The classic Chanel ballet flats are an absolute favourite among The Restory’s clients. Often worn until their very last breath, they are usually in desperate need of major TLC. Our atelier always has multiple pairs in house that require a new sole, cleaning up or a full restoration- so we decided it was high time to put the spotlight on a timeless classic we all adore.
But let’s have a little look at its amazing history first. It all started when Coco Chanel went on to design the now iconic- and very current- two-tone sling back pumps back in the 1950’s. Ever the innovator, Chanel was inspired by Massaro’s two-tone men’s shoes and partnered up with them to create a female version that would look flattering on women with bigger feet – just like herself. And gradually, the sling backs evolved into the Chanel ballet flats, swaying women to lower their heel length- making for a practical, comfortable and more importantly, a classy alternative. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Back to our Chanel ballet pumps at hand, this particular pair had soles that were worn through completely- leaving holes in some areas. It was evident they needed a full restoration and the first stage was to replace the old, damaged sole with a new one that matched the original. Note: a half sole and reheel is advised for clients who wish to keep the original branding as a full remake will remove the branding from the soles of the shoes.
As to be expected, beige and nude tones attract dirt very easily. In this case we were able to remove most of the surface dirt with the use of our special cleaning techniques. The most dramatic improvement from cleaning was to be seen in the binding around the upper of the shoe; previously badly stained but now restored to its original colour.
Chanel ballet flats are made using Lamb nappa leather, which is incredibly soft and therefore extremely comfortable to wear; explaining the immense popularity of this style. Unfortunately, the same characteristic also makes them more susceptible to damage. The scuffs on the shoes were most apparent on its sides and around the toe area. Our leather artisans were able to mend these by smoothing the leather, using fillers and painting over the top afterwards. To revive the leather, the entire shoe was repainted with a colour mixed by our expert colour matchers. The recolouring process took up to three layers and the final result was achieved by allowing sufficient time for the leather to dry in between coatings.
And voila! With a swing of The Restory magic wand – aka our atelier team- the Chanel ballet flats looked just like new. These classics are a wardrobe staple that will never go out of style and apart from your sneakers, they are quite possibly the most comfortable shoes out there. So even if they require a full restoration, it’s still a rather attractive and sustainable alternative to immediately splurging on a new pair at the Chanel boutique. Considering the fact our leather specialists are highly practiced in restoring your Chanel pumps to look brand new again, it’s more than worth the effort.