CASE STUDY: Snakeskin Louboutin Pumps
If there is another type of shoe we see as often as Chanel ballet flats at our atelier, they are usually Christian Louboutin pumps. So when we got a request from a customer to turn back the clock on her beloved Louboutins, we pulled out all the stops to make them look just like new.
In this case, the delicate snakeskin leather of the pumps had turned yellow over time, which meant the shoes ended up looking dirty. Moreover, the leather from the heels was completely worn down and was also in need of replacing.
Firstly, we cleaned the shoes thoroughly with a specialised product for exotic leathers. By doing so we were able to analyse and make a distinction between what is dirt -which can be removed- and what is actual damage on the surface of the shoe. Unfortunately, even after the cleaning process, the yellow cast on the snakeskin still wouldn’t budge; this may happen to certain leathers over time, due to the dyeing and other outside factors. Our team had to think creatively to restore the shoes and their approach was to paint over the aged parts to refresh the look of the snakeskin. We started the restoration process by replacing the leather of the heels. As the exact match for the snakeskin was unavailable, we decided to use cream snakeskin leather to recover the heels and hand paint the scales to recreate the same look as the rest of the shoes.
We chose a lighter colour to match the original lighter tone of the snakeskin, the three tones of brown had to be hand mixed to match the different colours of the dark scales. After mixing the colours and reapplying all the darker shades on the heels, we hand painted each scale on both shoes with a thin paintbrush to achieve a fluid pattern and a perfect finish. We painted the scales individually to maintain the distinct characteristic and texture of each scale. Such intricate work requires time and patience and the process of painting the beige part of the shoe alone took 3 hours to complete.
The pictures below show the incredible difference between the before and after, where the left shoe has been restored to its original appearance. Once all the yellow scales were re-coloured, we used a high gloss finish to enhance the shine of the snakeskin. The result of applying this technique were completely transformative as the yellow condition they came in was now nowhere to be seen.
At The Restory, we always try to provide the customer with a viable solution to prolong the life of a product and preferably, to make it look like it hasn’t been restored at all. The way these Christian Louboutin heels turned out, we think it’s safe to say: mission accomplished! For more info about our exotic leather services, please contact email@example.com or book your collection today.