Extending the Life of Chanel Ballerinas

Classic Chanel ballet shoes are a regular in our atelier. From broken bows to worn through soles and all the scuffs in between, we can help with ballet shoe repair and have your shoes on pointe again. As Vogue says, “buy now and wear Chanel ballerinas forever”. Get a preliminary quote or book a collection today.

In 1957 Chanel designed a brand new style of ballet shoe called the ‘two-tone’. The beige colour with a contrasting black toe cap design was meant to elongate the leg, shorten the foot and were so versatile they could be worn with anything. The soft lambskin upper and low heel line means you don’t have to go through the painful breaking in stage. Audrey Hepburn famously wore a pair in the film ‘Funny Face’ showing how women can look feminine and sexy without wearing heels which inspired many to lower their heel height, and they soon became a staple in everyone’s wardrobe. 

The Assessment

As standard at The Restory, all items undergo a physical assessment with the atelier team to determine what services are needed to fully restore the items. On both pairs of these ballerinas, the sole was soft and at risk of forming holes should there be any further wear, the soles were heavily worn down and the insoles needed a clean. For the burgundy pair, there was staining on the leather toe tips that needed to be concealed and the metallic gold was faded and looking tired on the textured toe area and around the sides of the shoes.

The Approach

To start with, the ballet flats went to our shoe department in order to replace the soles and heels. The shoes then needed a simple clean to remove all the dust and the superficial dirt before it was passed onto the restoration department. We give special attention to Chanel ballet shoes and provide a deep clean to the grosgrain binding that covers the edge of the shoes. Little details like this make a big difference in the final outcome.

Once the shoes have been cleaned, the next step is to prepare the leather to be worked on. Two different types of solvents are applied onto the lamb-leather uppers. This process removes the deep dirt and also opens the leather for the paints adhere to it. 

We put masking tape on the side of the soles to prevent paint getting onto them. The first stage in the restoration process begins with filling scuffs with synthetic fillers. These are generally located are the tips of the toes, the heel and the sides. A couple of layers of fillers were applied and then smoothed down to meet the surface of the leather.

Hand mixed paint for ballet shoe repair
Paint is carefully hand mixed to match the colour of the shoe

The perfect colour is hand mixed and matched specifically for each pair of shoes we work on. Paint is carefully applied to the leather with a soft brush to conceal the stains and revive colour whilst also retaining the soft lambskin texture.

Painting ballet shoe repair
Applying paint to ballet shoes

The Results

For the finishing touches, a protective finisher is applied to the leather on both shoes to match the original shine of the shoes. Lastly, the protective tapes are removed and the shoes are left to dry and cure before being returned home.

From biker boots to ballerinas, we have the answer to ensure your favourite shoes are restored and worn year after year. To find out how you can look after your shoes at home, read our guide. To learn about handbag care, read our guide.

For your own ballet shoe repair, complete our preliminary quote form to find out what services we recommend for you. To send your item in, book a collection today.

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