You know the name Bentley, and that a brand with that level of prestige would never lend its logo out to something that didn’t deserve it. You also know HRH The Prince of Wales, and that he employs an equal amount of careful consideration when awarding Royal Warrants. A company that has both, then, must have a name so famous even Clooney would feel a little jealous.
Except it doesn’t. The company is Ettinger of London, a name you have likely never heard despite its many accomplishments. But then again, the high quality/under the radar combo is part of what makes the brand so special.
The Ettinger story begins with founder Gerard Ettinger, who began his career as a film producer in Rome and Berlin. He left the industry in 1933, but his high profile contacts – including Marlene Dietrich – would come in handy later. In 1934, Ettinger found himself in London working for a German leather goods manufacturer called Herion of Pforzheim – a business that would soon become “G Ettinger Ltd.”
After a pause during the Second World War, Ettinger returned to London to reinvigorate his company. He was commissioned by Asprey to find leather goods, which were in short supply at the time, and began making products under the Ettinger name in workshops in London and the Midlands. Using his connections, Ettinger began to move away from the importation business and expanded his own company throughout the UK, continental Europe and North America.
Ettinger handed the reins to his eldest son Robert in 1990. Under his leadership, the brand has emerged from the shadows to become a luxury label in its own right. Ettinger has made gifts under licence for the Wimbledon Championships since 1992 and was awarded a Royal Warrant to HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996. Ettinger has also collaborated with a handful of notable brands, including Stüssy, Monocle and Balvenie Single Malt Whisky. Ettinger leather goods are now available in luxury stores around the world including Australia, Japan, USA, Italy, Norway, Thailand, France, Belgium and South Korea.
What They’re Known For
Ettinger takes great pride in its craftsmanship. At least 5 years go into the training of each new Ettinger craftsperson (who, collectively, have over 600 years of manufacturing experience). The company is one of only a handful of leather goods manufacturers left in Great Britain, so it is committed to educating and promoting the next generation of luxury artisans. By instilling the highest standards in each craftsman, both current and future, Ettinger has ensured the future looks bright for its leather goods.
Why They’re Cool
Ettinger has become known for its creativity and the innovative risks it takes with colour and design. The company’s portfolio encompasses over 400 products made using a variety of different leathers in many different colourways, both traditional and bold. What stands out most is how very British it all is. The brand is steeped in its native land’s heritage (just look at its brogue shoe-inspired wallets or the collections launched in honour of the London Underground’s 150th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation). There’s absolutely no doubt about where Ettinger is proud to call home.
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