The world of bespoke fashion is predominantly menswear-focused, but one woman is set to change this with exotic leather in her arsenal. Judy Hallauer is an entrepreneur whose lifestyle sends her jet-setting all over the world. The social events that she attended has led to her realisation of a gap in the bespoke market — the need for made-to-order leather bags.
While every luxury brand churns out “It” bags every season, rarely do any of these bags fully satisfy the functional needs of a busy individual’s lifestyle. Her company, Hallauer Luxe, focuses on luxurious bespoke bags crafted from exotic leathers, providing style mavens with chic carry-alls catered to their personalities and requirements.
We speak to Hallauer about the craft behind her exclusive bags, as well as how to care for exotic leathers in our temperamental climate.
Lifestyle Asia (LSA): What defines Hallauer Luxe’s style?
Judy Hallauer (JH): Hallauer Luxe’s style tends to steer towards classic chic as my clientele’s age group ranges from 35 to 60. I do not mass produce a bag. As each bag is fully customised, I work very closely with the client on a one-on-one basis to understand his or her preferences and the usage of the bag, be it a day or evening bag.
LSA: How does one go about sourcing for exotic leather? What differentiates quality leather from run-of-the-mill?
JH: When sourcing for exotic leather, especially crocodile skins, only CITES certified skins are acquired from reputable tanneries, and each skin comes with a serial tag. Skin knowledge is important as there are different types of crocodile skins on the market. Knowing the origin of the skins is also essential as the quality does differ. For example, Porosus crocodile skins are highly desired, more than Nile crocodile skins, but it would usually come with a higher price tag too.
LSA: How do you translate fine leather into the bags that you create?
JH: Every bag is created for the individual client. Understanding the client’s body characteristics and lifestyle is key to designing the bag for him or her. Each leather has its own characteristics too, be it the texture, the colour or the patterns of the scales from a crocodile’s skin or the points on an ostrich’s skin. This determines the type and shape of a bag. Knowing how to cut the skin is of utmost importance to ensure that the stitching of the bag does not affect the aesthetics. It’s similar to tailoring a dress, choosing the right fabric and colour in order to achieve the perfect fit and look for the client.
LSA: What are some steps one can take to care for an exotic leather bag, especially in our humid climate?
JH: One can place a dehumidifier in the room to keep the environment dry when the weather gets too humid. Moist environments enhance the growth of mildew and mould, which will in turn damage the skins. Do take note that the room should not be too dry, as the skins may crack. Always keep the exotic skin bag in a dust bag, and stuff it with acid-free tissue to store in a cool and dry place. From time to time, take the bag out and wipe with a soft dry cloth. Avoid contact with water and direct sunlight. Glossy finished bags can get water spots when wet. Wipe it dry quickly with soft cloth and allow it to dry naturally. Do not attempt to refurbish the bag on your own. The water spots may be minimised by the artisan.