Monday, July 31, 2017

Meet Alma/Dyeing A Louis Vuitton Alma

I think I told you that I had a few things on my wish list before my paychecks run out.
Today's deposit may be the last one.
I also had some birthday gift cards from eBay.
Fun, fun, fun.

I found the classic Louis Vuitton Alma MM for a bargain during some late night browsing. 
This is a handbag post. You are welcome to opt out, if handbags aren't your thing.

Alma came in on a jet plane from Japan. 
I think I've said this before. Japan has strict counterfeiting laws.
The sellers I use want to sell $15,000 Hermes, Birkins and $5,000 Chanels.
They aren't going to risk their selling reputations selling fakes. 
There are other parts of Asia that are known for fakes, however.
I steer very clear of sellers from other countries.
I've done all my own authentications but there are professional authenticators available if you aren't sure what to look for and you would like to buy designer items on eBay.


After checking it over for authenticity, all the brass was cleaned up with Bar Keeper's Friend.

This girl was dirty.

Bags with Vachetta leather on the bottoms typically have issues with stains.
People will accidentally set their bag down in water and unless the bag is pre-treated with leather protector, the water will stain it.
This bag is from the 90s and it looks like it has a big water stain on the bottom.

I wiped the whole thing down with a warm, damp wash rag.
I also wiped the inside of the bag out as well. 

The stains on this bag didn't come out but that doesn't matter because I'd always planned on dyeing it.
I let it dry. 
 Nail polish remover or acetone will deglazed the leather so that it can absorb the dye.
Dip a cotton ball into the nail polish remover and gently wipe down the bag.
Let it dry.
I used Fiebing's Leather Dye in USMC Black.
The larger parts were dyed using the cotton wand that comes with the dye. 
The smaller parts needed a finer hand so I used a paint brush with a very fine tip.
One coat covered up most of the staining.
Leather dyeing is messy so be careful with the product. 

Let it dry for about an hour after each coat.

After two coats of dye and a finish coat with Angelus Brand Acrylic Finisher in High Gloss, she was ready for her debut.
This bag is stunning.
The Macassar line, black leather trim with monogram canvas, started in the men's line but it's branched into the women's collection.
There have been several Limited Edition Almas that have a similar dye treatment.

The Alma is a Louis Vuitton Icon. 
It began as a piece of luggage with compartments for clean and dirty laundry. 
It was redesigned in 1934 and became the Squire.
It was made over again during the 1950s and was renamed the Champs Elysees.
It has been a ladylike staple ever since is was redesigned and renamed in 1992.

It is a lovely, structured bag. 
Usually I like my bags slouchy and a little relaxed. 
This one, however, is not.
A few years ago, bloggers and YouTubers began dying older, worn out Almas and other bags. 
I've been dying to dye one ever since.
Pun intended.

I have to say that this exceeded my expectations. This bag is stunning. 

The brass detail is gorgeous.
I added an after market leather strap so this bag can be worn over the shoulder.

The lock can connect the two zipper pulls so that the bag is impervious to the notorious French pickpockets.

I realized as I was straightening my purse closet, that I have unknowingly been collecting the classics.
This one is a gorgeous addition to my collection.
Thanks for letting me share. 


  1. Om Lord this is so pretty. Thank you so much for posting this bag. This is my first time on your blog. So glad I found you. Sandy

  2. I had no idea you could update a classic bag like this! Thanks for letting us know!
    Sandra @ Dinner at Eight

  3. I love your handbag makeovers! I have never considered buying a Louis Vuitton, but you have me thinking.... I didn't even know that adding a strap was an option. What a great transformation!

  4. Saw this on the Share Your Style Party. When i first read the title I was like say whaaaaaat? No way. Then when I read it it exhaled a bit. Looks gorgeous. Very nice job!

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  6. I RECENTLY bought an LV alma which is really "used". with this, i think, i can give my vintage alma a new look. thanks so much!

    p.s. i just have to find that leather dye brand here in the philippines. oh please!!! let it be available in ace hardware!!! :-)

    1. my alma and trouville were from japan too! secondhand finds :-) i get it from my friend who's been selling japan-bought designer bags, all of which are authentic. i even got my 2 prada bags from her. my speedy, was from paris though. my hubby bought it. sigh.... i hope im not ranting. i just love my bags :-)

  7. I LOVE Louis Vuitton bags and have invested in a few. I think I'll try to do this with an old bag I have
    Thanks for the info