How I Got To Know the Man Behind My Favorite Leather Goods
Timeless Leather Craftsmanship Set Up Shop at Vater&Sohn To Present Great Skills and Character
On Saturday December 13, 2014, Timeless Leather Craftsmanship did a one-day pop-up at Vater&Sohn. I jumped the chance to meet the guy behind the brand! This is my hymn about his artisanal work and goods – domestically made with AAA+ materials – and why events like these are so crucial for both brands and customers.
Sebastian Werle, the self-made man behind Germany’s answer to the likes of Red Moon, Timeless Leather Craftsmanship, and his team of only two co-workers have their workspace in Bonn.
Since 2012, Sebastian has worked hard to share his passion and to supply his customers with supreme leather goods such as belts, wallets and bracelets, all handmade in Germany, of course.
“Timeless” Is Both a Vision and a Promise
Sebastian’s leather goods are made to last for ages, following their own path of timeless style and gaining more beauty with every day in their owner’s life. This is the absolute opposite of every fashion based accessory one may buy that is produced in a God forsaken sweatshop some place no one wants to be.
While industrial pre-distressing methods ruin every good garment right from the start, Sebastian ensures that his goods will develop a character of their own. All he uses is great skill and great materials.
Talking about materials, the leather Sebastian uses is mainly sourced directly from German tanneries. He also uses English and Italian tanneries for special types of leather such as shell cordovan or English bridle leather. The hardware he uses is either made in Germany or in Japan.
All this effort is reflected, of course, in the price. Personally, I am absolutely willing to spend around €150 for a good-looking and solidly crafted belt. Take a quick glance over some of the leather goods produced by The Flat Head, Samurai or Red Moon in Japan, and you’ll find that the price of a Timeless belt, which is directly comparable, is absolutely reasonable.
How Events Showcase the Work and Value of the Product
The event on December 13 wasn’t the first of its kind hosted by Vater&Sohn – and it won’t be the last. Events like these prove the growing conscious towards honest goods crafted from quality domestically sourced materials. It’s not only about buying great and expensive stuff, it’s about knowing the intangible value of it.
I am a big fan of events like these. It’s a chance for the small brands we favour to reach their customers directly, make new fans, business relations, and friends. They show us what real craftsmanship looks like and how much time and work it takes to finish something like a finely crafted belt. Through the day, Sebastian worked on his custom military belts. It was inspiring to see him build the belts by his hand from fresh leather right from the staple and to compare the virgin product to some well-aged belts and even wallets.
Basically, this is the ultimate vertical transparency. And I’m not talking about the H&M kind of transparency; this is the real deal. But, even with small niche brands like Timeless, it can be hard to get to know the people behind them. That’s why we need events like these: to make us understand and value the product not only by the price we paid for it, but also by the knowledge that we paid for hard and honest work.
Sebastian, clad in Iron Heart and beautiful seven-year-old Iron Rangers, humbly answered all my questions. The sum of his answer warrants a second in-depth article about his work – stay tuned for that follow-up. Until then, you can familiarise yourself with Sebastian’s work on his website.