I recently received the Lotuff & Clegg working tote bag, ordered a few weeks ago. It’s nice to be able to say that neither the online photography nor Joe’s rhetoric are misleading. It is a beautiful, classic piece of leatherwork.

In my original piece on Lotuff & Clegg, brothers Joe and Rick Lotuff talked about how the handle of a bag just feels better in the hand when it is made their way – in precise proportions, with six layers of leather. They mentioned the importance of using big, vegetable-tanned skins for the effect it gives on the overall matching of the grains. Both of these things are borne out by the tote; but it is hard to put them any better than they did.

The tote is a big, unstuctured bag; it is made of a thick, soft and supple leather; it has no internal construction or pockets. It is therefore, in some ways, an impractical bag. But I would never suggest that the beauty of the leather, its tanning and texture, be sullied with pockets. It would be a sin. You can fit everything in and the sesation of carrying it will be a pleasure.

Lotuff & Clegg makes more other, perhaps more practical bags. Like the lovely English leather or lawyer’s briefcases. But for me, the working tote is the most beautiful. I can’t wait for that veggie-tanned grain to develop its own character through daily use.  

Previous, more detailed piece on Lotuff & Clegg here. The company’s website here.