BY JERRY THARAPOS
From an early age I have had a love affair and passion with the enduring splendour of classic style and design, including its history and evolution. There is a timeless elegance in beautiful design and craftmanship.
The exquisite harmony of design and craftmanship, coupled with the best materials such as English bridle leather, and fine exotics such as Ostrich, Crocodile and Cordovan Leathers is what defines and encapsulates Leggets leather goods. There is an authenticity with everything Leggets; employing tools and techniques dating back more than 100 years and fused with modern know-how, they are sure to become family heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation.
The Leggets range is evolving and includes leather handbags, business cardholders, cigar etuis, travel, shooting and men's accessories. The business began as an ostrich farm in Cheshire in 1999 and has developed into a venerable luxury brand rivalling and in my opinion bettering some of England’s and Europe’s major fashion houses.
My passion has led me to explore many different brands and even some of the most venerable English brands. To be honest, some of the venerable brands are very disappointing and have opted for what looks like a mass-produced version of what they used to be famous for. This is not the case with Leggets. Every part of the process is designed to create a masterpiece of craftmanship, function and design
Leggets have recently forged a collaboration with Nick Hammond, the renowned cigar aficionado and author of ‘Around The World In 80 Cigars’. The first result of this partnership is the Oriental Cigar Gin, devised and blended by Hammond. It is an amalgamation of experiences and emotions reflective of Hammond’s book; with each bottle carrying a quote from Nick’s book and reflects the tone, style and flavour of his cigar flavoured adventures to some of the world’s most unusual, exotic and remarkable places.
The Oriental Cigar Gin was created in a boutique distillery in the Cheshire countryside and this gin has been specifically blended to complement the nuances of a fine cigar. Nick says “I feel we’ve made something very unique and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved,”. “It’s great served chilled from the freezer or with a tonic. And remember it’s outstanding in its own right – you don’t need to smoke a cigar with it to enjoy it.”
The collaboration has also born the Leggets X Nick Hammond collection, that includes 4 and 8 oz hip flasks in ostrich hide and other beautiful textured leathers. The collection has further developed to include stunning bridle leather bags and accessories in the most divine colours. The business card holders are exquisite and can double as a slim line wallet. The bridle leather music case is iconic and Leggets have created another classic that will quickly become a coveted icon. It is the mini music case and is lined with suede and is hand stitched. The colours are rich and vibrant, reds, greens, purples and you can create a unique look with contrast hand stitching. It is perfect for a lady’s handbag. I also love the cigar folio with a detachable wrist strap than comes in both lined and unlined variants.
I love my cigar folio and I use it to carry my phone, wallet, keys and other everyday necessities. It is beautiful and distinctive and is quickly becoming a companion and part of my identity. It comes with me everywhere and everyone knows that it is mine. There is an expectation by many friends and colleagues that I will always have it with me. They admire it and love it. When, on occasion, I don’t have it with me, my friends actually ask me where it is. It is becoming even more distinctive as the patina develops and gets a little mark or two. Initially, I was heartbroken when a little mark appeared on the leather but now I revel in the fact that it is developing even more character and every mark is telling a story of our adventures together. It is becoming a friend and we are sharing exciting experiences together. It is these attributes that will create an heirloom that will be passed down. The adventures will continue for generations.
You can order online on the Leggets website. Leggets products are also available at Sautter of Mount Street the world renowned London Cigar store that was founded over 50 years ago, aptly Leggets is also available at the Oriental Club Express which has been an iconic Central London focal point for those who have lived, worked or travelled in the East, and available at Robert Graham 1874 who have been serving the finest single malt Scotch, handrolled cigars and pipe tobacco from a series of specialist shops for close to 150 years
Whilst you can buy from the online store, it is also a delight to work with the Leggets team to create your own unique individual piece through their bespoke service. They have a passion for their products and craft and the desire to grow the brand. And, you are treated not as a customer but as a friend.