Editor’s Note: It seems this review has created a stir among many of you. Please note that the elephant leather on this bag is not from an animal specifically hunted down and harvested just to make leather items. The leather is a by-product/derivative of a legally culled animal by national park rangers and park managers in Africa. There are legal channels provided around the world to purchase exotic leather such as elephant. It would be a travesty to think that someone would simply hunt down elephants to make leather bags. And, it’s also disingenuous to believe that we would feature a bag made in an unethical manner. Thanks.
We also contacted Lekoza for more information on the sourcing of the elephant leather. Here’s what they had to say:
“The leather I use is sourced legally, and has Cites tags attached when I receive it. The source of all African elephant skins come from culls once the elephant herd reaches destructive numbers to African tribes and nature. It’s very similar to our deer season in the United States. Without culling, African tribes would lose their homes and possibly be trampled to death. Designers, manufacturers, and leather enthusiasts should not feel emotional or have guilt for using this leather as we are not creating a demand rather using a by product. We deal with reputable international partners who abide by all regulations and we never sell poached hides.”
Cites stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. You can read more about this organization and how they work on their website: http://cites.org/.
As a writer for Bestleather, I have the opportunity to be around stylish and exotic things pretty frequently. I basically style my outfit off of whichever leather accessory I plan on taking out that day. I know it sounds silly, but it is a luxury I have thoroughly enjoyed. The Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase is the most exotic item I have reviewed to date, partially constructed with elephant leather, it is unlike any other item I’ve seen.
Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lekoza is a small family-run business that focuses mainly on the craft of leatherworking, and the tools and materials needed to design and construct quality leather items. Lekoza not only provides the tools and materials for leather working, they also provide customers with as much information as possible, all in one easy to use, friendly website. Although this company’s main focus is tools and techniques, they couldn’t resist designing and crafting their own unique, exotic briefcase line.
The Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase is constructed from three very different types of leather. For the main body, Lekoza used Horween Essex leather. This gorgeous black vegetable-tanned leather is thick and durable, making the briefcase feel sturdy and very well built. The handle, strap, and gusset are made from genuine elephant leather, which contrasts the body seamlessly and creates a very attractive, all-purpose briefcase. The last type of leather used in this briefcase is the calf suede lining for the interior. This velvety soft leather is perfect for keeping your laptop or tablet cushioned and secure.
Lekoza artisans hand sewed the entire briefcase using fil a chinois linen thread from France. The seams are all very thick and the hand stitching (ten stitches per inch) is some of the best I have seen, with tight saddle-stitching on every seam. Each briefcase is completely handmade and represents about thirty hours of labor. With solid brass hardware, premium leather, and linen thread (Lin Cable), it’s clear that the creators of this bag didn’t take any shortcuts. I can’t stress enough how well-built the Minimalistic Briefcase is; it will definitely last more than one lifetime.
The Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase is the simplest bag I have used. With only one storage space, and one strap and buckle, using this briefcase daily has been a refreshing experience. The beautiful strap is easy to open and close, and accessing the few things inside is quick and efficient.
The briefcase is just big enough for my 13” MacBook Air, a magazine, notebook, my slim pen case, and my charger. The briefcase has been the perfect size for business meetings and short trips. Its small size and sturdy handle feel just right when I am out and about showing it off.
This is my first experience with exotic leather, and I must say I am a huge fan. The elephant leather is heavily textured and pliable. It is very soft, but also thick enough to provide substantial support and strength. The sturdy handle is my favorite part of this briefcase because of the beautiful, thick elephant leather and dashing hardware. These components are perfectly utilized for the extremely well made handle; this briefcase will definitely last a lifetime and more. The leather has already started to develop a shiny patina that I have grown to appreciate over time.
Overall I have been very pleased with the Lekoza Minimalistic Elephant Briefcase. Its simple design, beautiful leathers, and sturdy construction have proven to be extremely high quality. As you can imagine, an exotic bag like this comes at a hefty price, due to its premium materials and fully handmade construction. At $1000, the minimalistic briefcase is a lifetime investment, but I know once you see this bag in person, you’ll know you made a great purchase.