Moroccan Leather Tote Bag, $350
Handmade in the Moroccan city of Fès by leather artisans following exacting methods passed down from generations. The tote bears the name of the tannery in a beautiful Arabic script to honor the legacy of craftsmanship that made its design possible. It is designed to be a versatile, sturdy day bag that is supple and light enough to be stored within another bag when one desires an extra option.
AN ANCIENT TANNERY
Mohammed Abdullatif is a master tanner from the venerable city of Fès, Morocco. Abdullatif is an elder in the tanning trade that has flourished in the city since the ninth century when the sultanate was founded. The old Medina quarter, where he has lived his whole life, is also the center of the leather trade consisting of three ancient tanneries, recently restored at full capacity, with the support of UNESCO. The traditional techniques employed by the craftsmen are a physically rigorous affair and especially odious to some, although the resulting leather quality is undoubtedly a testament to their artisan skills and passion, passed down from their forebears.
Fès, Morocco was founded in 789 AD as the the first city of Idris, and was the nation’s modern day capital until 1925. The ancient walled city center and Medina of Fès El Bali is considered one of the world’s largest car free zones where nine thousand-plus alleyways are navigated solely on foot, by donkey or with the aid of a handcart. The inward facing charm of the city reveals itself only when one steps inside the beautiful courtyards of the dars and riads, typically built in stark white plaster accented by brightly colored tiles, ornate woodwork and often filled with antique treasures from the skilled artisans who have dwelled in this deeply cultured enclave for nearly thirteen hundred years. Fès with all its hidden charms still reigns as the creative capital of the North African country with an abundance of craftsmen and trade districts within the old walls and new boundaries of the city.