Dutch designer tries his hand at travel-inspired leather goods


After 18 years in the fashion industry, John van Dorst has made a foray into leather goods, debuting Vandorst in a test phase earlier this month. Van Dorst happened upon the leather accessories and diaries from his grandparents’ travels during the 1920s, which served as inspiration for the eponymous brand.

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Van Dorst quickly discovered the challenges of working with a prestige material like leather, spending a year and a half studying its finishes and nuances. Each of Vandorst’s six bags and four small pouches are created with the finest skins possible, sourced from central Europe and finished in the Netherlands’ last remaining tannery.

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Constructed in the same atelier that produces the country’s leather footwear, the pieces speak to the heritage of leatherwork in the Holland. “All this is my passion,” says Van Dorst. “I decided to make my own bags and accessories borne from a personal quest for the ideal product. The entire collection has been created in classic shapes like the briefcase, the sports bag and the tote.”

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As a nod to the travel accessories created for the wife of King George III of England, each bag is lined in royal blue. Those wishing to get their hands on a Vandorst bag will have to be patient—the line’s “launch” this month sent 15 individuals on a journey to road-test the various styles, but the collection won’t be available to the general public until next year. Van Dorst tells us that he’s been inundated by orders already, so visit the site’s contact page to get your name on the waiting list.