Vintage Gucci Bag: Repair or Replace?

A few year ago I inherited this vintage Gucci carry-on luggage from a family friend.

This bag has seen better days.  There are a few ink spots in the lining which, unfortunately, have stained the outside (luckily its on the bottom where its least noticeable).  The leather trim is also starting to crack and wear, especially around the piping on the sides.  It could use some leather conditioner.

Overall its a very nice bag.  I would like to make it my sole overnight bag - but, the biggest problem is the broken zipper.  Without a functioning zipper, I don't feel comfortable taking it on a plane and I find myself choosing other bags that "work" instead of this one.  So, as a member of my household, it is currently taking up space.

Details of the carnage.  Clearly, the entire zipper would need to be replaced.

I called a luggage repair shop and they quoted me around $60 to replace the zipper.  I'm sure they would do a quality job, but that's a lot of money to invest in a bag that isn't in great condition to begin with.  I don't think my sewing machine can handle leather (although I've never tried).  I could replace the zipper and sew it by hand...but I have no idea how to finish the ends!  Once I sew it in there - how do I tuck the ends of the zipper in so they look nice and neat?

Is this task beyond my prowess?  Should I at least attempt it first and then decide whether or not to take it to a professional?  I want to repair items that can be repaired rather than throwing them away and replacing them with cheap alternatives, but I also want to be frugal to a degree.  Is this bag worth it ("it" being the effort or the money)?


  1. I don't think you should try to repair it yourself. If it's too expensive to fix in Hawaii, I think you should bring it to the mainland and get a quote here. That's if the bag has sentimental value for you. I think the bag looks decent, especially since the GG part looks like leather rather than fabric. The fabric Gucci bags are terrible because they fray so quickly!! I think it would be a cute vintage bag once you fix the zipper!

  2. Anonymous18.6.12

    I actually think you should give it a shot... the leather has already been perforated and you would just have to follow the stitch marks. If it doesn't work then go ahead and have it repaired. As for finishing off the zipper, just make some fabric tabs over the ends to finish it off nicely, the will be on the inside for the most part so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Also, try a bit of rubbing alcohol on the ink spots. It might take a few go-rounds but that *should* at least lighten the stains. And some leather conditioner should work wonders on that trim! Give it a shot, what is the worst that could happen?