In 1934, Gerry Ettinger came to Britain. The designer and film producer crossed the channel after a stint in Italy and Germany, where he had worked with such dazzling stars as Marlene Dietrich. And, using his impressive web of continental European contacts, his first order of business once he landed in London was to delve into the intricate industry of leatherworking.
Ettinger bought an office off Regent Street, and sought out the finest hides he could from local markets. Tanned in the Thames, Gerry began by ensuring quality was the cornerstone of his business — and thus it remains today, overseen by his son Robert.
The business really began to grow in the 1950s. With Ettinger’s international outlook, the brand began to market travel as an exotic and far-flung prospect, creating intricate leather goods to accompany globe-trotting gentlemen on their jet-setting ways.
The next few decades were spent refining and redesigning the brand. In 1975, the iconic Saddle Hide Collection was launched, and saw Ettinger become of the world’s most respected and revered leather goods designers. It was a legacy that was to be fortified in December 1996, when the brand was awarded the same Royal Warrant that they hold today.
So what makes Ettinger such a sought-after brand? Aside from the meticulous craftsmanship — we’ll get to that — the bold designs stand Ettinger apart from their peers. This was epitomised at the turn of the century, when Ettinger collaborated with the famous PearsonLloyd design studio to innovate — while keeping their traditional heritage in tact.
The resulting TT collection, still available today, offers accessories that are simple to the untrained eye — but boast a complexity of construction seen nowhere else on the market. Understated elegance permeates the turn-over edges, meticulously edge-stained cut-out pockets and soft, fine calf leather of the goods, from billfolds to coat wallets.
Just five years later, with partners including Bentley and Wimbledon under their burnished belts, Ettinger launched its Lifestyle Collection — a vast array of elegant and practical items with clean, simple lines and endless appeal. Cufflinks, photo frames, jewellery rolls, luggage tags and other travel companions, this collection perfectly shows just how well-made Ettinger’s products are.
And so we come to the craftsmanship. It takes at least five years to fully train a new Ettinger craftsperson to make the brand’s leather goods — and the company is incredibly selective when it comes to workforce. Nothing but the best will do, and Ettinger continuously improve our quality control to ensure the highest standards throughout the production process.
Through a mixture fabrics — from shadow hide to pig suede, Ettinger has become a bastion of British craftsmanship. Now stocked on the Gentleman’s Journal eStore, here are just a few of our favourite pieces so you, too, can enjoy the most luxurious leather goods money can buy.
Ettinger Small Stud Box
Ettinger Sterling Coat Wallet
Ettinger 4oz Captive Top Flask
Want more of Ettinger’s impressive leatherwork? These are the best briefcases money can buy…