My Mother gave me a fantastic belt from the 80’s that has the most amazing hardware I’ve seen. It was adjustible and of solid quality. But it was black and the leather was a bit worn out.
And since I was on a metallic accessory kick (see post: Love Metallics For Style), I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t this be amazing if it was bronze snake?” As a stylist I am frequently re-imaging or re-designing things I see in the world (occupational hazard).
And I wondered: who could do this service? I knew I would have to source the new leather but this is New York, anything is possible and discoverable.
And then I remembered Modern Leather Goods (featured in my book Vetted by a Stylist for leather, luggage, and handbag repair) who repaired my leather strap on one of my favorite DVF handbags and did a great job. And when it broke again, they repaired it again in 5 minutes. So I trotted my little belt and pipe dream over to west 32nd street.
You would never find this gem hidden in Korea town unless you knew where to look because it’s on the 4th floor or a nondescript building. So I asked Tony, the owner, if it was possible and he said absolutely! He also suggested going to Leather Impact in the garment district for my leather.
They had some basic colors in stock but he knew I wanted something specific. He gave me a quote of $125 to replace the leather in the belt. The price seemed a bit high to me but I knew they would do a great job. I tried to source the job online and called around to an uptown leather repair spot but I didn’t’ get the feeling they would be cheaper or better. The online place didn’t even respond to my request after sending them photos of the belt and sending a follow up email.
Modern Leather Goods pride themselves on their niche business and have many fashion industry testimonials. Their atelier is in house and their turnaround time is pretty fast.
I took a trip to Leather Impact and I did find a wonderful bronze snake but I can’t say that the sales help was very helpful. She told me they didn’t have what I was asking for (not true) and kept pointing me to the area with the very large pieces of leather that would cost over $100!
Finally after poking around I saw what I wanted in the case upfront for a very fair and modest price. They sell just leather and have a great selection but be prepared to hunt for yourself.
So I took the belt and the leather into Tony and they did the job in a few days. I love the result and the belt is completely transformed.
Trying out resources as an average customer is the whole premise behind my second book Vetted by a Stylist which is a wealth of NYC style information. I want to make sure the experience as a customer will be excellent.
You can check it out here >>> Vetted By A Stylist.