Unless you’ve been living on a farm or in the mountains, you must have seen the social movement back towards handmade goods. With the ever increasing belief that we are creating way too much synthetic junk ruining the environment, the fashionable hipsters have lead us back to believing that leather is once again the thing to have. In agreement are those gentlemen who have always aspired to bring back the tailored and bespoke look of the 1890’s, and so many companies have started getting very creative with leather.

Here are three of the best bags or briefcases that I have found which have creatively used leather to differentiate them in a market drowning in blah products.

1. The Boston leather Double Handle Tech Briefcase from Jekyll & Hide

You would be forgiven if you thought that this smart little bag was produced somewhere in Europe or the USA, but in actual fact, the Jekyll and Hide range is 100% South African! Authenticity is at the heart of everything they do, but thankfully they also love beautiful designs and luxury (these three things speak volumes to me). Made in Cape Town (of course), the Jekyll & Hide range use naturally tanned leathers collected from SA, Asia, Europe and the Americas, comprises the finest collection of naturally tanned leathers. This particular design, the Double Handle Tech Briefcase, is a great briefcase with enough pockets for ever gadget in your arsenal, and what’s more, it look damn good. And as they say, this bag is a “loyal partner in the journey of life.” I couldn’t agree more.

The Boston Leather Tech Briefcase from Jekyll & Hide.

The Boston Leather Tech Briefcase from Jekyll & Hide.

The Double Handle Tech Briefcase from Jekyll & Hide retails for around R4700.00. Have a look at the full range on their website.


2. The Art.Song of the Dairies of Travels range from Silvano Lattanzi

A while back, I looked into the Silvano Lattanzi shoe collection, but also came across their leather luggage range. What really stood out for me was the quality of their leather as well the the exceptional craftsmanship of their work – but their creative use of leather is truly something to admire. The Diaries of Travel range may appeal more to the literary snob in the educated class, but you can’t deny that its a great idea. Each briefcase in the range carries a different passage from a famous traveler – with all of these writings having been written on a travel. Hence the spirit of what inspired the passage when the writer was traveling (and writing the passage) is embodies onto the bag.  The Art.Song traveler briefcase has double buckles, and is made of hand aged calfskin, and the text of Domenico Modugno “Volare” is silk-screen printed onto the cover.

The Art.Song from Silvano Latanzzi.

The Art.Song from Silvano Latanzzi.


The Art.Song is not yet available in SA, but rumour has it that Silvano Lattanzi will be launching here soon. Expect this bag to cost an arm and a leg too, if the price of the shoes is anything to go by.


3. The Rowdy World from Rowdy

For the relaxed world traveler - the Rowdy World from Rowdy.

For the relaxed world traveler – the Rowdy World from Rowdy.


And perhaps the least expensive of the range is the Rowdy World from Rowdy. This is yet another Cape Town based designer and manufacturer, using local materials and employing South Africans to create a range of leather, and leather & fabric bags. Less formal in their design approach, they appeal more to the relaxed traveler who enjoys a design that is out of the ordinary, natural and authentic, yet is still of a very high quality. I have one of these, having bought it at their pop-up store at the Old Biscuit Mill in CT, but thankfully these are also now available at the Jozi Neighbourgoods market. But if you want it, move your butt, as it is a limited edition range.

The Rowdy World retails for around R1050, and available through their website or through the pop-up stores at the CT and JHB markets.