Moore & Giles has been firmly entrenched in the leather industry since it was founded in 1933 in Lynchburg, VA. Currently, Moore & Giles employs more than 70 people in its headquarters in Forest, Virginia with representation in every major metropolitan area as well as strategic partnerships in England, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Moore & Giles designs and develops the world’s most luxurious natural leathers for leather upholstery, residential leather, hospitality leather and aviation leather. In 2007 they also introduced a collection of luxury leather bags and accessories as an additional avenue to showcase the inherent beauty and timeless appeal of their natural leathers.
We spoke to Thomas Brennan, their lead designer, on the phone and at the Magic Trade Show in Las Vegas in February. Thomas has been with Moore & Giles for almost 4 years, since September 2011. His route into bag design was a circuitous one, studying architecture, dabbling in the food service industry, and more. He started off at Moore and Giles as an intern after realizing his love for design.
“Moore & Giles is a great place to be a designer. With the full materials library from the Moore & Giles tannery available to me, I’m able to take advantage of working with almost any type of leather in-house,” says Thomas. As such, Moore & Giles keep their beautiful leather as the focal point of each piece, often sticking with a traditional shape or silhouette while digging into the details and making a piece look or function better than ever.
It takes approximately seven months for a new design to make it from concept to production. The Moore & Giles team cites collaboration and flexibility as the key to their success in design. Their team also does extensive in-house testing with their pieces before they release them to the public. Their own sales team, marketing team, and others within their employ use prototype bags and report back to Thomas on their findings, recommendations, and offer insight into how new bag designs should be finalized for production. And, with the bags that we’ve been able to review and use the end result is well worth the development and testing time.
Thomas’ favorite designs are the Zip Tote and the Crews Backpack. BestLeather has enjoyed reviewing their gorgeous Sportsman Duffel, Brennan Rucksack, and Donald Dopp Kit. Keep an eye out for more reviews of their Canady Haversack and their Sackett Messenger Bag. The video below is a short interview with Thomas about some of the Moore & Giles Bag designs. We’ve been very impressed with Thomas’ designs and can’t wait to see what he and Moore & Giles do next!