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The Modus Operandi: Conceiving and Creating the Best Solid-Brass Lock

By Lotuff Leather

If our bags are to be made of the best possible leather, then the hardware should meet this standard as well. Take our locks, for example. When our Creative Director conceived of the Leather Locking Crossbody, the lock choice was a crucial consideration. 

After an exhaustive search, she chose a set of 1950s briefcase locks from a dead-stock collection (i.e., it would never again be produced). The quality supported our mission to acquire the very best materials, and its limited nature engendered a certain uniqueness. This allowed us to create a beautiful piece that was solidly contemporary but still had a vintage touch. 

We've always had an affinity for solid-brass hardware, and this dead-stock briefcase lock was no exception. What may surprise people, however, is that solid brass is a surprisingly soft metal--rendering it easily able to dent or scratch. Isn't it all the more remarkable that this "precious" metal is actually installed with a hammer? This may be the most handmade of all handmade processes because there is no machine that could possibly install a lock in this way. 

With the Leather Locking Crossbody on a roll, our creative team was forced to consider where they would go once our dead-stock lock was truly dead. After another exhaustive search, we found success in an Italian supplier who's able to make the locks for us at the same level of quality found in the 1950s hardware. All our work wasn't done here though. It was necessary to adjust our patterning to fit these new locks, as they needed to stay nested in the layers of leather as well as the former ones without changing the bag's appearance--an arduous yet rewarding endeavor. 

Back in the workshop, all of these locks made expressly for us are then hand riveted before being installed in our bags, guaranteeing them a much longer life than if screws were used in their place. They've got a long way to come from Italy,  but even further to go if these bags are to live up to our standards, so we think its more than worth the effort.