KALU: New Leather Handbag and Accessories Line

Happy Monday, Leathernistas!

We had a fun-filled weekend celebrating the launch of one of our designers, Kalkidan Gebreyohannes’ new handbag and accessory line, KA•LU.

KA•LU
The Saturday evening affair, was an elegant and truly exciting event hosted in the heart of Melrose Avenue.

KA•LU Launch

KA•LU Launch Entrance

Production Manager, Marie  (left) and Designer, Kalkidan Gebreyohannes (right).

Production Manager, Marie (left) and Designer, Kalkidan Gebreyohannes (right).


With the use of United Leather’s boa cowhide, stingray embossed cowhide, and dyed hair-on leather, we are so impressed with Gebreyohannes’ creations. As the truly lovely and brilliant designer shared with us, her bags are meant to be “transitional, timeless and bold” . Indeed, the bags range from small clutches to larger bucket and tote bags, perfect for a Leathernista on the go.

The Femme Amoureuse- Shoulder Bag/Clutch in Taupe Stingray

The Femme Amoureuse- Shoulder Bag/Clutch in Taupe Stingray

Femmes du Monde- Bucket Bag in Plum Cobra

Femmes du Monde- Bucket Bag in Plum Cobra

IMG_1100

The United Leather team (Tesha [left] and Trina [right]) with Production Manager, Marie (center).

IMG_1098

We could not be more honored and excited to have been a part of KALU’s inception. Make sure to visit bykalu.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

XOXO with style,
Tesha

How the decline of U.S cattle production will affect the leather goods markets

Bloomberg.com addresses the decline in cow herd production in the United States and how it is raising prices for both the meat industry and leather goods markets. Fortunately for United Leather patrons the cost per hide remains very competitive.

Read the excerpt below to learn more about the cause of the decline in cattle production, and how it affects the high end leather bag markets as well as the local mom and pop leather good shops.

Beef lovers aren’t the only ones with sticker shock from the shrinking U.S. cattle herd. Fewer cows also mean tighter supply of hides used in luxury-car upholstery, handbags, shoes and Anita Dungey’s dog collars.

“The last couple of years have been horrendous,” said Dungey, the president of Auburn Leathercrafters, a collar and leash maker in Auburn, New York. Her leather costs rose 83 percent in two years to $8.25 a foot. “It’s been hard to keep up,” forcing Auburn to boost prices by as much as 10 percent, the most in at least three decades, she said.

While ranchers raise cattle mostly for meat, a single hide can produce enough leather for 11 cowboy boots, 20 footballs or one bucket seat. The herd began the year as the smallest since 1951, after record feed costs and drought over the past decade. Output is dropping just as Americans boost spending on leather goods and luggage to the most in at least 14 years.

Read further by clicking on the link below.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-13/why-fewer-u-s-cows-means-higher-costs-for-leather-bags.html

 

 

What is Suede Leather

 

Suede season is upon us, and we are grateful that such a warm and cozy material is available to us in fashion, since global warming is making our winters much more wintery. Suede is a great material for fashion apparel and is considered the velvet of leather.  The French would refer to a Swiss imported soft glove as “suede” and since then the term has stuck around and now it also refers to any material that has a soft nap finish.

 

Suede is a type of leather that is manufactured in a unique way.  Unlike leather, suede is processed by using the split sides of leather by tanning,  buffing and creating a napped finish on the flesh side of the hide which is the innermost part of the skin. This process creates a softer material that literally removes the tough exteriors of the skin that is normally associated with full-grain leather.

Leather hide  layers

Layers of a leather hide

Nubuck suede also referred to as full-grain suede is a suede that is processed by using a full- grain leather rather than the usual split hide layers of leather that create regular suede. This makes the suede much more durable and thicker. Nubuck suede is made by sanding the top grain of a hide with an emery wheel to create the smooth even velvety nap. High fashion designers tend to use Nubuck suede over the typical suede since it will create a product that will have a longer shelf life. When it comes to upholstered furniture, it is better to use Nubuck suede since it is stronger and thicker and will be able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Nubuck suede is a premium leather and great for quality leather products.

Rag & Bone Leighton Nubuck Leather Ankle Boots in Beige

Rag & Bone Leighton Nubuck Leather Ankle Boots in Beige

Benefits of suede leather :

-Split hide suedes are cheaper than full grain leather

-Suede is malleable, soft and has a delicate appearance which makes for a great fit in garments.

-Colors are more vibrant and saturated in suede due to the nap finish that absorbs the dyes readily.

-Suede is great for shoes, gloves, coats, shirts, handbags, upholstery as well as lining for leather goods.

-Suede resists wind making it perfect for the colder seasons.

The downside to suede, is that it is a high maintenance material. Suede is prone to mildew if liquid is spilled on it and not removed quickly. Just as dyes are absorbed easily into the nap finish so are stains. The best method to keep your suede products in good condition is to clean it as soon as possible so the stain or water damage does not set in. The nap of suede can be restored by using a brush or sandpaper to even out the finish.
A suede finish can be applied to other animal hides beside the most common cowhide. Sheep, pig, and even goat are are  commonly used hides in the production of suede. The sheep and goat hide suede are perfect for more delicate and softer designed products such as apparel, since the skins are thinner, the results are a more pliable material.  While pig and cow suede is more thick and tough and best suited for shoes and handbags which require more durability.

United Leather carries calf suede and pig suede both in splits and Nubuck. United Leather has suede available in 30 beautiful color options. Now that you understand  what suede is and its characteristics, you will be able to work with it with more confidence.

unitedleather.com calf-suede Kelly-green

unitedleather.com calf-suede Kelly-green

 

Sound off below and describe your next suede leather project  or your favorite suede fashions.

Leather shoe trends fall/winter 2014-2015

Leather has been everywhere these past few years as the main staple in apparel, and it’s also stepping proudly down the runway on the heels of models. This fall/winter 2014/2015 season, shoes on the runway are covered in patent leather, plenty of black leather, natural colored  and color blocked suedes,  and even animal print leather. The few designers mentioned below incorporated leather in their shoe collections in a very exciting and unique design for the different fashion weeks around the world.

Patent leather: The highlighter of leather was used heavily on the runway this upcoming season. Designers essentially used patent leather in their designs to make their shoes pop and stand out.

Christian Dior: went all out in the sports chic category with his shoe department, merging tennis shoe design with high heels using patent leather as the main design material. The design is very sporty and perfect for a drag queen on the run. The colorful cushioned rubber sneaker soles with a curved heel become conjoined twins with the top design of square toed patent leather pump, making the shoe sexy and practical.. This design gets a big ‘C’ for creative and comfortable.

dior-shoes-fall-2014

 

 

Saint Laurent: used plenty patent leather in his collection and used the material on knee high boots and mary janes both in black , and metallic silver.

saint laurent patent leather mary jane

saint laurent: patent leather mary janes

Chloe: had a collection of nude colored patent leather flatform sandals while Stella McCartney: had colorful flatform oxford shoes and Celine: also designed varying leather flatform sandals.  These designers are chasing height and cushion for the soles and bringing platforms back on the market.

 

Paris-Fashion-Week-Fall-2014-Céline

Alexander McQueen: also had a sporty themed collection with his perforated leather boots that had a very combat boot structure with a feminine touch by incorporating floral shaped cutouts.

mcqueen- knee high leather boots

Suede: is synonymous with fall and winter and the fashion houses designed plenty of suede shoes for this season.

manolo- suede booties with patent leather trim and leather laces

Manolo Blahniks: created a three leathers in one shoe with a gorgeous suede bootie, that layered  leather, suede,  and patent leather. These haute booties stepped off the runway and went to leather heaven. Manolo’s runway shoe collection was also saturated with colorful suede pumps and over the knee black leather boots.

manolo-color block suede pumps

 

Just-Cavalli: designed amazingly colorful suede boots from ankle boots too thigh high caramel colored suede boots with most of the boots accessorized in leather fringe. Just-Cavalli, captured fall and winter perfectly with both the colors and designs of the boots.

Just-Cavalli: suded booties

Just-Cavalli: suded booties

Just-Cavalli-Fall-2014-3

Just-Cavalli: Fall 2014 Fringed thigh-high suede boots

Versace: created laced up inspired stiletto suede and leather combo boots in blood red and powder blues. Versace’s designs had a very Victorian romance look to it.

elle-versace-fall-2014

elle-versace-fall-2014

Leather:  The luxury brand designers used leather obsessively for this years fall/winter fashion weeks.

Balmain: had  intricate sandal stilettos covered in leather roping  and weaving that made the collection fun and tribal.

 

 

Isabel Marant: also used leather roping and paired it with suede boots as well as shearling to strap up the shoes.

Isabel-Marant-Fall-2014

Isabel-Marant-Fall-2014

 

Rick Owens: merged leather leggings into a leather tennis shoe creating  a comfortable boot. These legging sneakers seem perfect for keeping your legs warm for the upcoming chilly season.

Rick-Owens-fall-2014

Rick-Owens-fall-2014

 

Valentino: designed a 60’s inspired bold colorful print polka dot leather booties, that would be a crowd favorite anywhere you wore them.

Valentino-60's style leather booties

Valentino-60’s style leather booties

 

Sonia Rykiel,  Ina Ricci and John Galliano: all were inspired by animal print and designed fabulous leather shoes with python and croc embossed leather material.

Sonia-Rykiel-Fall-2014

Sonia-Rykiel-Fall-2014

John-Galliano-Fall-2014

John-Galliano-Fall-2014

Nina-Ricci-Fall-2014-

Nina-Ricci-Fall-2014-

 

Designer shoes and leather go together like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. Leather is a classic, durable and beautiful material that’s always used for luxury brands.  This coming season and many more to come, designer shoes main design material will be a form of leather; whether its suede,  embossed leather or patent leather, you will see it on the runway.

Why upholstered leather car seats are still desirable

As cars become more computerized, one thing still remains old school, the desire to have leather car seats. upholstered Leather car seats are the epitome of luxury and good taste. As much as technology has advanced and the plethora of materials that exist are as good of a material, nothing compares to the popularity and richness of leather. Below are few good reasons why upholstered leather car interiors are desirable to this day.

Comfort:

Leather seats are desirable because they are simply comfortable. Leather is a very supple material and can take the form of any shape. Leather car seats tend to be much more sturdy and supportive than cloth, which would make it the best material for motorcyclist’s who require riding a bike at an angle and swift turns.

Comfortable Leather car seats -Source: boredtodeath.com

Comfortable Leather car seats

Luxury:

Upholstered leather car interiors are expensive because most cars require over a dozen whole cowhides to upholster an entire car. Also, leather car interiors have a status symbol. Most high end cars such as Audio, Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, etc. automatically come with leather interiors, making leather a high end and desirable material due to association with luxury car makers.

Functional/Cleanliness:

Kids are clumsy and messy, no matter how careful they are, they are prone to creating a mess in the car. the benefit of leather interiors is that stains of any kind are easily removed and does not get absorbed into leather like a fabric upholstered seat would.  While cloth upholstered car interiors harbor dust and dander, leather can easily be wiped and vacuumed without a trace of dirt left behind. This is a huge plus for those that suffer from allergies and investing in leather interiors is a good preventative measure to keep allergens at bay while driving.

Porsche with crocodile embossed leather seats Source: interiorshot.com

Porsche with crocodile embossed leather seats Source: interiorshot.com

Value:

The resale value of a car does not lose its upholstered leather interior value. The car interiors will also be preserved due to leather being an easy material to clean. The money you invested in leather interiors will be back in your pocket  years after your purchase, since leather is a stain resistant and a sought after material.

Leather car interiors will remain a time treasured material due to its classic and timeless aspect. upholstered Leather car interiors will always be desirable since it entices the majority of the five senses: upholstered leather always has the clean car smell since it doesn’t absorb odors and stains, the feel of leather is smooth and soft, and the sight of upholstered leather is soft, beautiful and elegant. Three out of the five senses is good reason enough to invest and covet upholstered leather car seats.

United Leather's embossed hornback on cow leather

United Leather’s embossed hornback on cow leather

How leather is playing a big role in the fall/winter 2014 fashion season

  Leather is perfectly a versatile material, it can be dressed up and down, masculine and feminine, pretty and edgy; and used for many purposes. Its no wonder that the fashion houses around the world have made it a signature fabric in their collections. Leather plays a prominent role in several of the trend categories for the fall/winter 2014 fashion season, from the active wear designs to the bohemian chic designs, you will see leather on the runway from head to toe.

Rocker Chic

Rocker Chic

The first trend that leather is rockin’ is the punk-rock designs. This category portrays leather in a cool and edgy vibe with embossed leather gloves, motto leather jackets paired with skinny pants or distressed jeans. The rocker look is  complemented by pleated and wrap around leather A-line skirts,  and men’s leather sweaters. The color scheme is dark hues, the likes of dark denim, deep purples, burgundy and black. The punk rock trends are also accessorized with metallic studded belts and zippers that are on everything from the shoes to the shoulder bags and biker jackets.

Punk-Rock Trend

Punk-Rock Trend

The active wear trend is more sport chic with the efforts of laser cut  knee high leather shoes from Alexander McQueen and Christian Dior’s colorful  sneaker designed high heels. Balmain’s collection incorporates leather roping on his military inspired designs which creates structure and detail. The cargo pants paired with the leather bomber jackets give his collection a ‘ready for action’ look and a classic touch with the silhouette frames.

Christian Dior -Sporty heels

Christian Dior -Sporty heels

Balmain- Leather bomber jacket and cargo pants

Balmain- Leather bomber jacket and cargo pants

The active wear trend is equestrian design friendly with knee high leather boots designed both in the natural colored suede skins and in black  leather varieties. Tom Ford’s collection had a series of comfortable cowboy boots in animal prints, metallic,  reds and black leather. Chanel contributed to the active wear trend by pairing loose fitting leather shorts with baggy leather trousers and eye catching colorful sneakers. From crafty laser-cut shoes to bomber jackets and leather trousers, fitness just got fashion forward with leather.

Tom Ford's Red Leather cowboy boots

Tom Ford’s Red Leather cowboy boots

The bohemian chic trend revisits the fashions of the 60’s and 70’s with bold colors and prints on feminine silhouettes.   Furry shearling in warm hues is a key ingredient for this boho chic trend as well as Mongolian fur vests, colorful collars, and fox fur boots . Another staple is natural colored suede shoes from thigh high boots to ankle flat-forms. Suede fringed handbags and shoulder bags round out the trend.

Emillio Pucci-Pink shearling coat and thigh high boots

Emillio Pucci-Pink shearling coat and thigh high boots

In these few trends leather plays a big role, but throughout the many designers collections for this upcoming autumn/winter 2014 season you will find leather abundantly present. Leather is here to stay this season and many more to come.

United Leather's Mongolian Hides

United Leather’s Mongolian Hides

More to a shoe than the sole

What’s the one thing that everyone wears everyday? Shoes! The best quality shoes that last the longest are typically those made of leather. Since United Leather opened shop in 1986, we have catered to countless companies in the fashion industry and have been there go-to shoe leather supplier.

World's oldest leather shoe, found in Armenia Credit: Image courtesy of University College Cork

World’s oldest leather shoe, found in Armenia
Credit: Image courtesy of University College Cork

The oldest leather shoe was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008. Anthropologists have speculated that it dates to about 3,500 B.C. The design was very simple and more of a bag for the foot made from one piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams in the front and back. The main purpose was to protect feet from the elements such as rock, debris and the cold.

Luckily in the past few thousand years since then the industry has evolved immensely. In fact over the years the second biggest use of leather in the United States is for the production of fashion apparel, including shoes. According to the National Shoe Retailers Association the footwear industry annual revenue rounds out each year at approximately $48 billion and the annual U.S. consumer footwear spending rounded out at $20 billion. For United Leather to be a shoe leather supplier really gets our foot in the door of this industry, literally.

men's leather shoes credit: theshoesnobblog.com

men’s leather shoes
credit: theshoesnobblog.com

Leather is used to make a variety of shoes. The earliest athletic shoes made in the early 19th century were leather with metal cleats on the sole creating friction for the athlete. Since before the cowboy era and definitely after, it seems like there is endless types of leather used to make boots. And both men’s dress shoes and women’s heals have been made out of leather since the beginning of time.

Look down at your feet right now. What are your shoes made out of? We bet it’s leather! United Leather is proud to make a contribution to an industry that so involved in the public’s life on a day-to-day basis. Being a shoe leather supplier is and will continue to be an important job of ours.

United Leather's Bomber cowhide in brown

United Leather’s Bomber cowhide in brown

Today’s Forecast Calls for Leather and Suede

Ladies!! It’s winter time and you all know what that means? Time to bundle up in this season’s cutest apparel. Winter is the prime time to break out those boots and coats that keep you extra warm. Wool is practical but leather and suede are much more fashion forward. United Leather has been a leather and suede supplier for a long time and we always make sure to keep up on the trends.

Don’t believe us? Look at all the stars donning their favorite leather and suede pieces around town. Like Reese Witherspoon, in her super cute casual outfit complete with black suede booties and a black suede purse.

Need a more night appropriate outfit to hit the town in? Take a cue from Kristen Stewart who wore this adorable leather and lace ensemble recently.

Guys are even jumping on this trend bandwagon. Look at what Halle Berry and her man wore on the streets of Paris. Halle looks fabulous as always in black leather pants and coordinating boots while Olivier looks oh so handsome in his brown suede jacket.

Style icons have also incorporated other leather and suede items into their wardrobe with dresses, skirts, pants, shoes, accessories and more! United Leather just isn’t a supplier of leather for furniture! Being a suede and leather supplier is such a fun experience. We definitely feel that in a small way we’re contributing to looks like the celebrities worn above. It’s always nice to see the finished product and how we brought a designer’s vision to life. So ladies, and gentlemen, keep your eyes open for the newest leather and suede trends and make sure to bundle up this season!

Staying Warm in New York

Do you know what we love about New York? Everything! Do you know what we don’t love about New York? How cold it is! Unlike our headquarter in Los Angeles, New York City has seen freezing cold temperatures that just don’t go with our tans. But there is one plus, wearing leather to keep warm. United Leather has been involved in leather hide wholesale in the city that never sleeps for quite some time now and we’re glad to help natives stay warm walking to work or just around the city.

People have been using leather hide to keep warm since the caveman era, the only difference is we’re probably a little more stylish than our nomadic ancestors. In fact, a big trend in New York Fashion week, which happened just a few weeks ago, was leather. The most famous designers in the world showed us that we could keep warm with more than just leather boots and gloves. Leather hide has transformed into pants, dresses, coats, tops and skirts that women were drooling over while sitting in the audience.

Picture 3 Staying Warm in New York

United Leather loves this time of year being involved in leather hide wholesale, especially in New York City. And while spring is just around the corner we’re going to make sure to enjoy the cold, or enjoy it in short periods of time. Los Angeles is where are roots are but New York is where we run off to every chance we can get, for business and pleasure.

Lounge in the Leather Couch of Your Dreams

The couch is a staple furniture piece in any home. So when it comes time to choosing the perfect one, there are tons of options out there. The different color, style, shape and size combinations make it seem like the choices are never ending. But one of the most important decisions is what material you want your couch to be made from, and this to us is a no brainer. United Leather has been an upholstery leather supplier in Los Angeles for a long time and the benefits of buying a leather sofa are unparalleled.

The Look

Leather screams elegance and sophistication. Back in the day, way back that is, this fabric was the sign of wealth. In these modern times, luckily, leather has become much more affordable to all types of customers. Why not furnish your home with a piece that looks like it cost a fortune but didn’t.

The Test of Time

Purchasing a leather sofa for your home is a wise decision because it can withstand practically anything and everything. Are you worried about the damage of your adorable rambunctious kids and loveable pesky pets? Don’t be! Leather upholstery is incredibly tough. If your little ones spill a little of their milk or juice a wet cloth can clean it right up, leaving no indication there was ever an accident. Trust us, if you buy a leather sofa you won’t need to replace it for quite some time.

The Comfiest

A leather sofa will adjust to fit the shape of your body better than any other couch. You definitely won’t feel like your furniture has swallowed you. And believe it or not, leather gets comfier over time. As it material ages is gets softer (and more snuggle friendly). Leather also adjusts for each season. In the winter it retains your body heat and will add to your natural warmth. And for Los Angeles residents that don’t experience a winter, the fabric breathes so you don’t overheat in the summer. Perfect for all year round lounging!

So you can see there’s really no reason not to purchase a leather couch. United Leather is one of Los Angeles’ premiere leather upholstery suppliers. We love knowing that our material is something you and your family can cherish for a long time. Your leather couch will be there through birthdays, graduations, children and other monumental occasions. Go get the leather couch of your dreams now!