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PRACTICAL VIEW : Rx for Haggard Handbags

December 14, 1990|CINDY LaFAVRE YORKS

Does your once-fine silk purse now look more like a sow's ear? Don't fret. A luggage shop or shoe repair may, with a tap of a leather-worker's hammer and a few stitches, be able to restore your haggard handbag.

Seemingly impossible repairs can be made at reasonable prices. Average prices for repairs at two shops, Kovacs Luggage in Pasadena, and Sears Shoe Service in Los Angeles (no relation to the department store) include:

* Rips in the center of a bag, about $12.50 to $20.

* Bent or broken metal frames on structured bags, $35 and up

* Broken zippers, $2 to $20

* Unraveled stitches, $5

* General recondition, $15 to $35.

Consumers don't always have to pick up the tab. Some better bag manufacturers offer guarantees.

* Dooney & Bourke offers a one-year unconditional guarantee that covers manufacturer's defects, such as faulty zippers. The company will refurbish bags that are more than a year old for about half the current cost of the bag. If a bag is beyond repair, the company will replace it for half the current retail cost. Information, call (800) 243-5598.

* Coach bags include a lifetime guarantee that covers repairs.

* Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton will repair or replace a new bag if there is a manufacturer's defect. They will do other repair work on their own bags for a fee. Gucci requires a sales receipt.

* Neiman Marcus will send out bags purchased there to be repaired.

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