Here we are! The rituals and traditions of Spring are approaching fast and furious. The perennials are poking out in perfect order, the dormant brown grass is greening beautifully. Choirs of birds sing in unison to greet the daily sun. Our annual robin family along with other bird species have returned to their favorite locations in our neighborhood and yard, furiously gathering the appropriate nest stuffing to build their safe haven for arriving eggs. And tree buds patiently wait for the right moment of sunlight warmth to burst forward new leaves for the spring/summer cycle. The miracles of nature are wondrous especially for those who are mindful to pay attention.

The end of winter also marks the beginning of holidays and celebrations of several religions and cultures including the Christian holiday of Easter, the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Hindu celebration of Holi, the Persian New Year or Nowruz celebrated by millions of Middle Easterners and lastly, Songkran, a celebration marking the Thai New Year. Throughout time, clothing has played a significant role in honoring Spring’s annual rituals including super sharp new Easter outfits, bombastic bonnets worn in parades and colorful traditional costumes for family gatherings and public community festivals.

Growing up in a Christian household…Resurrection Sunday was a major deal, not just Easter service but the days leading up to that day. I saw a lovely quote that perfectly summarized the church women who influence my tastes in a classic wardrobe. Craig Marberry, a writer and author of the book Crowns stated “In his church, women only wore three types of hats…Large hats, larger hats and “why’d you have to sit in front of me?’hats.” A covered heads honored God.

It somewhat saddens me to see these traditions slowly becoming obsolete as younger American generations just aren’t into the pomp and circumstance. I would dare say many Europeans continue to be deeply rooted in the wardrobe practices.

Having the opportunity to see how designers’ creativity plays out for the Fall/Winter season, but what is just as intriguing is what visitors and influencers of Fashion Week are wearing currently for Spring/Summer 2022. There are some new (actually old turned new again) accessories trends including:
The continuation of large round and cat eyed sunglasses
High platform sandals 
White or colorful watch wristbands to switch out from the darker bands of winter
Colors – pastels and floral prints, and 70s prints and the never-out-of-style white for coastal dinner parties or evening yacht affairs
Men in colorful bow ties, timeless lighter colored leather belts, penny loafers or diving shoes bright patterned dress socks and seersucker suit
Handbags, fun sexy top handles in an array of colors including multi-colors in over the top pastels.  
Black can never be out of style especially with the sexy black after five dress that should be a staple in all well dressed women’s closets.  
Packing Winter Away
As you start the spring cleaning process of your winter wardrobe, in particular your leather accessories, it’s time to take inventory of pieces that need to be cleaned and stored until cooler weather arrives in 6 months or perhaps until the next appropriate occasion.  
In general, an investor in leather pieces should seek the help of premium luxury professionals in dealing with cleaning, repairing and storage issues. Of course, there are numerous DIY suggestions as to cleaning your leather accessories if you have the time and inclination. This blog is for individuals who prefer to seek out the services of top professionals across the country who possess the expertise and are well worth the money.
Keep in mind the importance of tending to dirty or soiled leathers which can set up for future unwanted problems, such as mildew or stains setting.
Leather Boots/Shoes
Made with the most durable leathers to withstand water and other elements. Winter boots must be kept brushed off from dirt, debris and salt throughout the winter season. At the point of your last wearing, arrange for your cobbler or leather repair business to do a deep cleaning and conditioning, replace worn soles and heels and footwear restorative methods.  
Store boots and shoes should be stuffed with acid-free paper. Boots should also have their own boot stands with the correct height to store boots upright. If you have the storage within your walk-in closet, it’s best to keep shoes in their original shoe boxes separated and organized by seasons.  
Leather Coats and Jackets
During leather season, a good rule of thumb is to condition your jacket every 3-6 months for peak hydration and moisturizing to prevent drying out. Keep leather away from other fabric clothes that could possibly contain dyes that can easily be absorbed by leather.
Only allow a specialty professional dry cleaner or leather shop who can repair tears or rips, replace worn linings, thoroughly clean and condition the outerwear for storage.  
If storing by hanging in a closet be sure to use wide, sturdy wooden cedar hangers to prevent creases and drooping. Close all buttons and/or zipper closures. Be conscious of the space that the leather outerwear is being hung. Even exposure to closet light bulbs or closet vents could be the culprit in creating excessive heat.  
On the other end of the spectrum, being conscious of storing leathers in parts of the home with high humidity levels such as a damp basement or hot attic can be just as harmful.   
If storing in containers at home, use either suitcases or wooden trunks which are best in allowing leather to breathe properly to avoid mildew and moisture. Also pack the pockets, sleeves and interior with acid free paper to protect your leather outerwear from dirt, dust and moisture. Packing with acid free paper can also keep a coat’s shape during the storing period. You may even want to wrap the zipper pulls and buttons in acid-free paper so they don’t damage the leather in the storing process.
Plastic containers are the absolute worst option for storing leather as it prevents the leather from breathing. If packing more than one leather piece, plan for proper breathing space between each item.
It is imperative to store at room temperature away from light. White bed sheets or a cloth jacket garment bag will offer breathability needed for the leather, however be sure whatever is used is clean. It is also advised to not fold the jacket to prevent creases and to again maintain the jacket’s original shape. 
If storing items long-term in an off location storage unit be aware of temperature controlled units. Leather in hot storage units can dry out and crack. Also those items should be taken out periodically for air.     
Gloves and Headgear
As with the other pieces mentioned in this blog, leather gloves and caps need to be cleaned to remove any snow, salt and dirt to prevent long term stains or damages. Even when first purchasing, most glove manufacturers advise waterproofing your gloves and if they happen to get wet to never dry with external heat (i.e. a radiator, a fire, a tumble dryer, a hair dryer) instead let them air dry to prevent cracking and drying out. Then condition with a neutral leather cream to keep your gloves soft.  
Do not store in a sealed bag or plastic bags, instead use the dust bag sent with the gloves. It is even suggested to place a pure white cotton handkerchief between each glove to keep the gloves from being pressed together and becoming somewhat glued from weeks or months of being stored together. Store in a flat position to prevent wrinkling or discoloration in a well-ventilated, dry and dark place.   
With leather headgear,store in a cool and dry location, which has no exposure to direct heat and sunlight. Also stay far away from closets near washrooms for the obvious excess moisture that collects and can cause damage.
Store in cloth bags to avoid accumulating dust. Also, store hats upside down (crown down and brim up to preserve the shape of the hat) in hat boxes. Preferably the one that hat came in at time of purchase or a larger box that can nest multiple hats of same sizes and shapes.
Unlike winter footwear and outerwear, handbags will be used year round, however there are still rules to storing when not in use. Just like your skin, leather needs to be delicately cleaned, conditioned, and moisturized while in use, but also when preparing it for longer term storage.
Because of mold and mildew, bacteria, and the possibility of drying out, we recommend you do not store your Luxury Leather product in plastic nor direct heat. To prevent fading, do not store your leather bags in direct sunlight.
Once again, leather’s number 1 rule is it needs to breathe. The accompanying custom dust bag of our bags or any premium designer bag will help keep mild dust off when not in use.
When storing, stuff the bags with old T-Shirts, towels, acid-free tissue paper, or clean soft rags to maintain the structure of the bag. Wrap the hardware and loose accessory items separately in acid free paper. Do not use newspaper or colored inserts because the ink will rub off on the inner fabric.  
Storage Facilities for Luxury Items
Another option in long term storing your luxury leather pieces is to reach out to luxury wardrobe storages that specialize in storing premium investment pieces who usually will offer climate controlled closets.  
It usually will involve an advisor to come to your home to catalog all wardrobe items for storage. Then transported to their site for meticulous cleaning and storage. Make your items available to you as needed. The items will be delivered to your home and again picked up to be cleaned and returned to the storage unit.
Preparing for the inevitable warm weather of spring, not only means sprucing up and adding to your spring wardrobe, but being as attentive to the premium leathers that continue to keep us warm and fashionable during the fall and winter seasons. This is how leather accessories become legacy pieces for future generations.   -AJ
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Thank you to the following photographers
Anne Nygard – Zipper and Leather
Armennano – Leather boots
Library of Congress – Black women read for church
Fausto Garcia-Menéndez – women in black hat
Trinh Minh Thu – Lavender sandals
Irene Kredenets – Maroon leather sandals
Annie Spratt – Easter Finery
Giovanni Jonny Caruso – Woman and car
Mariya Georgieva – Men in spring suits
Chalo Garcia – Woman in white dress
Rebekka D – Bunny and Eggs
Jill Wellington – Bicycle and Flowers
Irina Kukuts – Woman holding daisies 


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