If you’ve been following us on Insta, you might have spotted sneak peeks of the spectacular bags and cuffs of Lodewijk. A luxury brand born out of the need to find “something to wear to a wedding”, and a simple desire to create beautiful things that make people happy.
Creating from their workshop at the foot of the Soutpansberg mountains in the north, Louis Trichardt to be exact, the Lodewijk team has mastered the art of making luxury handbags. The bags are meticulously made from ethically sourced ostrich leather in an array of psychedelic colours. Carefully handcrafted, it takes up to 40 hours to make a single bag. These truly are items of desire that you’ll treasure forever. Best you get one to the top of your Christmas wish-list early! Both Michelle and I have already added one of their tote bags to ours.
Like kids in a candy store, we are bursting with excitement to be working with Lodewijk and to help them grow their brand locally.
Launched on Equilibrio today, you can now shop Lodewijk luxury leather handbags and cuffs on our own carefully curated online shop! VISIT OUR SHOP
Three women own and run this passion project and unique business: Liezl Hammann, a former fashion designer of bespoke wedding dresses and couture; Ilse Uys a financial services professional and Elmi le Roux, Liezl’s incredible sister-in-law.
We recently had an illuminating Q&A session with Liezl:
Q&A WITH LODEWIJK’S LIEZL HAMMANN
What and who is the force behind Lodewijk luxury leather handbags?
Lodewijk was born from a need for change. We felt compelled to consider more creative alternatives to our current careers. All of us had the need to create, and with that, creating something beautiful seemed like such a grand idea. We make the bags we’d love to gift to our oldest friends. And we love watching their reactions when we say “I made it for you”. True magic!
Our enduring friendship and a sense of humour brought us together to create Lodewijk. Ilse, Elmi and I each bring such different sides to the business. Ilse is amazing at sourcing materials and she also makes the cuffs; I design and conceptualize the bags, and Elmi helps me make them.
How did you end up making stunning ostrich leather bags in Louis Trichardt?
I lived in Pretoria for a long time and moved to Louis Trichardt after I got married. It seems Limpopo is not that far away from the city once you have taken the ring road exit. City girls can go anywhere, good taste and a reliable courier van will follow.
It all started with a phone call from Ilse asking for help. “I need something to wear to a wedding and it needs to spice up my black [outfit] a tad. Would you mind teaching me patternmaking? ,” she said. And 40 minutes later, we had the concept for what would become Lodewijk.
After this, I found myself holed up in my studio for a few weeks until, one day, Elmi walked in and asked, “What are you doing?” I replied, “I’m making handbags, want to help?” And right there the perfect business partner was born, the most patient person on earth!
Fast forward to a quick holiday in Paris and shortly after, packages started arriving from Canada, samples from Asia and ultimately the perfect Italian finale; hardware we loved almost as much as the beautiful Karoo skins.
Out went the old sewing machines, and in came a few industrials along with some of our own crazy inventions. Within days the old showroom was converted into a workshop.
The bags are so beautifully made. How long does it take to make a single flap bag, and how did you achieve this level of craftsmanship?
I used to make couture wedding gowns, and as fortune would have it, I used a lot of those skills to figure out the design and workings of our handbags. Not an easy feat, it took about a year for it all to come together… and then one day it made sense. Truly beautiful objects cannot be rushed. Nowadays a single bag takes about 40 hours to produce.
Ilse was dabbling with all kinds of leather ideas. The cuffs turned out to be such a lovely gift and so many of our friends wanted some. So we decided to include them in our range. She is the queen of sourcing, and can find anything I need! Ilse is also the force that drives and inspires us to keep on trying.
Can you tell us a little more about the source of the leather and hardware you use in your bags?
We all agreed that we have to keep things local. As much as we can, we source from local suppliers and up to this point we have been fortunate. Our leather comes from certified suppliers in the Klein Karoo but the hardware is sourced from Italy.
We see you’re already enjoying success abroad in Croatia. Where else are your bags currently being sold globally?
Our international sales are growing steadily, it was quite a surprise to us when they took off in Croatia. We’d love to sell more bags locally. As you know, there are such fantastic things happening in the South African fashion industry at the moment. It would be such a privilege to contribute here where it started and where it matters most. Our hearts are here.
You can now shop Lodewijk bags and cuffs on Equilibrio. VISIT OUR SHOP
LAUNCH OFFER: You’ll get a free cuff when you buy a Lodewijk bag during the month of August 2018!
Or shop all bags in the Equilibrio shop here.
THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST
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