Troubadour leather goods
Troubadour, a new young brand in luxury leather goods, is standing out from the competition by matching the highest quality with contemporary design.
There are a lot of good leather-goods companies. England has dozens: aside from the obvious Dunhill, Asprey and Tanner Krolle, there are small makers dotted around the countryside working with traditional, heavily oiled bridle leather. France has great makers like Hermes and a clutch of good tanneries. And Italy supplies not only the big fashion companies but a wealth of smaller brands that go there seeking softer leathers and hand detailing.
But most of these makers are either very traditional in their styling (Dunhill, Asprey, Hermes) or driven by the seasonal winds of fashion (Ferragamo, Gucci, Tom Ford). Very few retain the high-end quality but look to a younger audience.
Troubadour, a British company founded last year and only just releasing its first collection, is the first in my experience to do so. The leathers are black. The zips are industrial. The pocket edges are turned and stapled in place with little hand-worked stitching. It’s a very different look, but one that would appeal to any young professional with the money to buy quality but a desire not to look like his dad – yet.
“We wanted something that would appeal to our contemporaries. We both came from the City, and found that a lot of the luxury leather goods on offer were of the same look and feel. This is definitely different, younger and sleeker,” says Samuel Bail, co-founder of Troubadour alongside Abel Samet.
As regards the quality, those black leathers are all thick, naturally finished and vegetable-tanned. They have real character, but the kind that will reveal itself in dark scrapes and wrinkles. The Raccagni zips are big, but of the best make. The edges that are cut, rather than turned, are well inked, to create a beautifully round, smooth finish.
As evidence of Samuel and Abel’s commitment to leather and quality, have a look at the guide they wrote from retail site Oki-Ni.
The weekender (£1,275) is the standout piece from Troubadour, as it is with many leather-goods companies. The size of a weekender, together with its unstructured look, give the broadest canvas to the leather and the design aesthetic.