How a $1,000 pair of dog-bitten Louboutins are professionally restored
- Rago Brothers Shoe & Leather Repair is a cobbler shop that repairs
- Some of the challenging items it works with are shoes that have been bitten or chewed by pets.
- Co-owner Tom Rago shows us how a $1,000 pair of dog-chewed Louboutin heels is refurbished.
The following is a transcript of the
Narrator: My name is Tom Rago, and I am the co-owner of Rago Brothers Shoe & Leather Repair with my brother, Tony Rago. And today I am going to walk you through a dog-chewed Louboutin shoe. Approximate cost is $800 to $1,000. When they came in to us, the platform was halfway chewed off, the top of the shoe wasn't there, and the heels were all chewed, all had bite marks on it. And you would think that this was an unrepairable shoe. We are going to attempt to rebuild the platform of the shoe, the upper part, the black patent leather, and get the structure back to the shoe.
To start out the process, we are going to give this to our repairman, Ronnie, who is going to put this shoe together. We are using the heat gun to remove the platform very carefully, trying to loosen the glue between the shoe and the platform. We now are putting the platform down on the table and taking a piece of bonded leather and tracing out the platform so that we can make a mold for the other shoe. What that involved is flipping the platform over so it looked like a left shoe instead of the right shoe. So we did that. We took our measurements. Once we've got that pattern, we now are taking a hard piece of rubber and we are shaping that with a Dremel to match the other platform. The platform, when you get it from Louboutin, it's a molded plastic base. Molded plastic is not available to us, so we cut it out of a very rigid piece of rubber, and we had to sand it to make the exact curves that it needed to have to fit the upper part of the shoe.
When you start with the upper part of the shoe, you take a flat piece of patent leather and you take the inside material, which is a bonded leather -- that gives it the structure. That gives it the form. What we're doing now is we're heating up the leather on the platform so that we can stretch it, make it more malleable so that it has no creases in it. And then we pull it and attach it to the platform. So, now we have the top shape of the shoe. After we've gotten that, we begin to form it to the platform underneath. We have to mold that platform around the top of the shoe, and that requires us using a hand Dremel to get the shape of the platform to fit onto the upper part of the shoe. That's just trial and error. You may go through that several times.
So, now that we've repaired the upper part of the shoe, we're going to take the platform and attach the platform to the upper part of the shoe. Now we are going to give the shoe to our shoe repairman, Henry, so that he can attach the leather and rubber soles to the bottom of the shoe. Now what we're doing is we're attaching the red sole onto the bottom of the shoe. We are going to take this shoe, and we're going to edge it with black paint, so that from the side of the shoe all you see is the black. You won't see any red. This shoe was really a challenge for us, and we think it came out really great. We think that when the owner does get this shoe back, her mouth is gonna drop.
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