Damaged Dancing Shoes

Do you have a pair of shoes that are perfect for every occasion? When you find the ultimate pair that tick every box, giving them up is never an option. From a simple reheel to advanced restoration, the capabilities within shoe repair are never ending. Livia Firth’s silver Roger Vivier sandals accompanied her on her most special occasions. When they started to look a little tired, she knew our artisans would be able to bring them back to life…

These Roger Vivier sandals probably have the most incredible number of memories than any other pair of shoes I own.  Roger Vivier has been my “green carpet” supporter since the very beginning of The Green Carpet Challenge at the end of 2009.

These sandals go back to 2010, the very beginning of the awards season adventures; it was January Golden Globes and when you walk those long red carpets and go from one event to the other, you always need a pair of flats with you to change into, in order to survive. These sandals are uber glam and I always felt like Cinderella when I wore them. Partly because Cinderella I kind of was – taking parts in these extraordinary circumstances that I would have never dreamt of.

One of the first few times I wore them that year was during the Oscars midnight party at Madonna’s house. Yes you read that well.  Madonna. This is where all the nominees and the winners would be heading, year on year, to take a breath from the Oscars ceremony, the big gowns, the photographers, etc. Towards the end of the night (or beginning of the morning!), in a top secret villa in Beverly Hills, everyone hangs out together and dances. And I did dance – a lot. And with Madonna yes.  For three years in a row (2010, 2011, 2012) these shoes have seen multiple “Madonna’s moves”.  But this is not the end of it, as throughout the past 11 years (actually 10 if we discard last year’s lockdown and isolation) these shoes have walked with me in Cannes, New York, Paris, Milan and so on – wherever the occasion demanded for “a-very-elegant-pair-of-sandals-that-could-look-like-you-were-wearing-heels”. Can you imagine how many adventures? So you can also easily imagine how they looked for their 10 year anniversary…

Livia Firth

Are you in need of shoe repair? Book your collection online, drop in stores or get a preliminary quote for services.

The assessment

Livia’s sandals were in a very well loved state. With stained leather, worn satin and gems missing, all departments of our atelier worked together to revive these special shoes.

Livia Firth's Dancing shoes

We physically assessed these shoes and our atelier decided an approach to revive the appearance. We would need to source and replace the insole lining, restore the silver leather, source and replace lost gems, as well as special clean, reheel and add a protective sole.

The approach

Firstly we completed the standard shoe repairs of reheeling and adding a protective sole. After that, we began the process of replacing the insole lining. Once our sourcing specialists had found a silver satin to match the original, our shoe repair specialist could prepare the shoe. The constituent layers of the shoe were separated using a heat gun. We were left with the sole, insole, satin insole lining, ankle straps and heel cushioning all separated and ready to be individually worked on.

shoe repair - seperated layers of shoe
Constituent parts of Livia’s shoe

Using the original satin covering as a template, a new lining was cut from the sourced satin. Satin is very delicate, and can mark or fray at the slightest touch, so we worked cleanly and carefully to preserve the pristine fabric.

We adhered the new lining in place with a specialist glue that is strong but also flexible. With the new lining in place, we re-constructed Livia’s shoes by putting all components back together.

The newly sourced replacement studs were affixed in place to fill in the areas where studs had fallen off. Our restoration specialists used our signature technique to restore the silver leather panel on the insole and inside the ankle strap. We hand-mixed-and-matched colour, ensuring we get just the right amount of sparkle, and applied in light layers before sealing with finisher. Finally, we cleaned the stain straps to remove dirt and stains.

The Result

Restored and revived, Livia’s sandals are ready to dance another night away.

My local cobbler laughted when he saw them and so I was ready to basically give them their funeral, when I discovered The Restory.  Well now, to cut a very long story short, a have a new-looking pair of Roger Vivier sandals ready to dance for another 10 years and a new friend I will NEVER leave and to which I gave many more pair of shoes to restore for their second life. This is the ultimate recipe for sustainable fashion isn’t it?

Livia Firth

Want to learn more about our atelier’s capabilities? Read about caring for exotic skins in this Prada case study; restructuring this collapsed Saffiano bag; or reimagining this heirloom Chanel.

If your wardrobe is in need of shoe repair or you’re just looking for solutions to regular upkeep, book your collection online, drop in stores or get a preliminary quote for services.

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