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It’s In The Bag – Fashion News

Home-grown bespoke croc-skin specialist Ethan K creates capsule collection inspired by Bentley

Although he’s now based in London, Ethan Koh still draws much inspiration from his younger days in Singapore. This is why you’ll find quirky durian- or mangosteen-shaped clasps – fruit in which his maternal grandparents used to trade – in his creations for his cult-favourite Ethan K bag brand.

Now, he has added double-quilted leather linings to his repertoire, recalling the days he spent in the back of his father’s Bentley admiring the exquisite motif of its upholstery. In a one-off collaboration with the local distributor for the British luxury car marque, the 28-year-old launched a 15-piece limited-edition Ethan K for Bentley handbag collection last month.


Ethan Koh’s designs include a double quilted lining, a reflection of the similarities his brand has with Bentley

Through this, Koh pays homage to the iconic patterning technique of Bentley’s custom-build Mulliner division, highlighting the similarities of the two companies. He says: “Like an Ethan K bag, a Bentley is also a bespoke product as one gets to choose the type of leather on the seats and how it is stitched.”

A fourth-generation artisan, Koh comes from a family well-versed in the craft of crocodile skins. His paternal great-grandfather founded Heng Long tannery about 70 years ago. It is one of only fi ve firms worldwide that can supply skins of sufficient quality to top luxury houses; French conglomerate LVMH acquired a 51 per cent stake in it in 2011. Koh, who insists on meeting clients directly in the now-rare practice of trunk shows, is proud of his heritage. He says: “In this era of mass consumption, a certain part of our soul is lost. What I want to do is to bring that back.”