The United Arab Emirates—Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in particular—are known for their outlandish extravagance, especially when it comes to fashion. That’s why it’s no surprise that UAE designers Rahul and Rachna Malkani are taking luxury to a whole new level with their Native Dubai handbag line, crafted from the skin of a one-humped dromedary camel.
“The camel leather is stronger than cow leather, and is completely local. It’s also vegetable-tanned and entirely chromium free,” says Rahul of their plush handbags, which also feature exotics like python skin. For added international cred, the Malkanis even hired former Chloe designer Filippo Pugnetti of Italy to conceptualize their items, including the tasseled Sling Shot bag ($800), pictured above. According to Rahul, the Native brand will put the UAE on the global fashion map by producing pieces that reflect beautiful, genuine craftsmanship.
According to Jean-Marie Gigante, the general manager of Abu Dhabi’s Al Khaznah Tannery (where Native Dubai sources its camel hides), camel leather is becoming more and popular across the world—though it’s not completely mainstream yet. Gigante says that camel hide is naturally tougher, more supple, and more durable than widely used cow hide, as it boasts ten times as many fibers. Al Khaznah Tannery also sells its own line of premium camel leather products including the popular weekend bag ($670), pictured above, which showcases the dromedary’s unique coat and distinctive leather grain.
via Condé Nast Traveler.