebay! Just say that someone gave it to you.

I get Apple Conditoner (and also Apple Rain Garde) at the Burlington Coat Factory. I go to the one in Lombard on Roosevelt Road. They don't always have it in stock and it's no use asking the staff for help or calling ahead. You have to go there and search for it. Sometimes I find it by the leather coats and sometimes I find it in the shoe department. And sometimes I don't find it anywhere! You can also order it online.

I actually prefer a conditioner called Leather CPR. It smells nicer than Apple and it is a little cheaper and easier to find, and I think it does a little better job in hiding scratches and giving the leather shine. But they are both good products and many TPFers swear by Apple.

I get Leather CPR at Tuesday Morning stores but I am told that it has also been found at Walmart and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

If there is a horse riding equestrian (tack) store near you, they usually have a wide supply of leather care products, and shoe repair shops may also have what you are looking for.

I prefer to give my vintage bags a bath first in warm water and mild Ivory dish soap. Rinse well and then stuff with towels or rags to shape the bag while it dries while lying on another towel. After about a day you should remove the towels and let it continue to dry.

When it is almost dry but still damp, you can do the first conditioner application.

You are also going to need metal polish. I use Wenol that I buy online but Brasso does a nice job.

The vintage leather bags are very tough and resilient. I usually carry my black stewardess bag when the weather gets ugly. Apple Rain Garde helps protect bags from the weather.

Good luck!
 

katev

"The Bag Whisperer!"
O.G.
Dec 18, 2009
15,496
10,885
I forgot to say that if I decide not to give the bag a bath, I vacuum it out and then wipe it down inside and out with Lysol (non-bleach) cleaning wipes to make sure it is clean.