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Here it is, at long last, my first red bag and a Balenciaga bag to boot:
The 2008 `Rubisse` First with classic hardware.
A red bag has been on my wishlist for . . . I couldn`t tell you how long. Because! It`s a color I love, it`s a color I love to make an accent against an outfit of black, and it`s a color that never goes in and out of being trendy. I do tend to stick to classics since color isn`t really something I dabbled in until about a year ago wardrobe-wise.
But this bag. It`s perfect. It`s the perfect size for me, as I`m just 5-foot in height, it`s in unbelievable condition considering its age, and I did a ton of research in order to dodge all the ebay scams.
1. Don`t be tricked by a steep price. This isn`t any way to determine an authentic purse.
2. Read up on The Purse Forum Balenciaga threads (http://forum.purseblog.com/balenciaga). Those women know their stuff better than any Saks or Neiman SA, and sometimes better than the information you can receive from the associates at the boutiques themselves!
3. Know what details to look for on a Bal bag that undoubtedly tell you whether it`s a genuine product. The rivets, bales, designer tag/label inside, and the rings on which the tassels some Bal bags host are very important.
4. Never hesitate to ask for additional pictures, as well as any questions you might have. Bal bags are everywhere and are plenty plentiful in the second-hand market, so don`t rush yourself. There will always be a good selection of Bal bags to choose from.
5. Look into consignment sites like FashionPhile, TheRealReal, Yoogi`s Closet, etc. for many additional Bal bag options. Ebay is certainly not the only place to look for pre-loved.
6. If you see a Bal bag with dirty, warmed handles or scratches or fading, look for leather care shops near you and inquire about whether they have experience cleaning oil and stains out of handbags. Some are even able to dye your bag by color-matching, or dying it a different color.
And if there is no one who offers this service, there are very well-regarded cleaning and conditioning products by Leather Honey that can make you your own miracle worker within your own home
Lastly, there is the option, and usually quite a pricey option, of shipping your bag off to Barbara in NY where she will restore your bag back to practically new in her shop Lovin` My Bags. LMB has been known to boast absolutely incredible results, but also some rare nightmarish accounts, as well. Leather treatment of Balenciaga bags varies more than you`d think and rare mishaps with cleaning and pH balancing can occur.
With my own red Bal, I did request specific pictures of the underside of the Lampo zipper, the front and back of the leather/metal tag on the inside zipper, the bale, and the rivet. If all these details are very sure go, you`re looking at an authentic bag.
It is a lot of reading, but these kinds of fashion pieces are truly investments in several ways. And in the end, entirely worth it. ^_^