Duchess of Luxury Manila

Have you ever heard of a bag spa? I guess this is my first. All I know is, whenever I need to have my favorite signature leather bags cleaned or repaired, I bring them to the nearest reliable repair bag shop. Otherwise, I clean my bags by myself, but often times I’m afraid that my cleaning leads to a disaster.

Recently, I was invited by a friend to attend the grand opening of Duchess of Luxury Manila – a bag spa and restoration shop. I got curious with the invite so and the venue of the event is so near to where we live, so I attended.

When I got there, I saw lots of designer bags displayed at their shelves, from Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton (LV) , Givenchy, YSL, Balenciaga, Gucci, Prada and many more. I said, Wow! This shop has something to do with the collectors.

I ask some staff at the event asking some whats and whys of the shop. They told me that majority of the  bags at the display area are pre loved bags and they are for sale for less some may be brand new! But all of these bags are genuine brands. The bag shop is not really intended to repair expensive branded bags, the do sell as well.

I also had a chance to chat with the owner of the shop, Ms Roe Quiambao-Dellera during the event and below is her story.

With almost 10 years of experience in the luxury bag business, Duchess of Luxury Manila knows first-hand the care and attention needed to maintain these luxury bags.

“Bags are a passion of mine. I started owning and collecting limited edition preloved and brand new premium branded bags even before I set up Duchess of Luxury Manila in 2008,” shares Ms. Roe.

In the late ‘90s, owning a Louis Vuitton or a Chanel became an obsession similar to collecting luxury watches, paintings or expensive cars. Ownership of these luxury designer bags was viewed as a badge of high quality and affluence. With no local outlets or store-owned boutiques then for premium bags, people can only buy these brands when traveling abroad.

She turned this passion for bags into a lucrative business. She started sourcing genuine branded bags directly from suppliers abroad, with a stringent set of requirements including that even the pre-loved or pre-owned bags should be delivered in their original boxes, dust bags and authenticity cards.

“In the past years, my regular clientele has grown and has rewarded me with their trust, because these are not just bags, they are investments. Much like jewelry, a lot of the customers I cater to maintain their bags in top condition to get a fair re-sale value, should they decide to part with their “babies.”

In her previous corporate job as Department Head of Marketing Communications and PR, I travel to our Head Office in Japan and Regional office in Singapore two to three (2-3) times a year.

Back then, she started out as a favor for my close friends who asked her to buy them Chanels or LVs in Japan. Japan was known for selling only authentic Excellent Used Condition designer bags. I would go to Komehiyo and Ginza area to scout for these finds. 

And the quality of these preloved bags are really very good. There was even a time the LV bag she bought even had the blue plastic film in its zippered hardware! Connoting that the bag’s condition is brand new but categorized as pre-owned by the Japanese

Seeing this demand, she confirmed that there was a market for these pre-loved items.

From just her circle of friends, her clientele grew with referrals from friends and acquaintances. To better manage the increasing demand, she decided to put up an online store on Facebook.

In 2015, she expanded what Duchess of Luxury Manila has to offer, in the form of top-notch services for the bags she sells to clients.

“My clients would often ask me if I can recommend anyone who can repair a scuffed handle or to remove ballpen marks on their Chanel or LVs.”

In her travels  to what are considered as bag capitals of the world such as Florence, Italy and Paris, France, she makes it a point expand her orientation and relevant supplier contacts to make sure that the level of services will be as premium as the bags themselves.

“It is really a practical jump from just selling to covering these services for customers. To ensure that a luxury bag can be handed down and enjoyed by the next generation, but, yet still maintain a good market value for reselling, if the need arises, thus expert maintenance is a must. That is why, our team of craftsmen or Artisans offer services that are at par with the best of what the global bag capitals have to offer.”

“The leather material is delicate and will be subjected to daily wear and tear, humidity and environmental pollutants. Over time, the quality of leather and the bag itself can deteriorate if not properly cared for.”

“This is not a welcome prospect for the owners who spend a big investment in acquiring these bags. Sending the bags to an ordinary local leather repair shop is not suitable as the ‘tanning’ of the leather is very unique to each brand,” she explains.

Her vision for DLM Showroom is not just to sell luxury designer bags but to be a venue for servicing these luxury leather items as well as having a community of bag lovers like her, where she can share what I have learned from handling these designer items, including sharing tips on the different kinds of leather— from Calfskin, Goatskin and Lambskin, distressed versus smooth— how to properly care for each type of material and even how to spot a non-authentic bag from the real one. A complete luxury bag experience.

“Owning a luxury designer bag nowadays has developed from just being a status symbol while enjoying the beauty of a finely-crafted leather bag. Based on my personal experience, these are also good investments if you know the right circle of people. Instead of just disposing an old bag when you get tired of it, or you fancy an “upgrade”, you might get back a sizeable amount of money if you resell it, as long as it is in excellent condition.”

Well southern guys! There you go! We already have a bag shop near our place!

The Duchess of Luxury Manila in Ayala Alabang is open from Mondays to Saturdays, from 10 AM to 7 PM at G/F CTP-Alpha Tower, Investment Drive, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

Contact Numbers: +63 998 544 8360 / +632 806 4829
Website: www.duchessofluxurymanila.com

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