Confessions about My Obession.

A Peek into the world of ultra expensive designer handbags.

For as long as I can recall, I have been completely obsessed with designer handbags.  I spent the majority of my youth dreaming of the day when I could afford to buy my favorite designer bags.  Here I am, some ten years later, still looking forward to that day.  While I have been known to skip out on my bills to buy the latest trendy handbag, I have yet to spend more than $1000.00 on an individual bag.  A girl can still dream, can’t she?

I was leafing through some catalogs over the weekend, and I was amazed at how incredibly expensive some of the high-end designer handbags really are.  I knew they were expensive, but I had no clue how very expensive.  Oh the innocence of youth!  I decided that it would be useful for our legion of faithful readers to have a handy reference of the most expensive designer handbags on the planet.  So here it goes.

My Favorites

It has been written about countless times in the press and in the blogosphere, but I simply cannot resist this little gem!  If I had to name an all-time favorite design house, Fendi would be the one.  I don’t know how they manage to do it, but they are consistently able to strike an incredible balance between innovation and classic design in all of their creations.  Fendi designs some of the most exciting handbags in the fashion industry, and the “B.Bag” is one of the most sought-after handbags in the world.  One might think that the $30,000 price tag might be a deterrent, but not for those with the means to support their addiction!

Fendi handbag store.

Another bag that has given me far too many sleepless nights is the Hermes “Birkin” bag!  These bags were named after Jane Birkin, the oh-so-fabulous British actress and fashion icon.  These bags are often duplicated, but never truly replicated.  With a price tag of over $20,000, it is easy to understand why they are a favorite of vendors of cheap, imitation handbags.  As you are likely aware, these bags are available by special order only.  Furthermore, the final costs will very much be dependent on the materials and hardware used in their construction.  Wow!  Do I need a Sugar Daddy, or what?

Hermes designer handbag

If there was one other bag that creeps into my dreams with any regularity, it would be the “Muse” from Yves Saint Laurent.  It is very much like a traditional bowling bag in shape and design.  The first time I saw her was at Saks on Fifth Ave in NYC, and from that moment I knew one day she would be mine.  If I had my way, I would choose the oh-so-supple white crocodile version.  I cannot think of anything I would rather spend $20,000 on but a  “Birkin” bag mentioned above.  Wouldn’t I make the perfect girlfriend?  Shop with me sometime?

Important Information About Repairs

Here though is the important info.  You may find a slightly used bag of one of the brands I mentioned above that may have some defect. Broken zipper, ripped material like leather or the inside liner, broken straps just about anything, even cosmetic spills on the liner or outside.  Where can you go to get all those things fixed? I am a good shopper too, I found this place online but they have been around for over 20 years.

When you pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a handbag you want to feel comfortable about the business you give it to for repairs.  Dry cleaners are not the type of store that can deal with the care required to repair a designer bag.  Nor is the local or national retailer.  National retailers usually just outsource the work to leather experts around the country.   I say around the country because there are not that many establishments that  repair designer bags.  They may repair shoes, leather coats and  maybe even saddles and saddle bags but clearly a saddle bag is a far cry from a Fendi, or even a Coach. 

Knowledge & Craft

Custom designer handbags require custom work for repairs.  The talent to repair a leather bag requires almost a lifetime of knowledge to know how to repair the smallest part of a designer handbag and to understand how the cut and grain work to support the repair.  This is old world knowledge and worth understanding if you own expensive handbags.

The exterior of a handbag takes real abuse.  You might be a constant traveler or just head downtown for work, that handbag is not only going to get dirty, it’s going to get stained, sometimes sticky and look tired.  Cleaning  the interior  of a bag that has had cosmetics spilled, rubbed or smeared into it is a challenge.  Sometimes it is easier and smarter to just replace the lining with a better material that is either tougher or easier to clean.  Replacing the liner of a handbag can give the bag a whole new feel, almost like new. 

Knowing all these problems gave me time on the internet to find the one place that had the experience and talent.  I think I found them and I am going to recommend you talk to them when your designer handbag is in trouble.

designer handbag repair studio

Without A Trace Weavers in Chicago has some remarkable talent that can fix designer handbags so they look almost like new.  Most of the time when it’s a repaired zipper or just a replaced buckle, it defies the eye to find a difference from the original but then they can do some remarkable things with real damage.

 I talked with the owner, Michael Ehrlich and he explained,  “Usually damage is not the same on every handbag, it can be alike but when we start looking at the materials used how they are torn, how we can repair it so it is as invisible as possible.  Designer handbags are expensive so we only use the best material for liners, we use a fine grade of leather.  Our service is complete.  We are able to repair all hardware and associated parts, handles, and straps, even liners.  Handles and straps get special attention where we carefully create as close as possible to the original edge.  Just about anything on any brand can be fixed by our staff.   Recently we started replacing the cloth liners with leather liners and clients have been overjoyed with the results.  They hold up better and can be cleaned easier.

We do a great job because we have been working with leather for years so our staff are experts.  It takes that kind of experience to work with leather and get the right results on a expensive handbag.  We are not dry cleaners and so we offer a premium service. “

Obession with designer handbags

I loved interviewing Mr. Ehrlich and I must say I learned so much.  The testimonials on their website are evidence of the quality work they do on handbags and purses.  They also reweave fine clothing, clean, repair & recondition leather and furs and fur storage.  They even have a video testimonial from Penn Jillette the magician best known for his work with fellow magician Teller as Penn & Teller.  He is one of the best testimonials I have ever seen.  Without A Trace weavers provides a really unique set of services not easily found.  Be sure to check out their gallery.

Here is the contact info for Without A Trace.

Phone (800) 475-4922 

Monday-Friday: 7:00 – 4:00 CST



3344 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago IL 60659
(773) 588-4922

Monday-Friday: 7:00 – 4:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 2:00

100 E Walton St
Chicago IL 60611
(312) 787-9922

Monday-Friday: 9:30 – 5:30
Saturday: 9:00 – 3:00

You could say I’m an expert on where to go for this specialty.  What about it? 

Let’s shop!