Handcrafted + Industrial Detailing
Founded by Silas Grant with the aim of creating traditional crafted, geometric-inspired durable bags, Bedouin offers consciously produced leather luggage. With the mantra ‘buy quality, buy it once’ and rejecting the current disposable product climate, Grant ensures his bags are sustainably produced, high-quality and last a lifetime. Unparalleled workmanship, marked design and a functional approach come together to forge Bedouin natural, vegetable-tanned leather bags with innovate industrial hardware details.
As an industrial designer, Grant was disillusioned by the endless consumer cycle of disposable goods which led him to start his brand, and since 2009 Bedouin has been making functional and hand crafted bags, finding a home within an old opticians in London’s East End. Conceived for those who wish to invest in high quality, long-lasting and high quality goods, Bedouin comfortably balances practicality and functionality with a luxury aesthetic.
The LN-CC selection of carryalls, totes and backpacks are crafted from British-supplied durable leather, feature Swiss zippers and the world’s strongest, Austrian-made AustriAlpin Cobra buckles. Their rugged and hard-wearing exteriors are juxtaposed by geometric-printed linings and padded compartments and contemporary strapping.
We spoke to Grant ahead of the anticipated collection launch at LN-CC this season;
LN-CC: HOW WAS THE BEDOUIN BRAND BORN AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
Silas Grant: After working as an industrial designer and accessories designer for various brands, I designed my share of landfill. So when I embarked on my own brand I wanted to have a strong ethos of local manufacture, high quality, ethically made and designed for longevity.
HOW DID YOU RELATE TO FASHION GROWING UP? WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU MOST?
S.G: My dad was a fashion designer in the eighties, very surfer punk, he then went into costume design, and both my mum and sister were both textile designers. I have always had a deep love of skateboarding from the eighties onwards, so that opened my eyes to a world of brands and design and non-conformity.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH CRAFTSMANSHIP FROM WITHIN YOUR COLLECTIONS, WHAT PROCESS DO YOU USE IN DESIGNING YOUR PIECES?
S.G: We don’t do ‘seasons’ we release new styles when they are ready, only after using and abusing prototypes do we go to production. We design pieces that we want to use; we hone and craft them until we are truly satisfied with them. We spend a lot of time with Paul up at the workshop, crafting each piece and getting his input, he has been making bags in England for over thirty years so he knows a thing or two about bags.
HOW DO YOU RELATE TO THE CURRENT 'CONSCIOUS' AND CONSIDERED FASHION MOVEMENT?
S.G: The key point to Bedouin is longevity; this is in itself a conscious and sustainable choice. We repair our customer’s bags so they can keep going for a generation. Everything we use is the best it can be, we source all fabrics and components from Europe (that includes the UK) we use natural materials where we can that bio degrade, we only use European vegetable tanned leather, if we use synthetics or metals they are selected for ease of disassembly and recycling.
WHO ELSE INSPIRES YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO?
S.G: I love historical references of Orientalism and Piracy. The Bedouin people always fascinated me, as does the macabre and surrealism. I come from an Industrial Design background, so designers like Achille Castiglioni and Vladimir Tatlin always fuel my work.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR BEDOUIN FOUNDRY?
S.G: We will continue to grow organically and we are working on some new collaborations with our favorite people.