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LA’s Best Fixers

Where to take broken shoes, bags, watches, and clothes in need of cleaning.

A tailor at work Photo: Commerce and Culture Agency/Getty Images

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As any well-dressed woman or man will tell you, the secret to looking put-together isn’t just in the garments you buy, but also in the way you take care of them. A beautiful dress is nothing if the fit is incorrect, and even the most perfectly-crafted pair of heels may be in need of a reinforced sole after a bit of wear and tear. So where do LA’s style insiders go when their most precious pieces need some fixing? From cobblers to jewelers to tailors, here’s our list of the best in the city.


Leather Repairers & Cobblers

LA Leather Repair: From minor garment repairs and handbag rejuvenations to completely overhauling a living room sofa or restoring the interior of a classic car, there isn’t a job too big or too small for the master craftsmen at this downtown LA spot. Services include basic cleaning and leather restoration — bringing torn, faded, and stained leather back to new in a matter of hours, with color matching using non-toxic dyes — as well as repair of holes, scratches, burns, and loose seams. Free estimates are offered via the website, and in-home services are available for larger items and antique or collectable pieces.

Arturo’s Shoe Fixx: Fashion insiders (including Monique Lhuillier) swear by the work of 89-year-old Argentinian cobbler Arturo Azinian, and with good reason. After beginning his career more than 60 years ago with Eletea Shoe Remodeling, working exclusively with major shoe and department stores, he opened his namesake Beverly Hills repair shop in 1988, where he works to this day alongside his wife, Calliopi, and three generations of the Azinian family. The shop is up for any job, whether it’s adding rubber soles to new Jimmy Choos, re-dyeing and modernizing a vintage pair, or repairing dog-eaten loafers. And he’s great with handbags and luggage, too. 9643 S Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills

Pasquale Shoe Repair: A favorite of celebrities like Madonna and Cindy Crawford, Pasquelle Fabrizio is widely respected as one of the best cobblers in the business. Although he can do just about anything, he seems to have a special affinity for the color red — not only was he chosen by the Smithsonian to touch up one of the original pairs of Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, but Fabrizio is also the recommended partner for repairing and refurbishing Christian Louboutins. (He even worked his magic on the pair of red-soled black knee-high boots worn by Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.) 5616 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles

Willie’s Shoe Service: Founded in 1956 by the late Williebaldo Rivera — a shoemaker who created made-to-order footwear for film studios and legendary Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen, and John Wayne — the modern iteration is now presided over by Rivera’s student, Raul Ojeda, and Sal Castillo. Located in a new spot on La Brea, the old-school shop features custom cabinetry, vintage footwear, and classic machinery, like a last-turning lathe from the 1890s. The space also includes a showroom for the duo’s own line of stylish, high-quality custom shoes, Don Ville. 1174 S La Brea Ave., Los Angeles


Tailoring

Laura of Beverly Hills: For high-end tailoring and alterations of truly special pieces such as couture gowns and wedding dresses, look no further than this talented Russian seamstress, who has operated out of the same discreet atelier in the heart of Beverly Hills since 1989. The prices aren’t cheap, but they are a reflection of skill, as Laura will work tirelessly to repair and rebuild pieces until they fit her clients like a glove. 8320 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills

Elias Custom Tailoring: A favorite of Westsiders, this Santa Monica tailor shop is filled with signed headshots of celebrity customers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The talented tailors work quickly on everything from suits and cocktail dresses to leather jackets and more elaborate pieces, and are often recommended by other local tailors if a project is outside their area of expertise. Note that credit cards are not accepted, so be prepared with cash or a check on hand. 1212 11th St., Santa Monica

Gustavo’s Tailoring: The son of a tailor from Mexico City, Gustavo Segovia works out of a tiny shop located on the second floor of a strip mall. But don’t be fooled by the humble surroundings. Segovia brings precision and his expert eye to everything he touches, whether it’s a basic jean hem or repairing a hole in a cherished cashmere sweater. He also specializes in French weaving (taking threads from the garment itself to repair tears or snags). 1569 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles


Dry Cleaning, Laundry, & Specialty Repair Services

Pico Cleaners: Have a last-minute emergency and need a rush same-day cleaner? This is your spot. Located in a sprawling two-story space on Pico Boulevard, this stalwart has been serving customers for more than 37 years. In addition to general dry cleaning, services include fluff-and-fold, alterations, wedding dress preservation, and even the cleaning of drapery, carpets, and upholstery. It also specializes in bulk business cleaning and offers free pick-up and delivery. 9150 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles

Fazio Dry Cleaners: A favorite of the tony Brentwood set, this family-operated business was founded in 1947, but has evolved with the times. Going beyond basic dry cleaning, each piece is hand-inspected by highly-trained garment specialists, and same-day services, spot cleaning, and even mold, smoke, and water damage repair is available on request. There’s also laundry, alterations, and tailoring, as well as highly-skilled shoe and handbag repairers on-site. Multiple locations

Beverly Crest Cleaners: Established in 1927, this pleasant Westside spot specializes in fine dry cleaning of couture and designer pieces, but will devote the same personalized attention to basic clothing, too. They use wet cleaning methods when needed for difficult spots and stains, and offer laundry, alterations, leather and suede cleaning, hand-finished shirt pressing, and bedding and linen freshening, too. 10301 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

David Appel Furs: Sure, there may not be too many opportunities to break out the fur in always-sunny LA, but those in need tend to head to David Appel. A third-generation furrier who trained in Europe before opening his Beverly Hills shop more than 25 years ago, Appel is known for his impeccable workmanship, whether it’s basic repair, modernizing vintage pieces, or even reworking old mink coats into fashionable blankets or throws. Appel also creates his own designs, sold exclusively at the salon, and offers storage and cleaning, so that customers can keep their coats in tip-top shape until they’re needed. 353 S Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills

Laverie: For quick and easy full-service fluff-and-fold laundry, try Laverie, which picks up and delivers throughout LA, from Los Feliz to West Hollywood to Beverly Hills. Same-day turnarounds are available, and the laundromat also offers hand-washing, ironing, and pressing, and will sort according to color or needs. Multiple locations


Jewelry & Watch Repair

Sam’s Jewelry & Watch Repair: Located in the heart of downtown’s jewelry district, this workshop is run by Sam Boktor, a second-generation jeweler who trained at his father’s store in Egypt. The talented craftsman is known for his exceptional work on specialty items like engagement rings and fine jewelry, and is not afraid to tackle difficult projects or complete overhauls of old pieces. Boktor also creates custom jewelry and sells sleek, simple designs of his own. 406 W 6th St., Los Angeles

Regency Jewelry Co.: Robert Goldman — whose father began the business in 1948 — oversees this classic Los Angeles repair and design shop, which specializes in vintage and antique jewelry restoration and was a favorite of the ultimate connoisseur, Elizabeth Taylor. In addition to repairs, the shop offers an impressive collection of archival pieces for sale. They also handle contemporary designs and watches, including antique grandfather clocks. 8129 W 3rd St., Los Angeles

Elsie’s Watch and Jewelry Repair: The helpful staff at this eclectic Los Feliz spot will work on anything from costume jewelry to ring resizing to watch repair and battery replacement. Prices are on the cheaper side with a quick turnaround. And as a bonus, the shop is a veritable treasure trove, overflowing with vintage china, jewelry boxes, and other quirky décor items, as well as rotating artist exhibitions. 5177 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz