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Natural | Basic | Quality: Leather by Rowdy

May 29, 2018

 "...whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." - Vincent van Gogh

 

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

Walking in the wide open door, I feel the humming vibrations of sewing engines. From where I stand the sound of cheerful laughter breaks through a Bob Marley song playing over the radio. The smell of leather fills the air and the theater of the Rowdy factory unfolds before me. 
 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

The success of Rowdy is inherently linked to their design philosophy. "Keeping it simple" has been the foundation of their brand since they started in 2012 and ensured the evolution from a one-man show on campus to a 17' strong operated factory.

 

The inception of the business was a response to the cheap looking, mass-produced backpacks students were using on campus. Nick, the founder of the brand, saw an opportunity to marry practicality with good design and soon after started exploring ideas to change that. Drawing inspiration from his grandfather's original leather backpack, they began exploring a product that was durable, beautiful, but most importantly, affordable.

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

This has also been one of the elements that set them apart from their competition. In a fierce market, they have always managed to control their prices in order to satisfy the affordability of a young buyer. This is plausible in a time where the economy hasn't been at its best and the demand for handcrafted items have taken favour over big retailers and franchises.

 

But it's more than only the price that makes this product so appealing. Rowdy has developed a recipe to remain relevant among its clients, practically and aesthetically, by testing the user experience themselves before making additions or alterations. It's important for them as designers to understand the product beyond the sales rack and ensure that all components that make up their bags are timeless. The essence of good design, after all, is being able to distill it to its purest form, where no element needs to be added or removed to make it perfect.

 

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

These are the same ideas that have been implemented in their brand identity.  Natural, basic and quality, are the words used to describe the Rowdy-character. The importance of the individual characteristics and synergy between them can be seen in all aspects of their business. It's ingrained in their work ethics, products, but also an attitude towards the environment. 

 

Rowdy has committed themselves to the sustainable sourcing of leather as a by-product of the meat industry. Part of their brand vision has always been aimed at manufacturing goods that are long-lasting, from buckle to thread and finally the completed product as a whole. 

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

 

As mentioned by Van Gogh, all things done with passion will ultimately be successful. There's a remarkable energy in their workshop and client interaction that's inspiring and intoxicating. Their work is done with utmost care and precision, but most of all with a love for nature, people and craftsmanship. 

 

Prices:

 

Laptop bag: R2400.00

 

Duffel: R2600.00 - R3200.00

 

Rucksack: R1450.00 - R1900.00

 

For the complete shopping experience, visit them at:

 

358 Victoria road, Salt River, Cape Town or

44 Stanley Ave, Braamfonein, Johannesburg

 

Alternatively, shop online at: Rowdy

 

 

 

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