“Not bad, huh?” says Tony Pecorella, owner, president, and, right now, the guy behind the counter at Modern Leather Goods, as he hands over a supple black leather bag from Smythson of Bond Street (“Over 125 Years of British Luxury”). The beautiful bag was missing a chrome rivet that kept in place one of its leather handles, which explains why you own it (you scored it from Barneys for $50 — about $1,000 off the original price). Now it looks every bit the sticker price. The new rivet is only missing a minuscule “Smythson” logo, a defect you have to squint hard to see. The service at this midtown store can turn white elephants — a luxury bag, or, more likely, suitcases with loose wheels or worn-down purses — into products that feel new again with a relatively quick turnaround time; sometimes repairs are executed while you wait. The yellow walls of the shop’s tiny lobby, on the fourth floor of a nondescript building near the corner of Fifth Avenue and 32nd Street, are adorned with photos of famous New York customers (Sarah Jessica Parker! Sam Waterston!), which, if nothing else, provides eye candy while you’re waiting your turn in line. And, like so much else in New York, that line moves quickly.
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