With a story steeped in family tradition, Charles Lansdown Tailored Leathers has refined leather craftsmanship for the modern individual.
About Charles Lansdown
From the toughest custom luggage to finely-crafted purses, they source fine leathers from around the world to create custom pieces that are made to last a lifetime. Each and every Charles Lansdown item is cut and stitched by expert hands. Head leathersmith, Brad Charles Ingram, has been creating stunning custom pieces for more than a decade. Many items that bear the Charles Lansdown mark are absolutely unique: they specialise in custom orders, where lifetime quality, true individuality and timelessness are essential. They gladly accept private commission projects for one-of-a-kind pieces that are made exactly to specification. Truly proud of their reputation for creating custom leather items for individuals in South Africa and around the world, ensuring every piece comes with a lifetime guarantee. The name started from humble beginnings: a selection of quality belts started the Charles Lansdown journey, and to this day, those very same belts are still made to honour the roots of the name. Each belt is hand-cut and hand-stained in their craft house, with interchangeable buckles to make each one a statement. Having expanded over time to accommodate any custom leather creation and design, the Charles Landsown permanent range now includes ladies’ purses, handbags, luggage, laptop bags, men’s wallets, customised exotic watch straps, bangles, accessories and more.
Mr Charles Lansdown himself was a British gentleman who was never part of the aristocracy but made a point of touring Europe as often as he could – always making sure he looked the part for his surroundings. He was a man characterised by his integrity and a commitment to earning the respect of those he knew – much like the leather creations that now bear his name. His philosophy of “what you give out is what you get back” is reflected in every Charles Lansdown item: they are committed to producing work of the highest standard for each client, and in return, hope to earn the respect of everyone who has their work in their collections. Mr Lansdown is no longer with us, but he is the grandfather of head leathersmith, Bradley Charles Ingram, his influence lives on. Mr Lansdown would always encourage his children and grandchildren to express their creativity, as long as their work is always done with absolute devotion to excellence, as long as they live. Part of their commitment to exclusivity is that they ensure that every item is only made in limited numbers. Some pieces have longer runs than others, but ultimately, small-batch leather craftsmanship makes Charles Lansdown pieces rare and exclusive. In addition, because even existing pieces can sometimes be customised, your item can be personal in every way. No creation ever leaves our workmen’s floor without being checked for build quality and craftsmanship to meet the very highest standards.
Want a custom design? Charles Lansdown will gladly bring your creation to life.
What they do
The beauty of true leather is that it gets better with age. Even with a harsh battering, leather takes on a worn look giving it character and a buttery texture, maturing and becoming more ‘fitted’ to the owner over the years. Their collection is a reflection of taking full advantage of the way leather ages and builds its own character: every piece becomes more uniquely yours as it ages with you. With their crafts room located in Johannesburg, they can arrange personal delivery of items within Gauteng if necessary; for orders from further afield, they will gladly ship your item to you through a national or international courier service.
Sourcing A-grade leather is a tough task, particularly with so many imitations out there. Over the course of more than a decade, Charles Lansdown Tailored Leathers have found suppliers of the finest hides in South Africa and abroad, with most of it coming from reputable local tanneries and farms. They are deeply committed to supporting the South African leather industry as far as is possible. Most of our leathers are cow or buffalo hides, but speciality leathers can be sourced for custom orders. Should you wish, Charles Lansdown will gladly present a variety of leathers for your perusal to choose the exact hide you’d like for your piece, as well as a colour palette and description of the character of each leather type. Do please take note that particular exotic leathers may take a bit more time to get hold of. So many “leather” products out there are simply not what they say they are. Fake leather, ‘PU leather’ and plastics are often marked as “genuine leather”, but are just good-looking fakes. They last one or two years and then need to be replaced. Charles Lansdown’s mission is to reignite the true craft of leatherwork by offering hides that are individually chosen for their quality, character and strength – and sometimes that means bringing in leather from all the corners of the world to make sure that each bespoke item is made to last.
Many of their items carry artistic patterns that are stamped into the leather itself. They can, however, have custom stamp plates made to customise your piece – whether you’d like a custom pattern, monogram, initials or text pressed into your creation. They use highly durable aluminium pressing plates that are made to order in almost any size, and once your plate is made, we keep it for life in case you’d like more items personalised later in your lifetime. This does add time and cost to the final item, however. Personalisation is a popular choice for items like custom saddle leather luggage, belts, guitar straps and purses. Once they’re stamped with your unique mark, they cannot be owned by anyone else but you.
Their staff group is very small: they have only a few leathersmiths working on Charles Lansdown pieces, and each goes through years of apprenticeship and training before being able to take on individual projects. Every single piece is, however, still hand-checked and tested by the founder and head leathersmith Bradley Charles Ingram, grandson of Mr Charles Lansdown himself.
Charles Lansdown Tailored Leathers’ products are available at “The Little Field Mouse” shop in Randridge Mall, Entrance 2 and at the Rosebank Rooftop Market on Sundays from 9:00 – 16:00
If you are sending us a description of a custom item you would like made, do please be specific with the details. We would love to deliver a piece that is exactly in line with your vision, and so we need all the detail we can get. If you have pictures that can give us a general idea of your request, even better – just attach them to your message. Please send us any enquiries, questions or custom creation requests. We will get back to you as soon as we can, once we have laid down our leather working tools for the day. With our craftsroom located in Johannesburg, we can arrange personal delivery of items within Gauteng if necessary; for orders from further afield, we will gladly ship your item to you through a national or international courier service.
Founder and Head Leathersmith: Mr Bradley Charles Ingram
Tel: +27 (0)76 518 9640