Cape Cobra Leathercraft: Statement Bags Made in Cape Town

Cape Cobra Leathercraft: Statement Bags Made in Cape Town

Immaculately handcrafted by local artisans.

They’ve been seen on the arms of Princess Charlene of Monaco, Jennifer Lopez and Anne Hathaway, as well as models and trendsetters around the globe. They’ve graced the pages of international publications like Vogue and the catwalks of New York Fashion Week. And they’re made right here in Cape Town.

Local fashion and luxury shopping combine in the colourful and striking Cape Cobra handbags. They’re immaculately crafted in ostrich or crocodile skin and other exotic leathers, which means that no two bags are ever the same. The patterns of the scales and quills are organic and unique.

Apart from its own collections, Cape Cobra has produced for other brands. Ranging from local designers to world-renowned labels such Tiffany & Co, Michael Kors, Marchesa and many others.

The latest look

Cape Cobra Leathercraft-handbag

The new Metropolis Collection, designed to mirror the bustle and energy of the city, pays homage to the power and confidence of the modern woman conquering the urban jungle. The handbags are effortlessly chic and stylish, featuring intricate weaving techniques (a nod to the brand’s African roots) and deep, rich colours – think rich bordeaux, deep cognac, forest green.

Cape Cobra Leathercraft Crocodile Handbag

The most iconic Cape Cobra designs are the Picco and Caia. The smaller-sized Picco [pictured above] is a perfect blend of old and new, with a vintage handle and contemporary design. It comes in all types of leather and colour variations.

The classic Caia crossbody bag comes in a rainbow of hues, from blue-jean and flame-red ostrich skin to metallic gold or silver python, as well as in canvas with leather trim.

Cape Cobra Leathercraft Local Handbag

The larger Cairo bag [pictured above] in nutmeg python and brown nappa leather exudes effortless cool and shows off the natural marking beautifully. It’s also available in ostrich, in shades of black, blue-green, burgundy and more.

A rich legacy

Founded in 1972, Cape Cobra Leathercraft is now in the hands of third-generation Justine Schäfer, who grew up watching her parents and grandparents perfect the crafting of luxury ostrich products and crocodile handbags. While respecting and being inspired by the heritage of the brand, Justine is also focused on sustainability and ethical business, keeping the entire value chain in South Africa beneficiating South African raw materials and uplifting communities.

Cape Cobra Leathercraft Handcrafted Handbag

The company creates employment (and provides training) for 65 skilled artisans who meticulously handcraft each handbag in the atelier in Woodstock. In addition, for the sourcing of the raw materials, it also supports the industry, communities and farmers of the Karoo – who are certified to adhere to stringent animal welfare standards.

“Our products tell the story of craftsmanship and unique individuality,” says Justine. Each bag is made by one individual who takes full ownership of their creation. The process of making a bag can take up to seven days, depending on the style and construction. “They cut, stitch and shape the leather, embedding the rich tapestry of South African culture into every curve and contour.”

Cape Cobra Leathercraft Handbag Design

Shop local at the Cape Cobra concept store (43 Breet Street) and be swept away by the quality and “quiet luxury” of this distinctive collection of handbags. You can also customise a bag, with a wide range of leathers, colours and hardware to choose from.

Opening times Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm
Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Sunday or after hours by appointment
Contact 021 415 3440, 060 646 6704,
Where to find it 1st Floor, 43 Bree Street, Cape Town
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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 13 December 2023