i live under a rock

5 South African leather bag designers

So this blog post is for my favourite sister in law, Susan. I've been on the hunt for a handsome locally made bag, briefcase or messenger bag. There's a surprising number of local leather designers in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Which is fantastic, I love supporting local designers and somehow it just feels more authentic to buy from these local guys 'n gals.

Where to buy the bags

Some of my favourite online stores are Hello Pretty (The guys behind Hello Pretty now bring us Hello Man, for all the awesome manly stuff you don't really need but want) and Superbalist.

The leather designers

The amount of talent in South Africa is awesome! There is so much choice for local quality leather bags and goods, let's support local guys!

1. Chapel Goods

I love all their stuff, their leather feels soft and you can see the hand crafted detail in each seam. The briefs are the stand out items for me.

Check their website chapelgoods.co.za

post update - I bought one of their briefs last year, and I love it, it goes everywhere with me! Here's a link to the Chapel Brief post i wrote a little while ago.

2. Colony Design


These guys have quality stuff, I have their slim wallet and it's great. Their brief looks fantastic, and actually looks miles better than the Chapel bag, but for value for money you can't beat the Chapel which cost me R1499 over the Colony brief price of R3499.

Check them out colonydesign.co.za

3. Rowdy


These guys are all over the net, magazines and everywhere else, they have the most vintage looking backpacks and I must say their backpacks are probably my favourite. Although they do come with a heavy pricetag averaging R1600, but you pay for what you get and this is definitely quality stuff. A bit of an update. ROWDY Bags have done a bit of adjustments to the brand and the flagship Angkor Wat backpack now retails for R1200 :) A very good price! I visited the ROWDY workshop a while ago and take my backpack everywhere I go.

Check out their online home rowdy.co.za

4. Dark Horse


Not only do these guys make awesome leather bags, they also design furniture and canvas bags. I'm not the biggest fan of their messenger bags, I just don't like the design, but some of you might.

Check them out dark-horse.co.za

5. Saviour Brand Co


I only recently found these guys, and they hail from Durban, so they're doing good things for that sleepy town. I don't know much about this designer, but their stuff looks good.

Check them out saviourbrandco.co.za

Blog post update: a few more leather bag options in South Africa {The bonus round!}

Since writing this post there have been a few more options for locally designed leather bags. So without further ado, here they are:

Jekyll & Hide


Such a clever name, right! These guys have actually been around for a while and have stockists all over South Africa. They will any leather lover drool, with their wide range of leather bags, messengers and jackets. This leather messenger is probably my favourite one from them, but it is a bit pricey (and when I say a bit, I mean VERY!).

Find them online at jekyllandhide.co.za

Thanks for reading, if you guys have any other ones I missed, please leave me a comment :)

Stay awesome!

Dillon Kin

Dillon Kin is the founder of I Live Under a Rock. He writes about travel, life in Cape Town. Dillon is a foodie, coffee snob and photographer.

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