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Bill Amberg x Belstaff
“I’m Bill Amberg, I’m a designer, and a rider.”
It’s a wonderfully understated introduction from Belstaff’s latest collaborative partner – one of the most celebrated leather artisans in the world. This, along with his love of motorcycles – and his Trialmaster jacket – made Bill the ideal choice to work with us on a stunning accessories capsule collection that fuses simple design and timeless craftsmanship.
Born and raised in Northampton, the shoe-making centre of England, Bill Amberg was surrounded by leather from an early age, crafting it alongside his architect mother. “I'm lucky to have a job that's also my hobby,” he has said, of a career that has seen his work accepted into the permanent collections of both London’s V&A museum and New York’s MOMA.
The passion that Bill has for his craft, feeds into his love of motorcycling. “If you treat old bikes well, they’ll look after you,” he reasons. “It’s the same as a beautiful bit of leather – if you look after it, it’ll last you a lifetime.” It’s a view that chimes with Belstaff’s built-for-life bedrock, and one that is a foundation of our new capsule collection.
Sporting heritage, beautiful craftsmanship and forward-facing design are the key ingredients in a rediscovery of this classic kit bag, inspired by the colourful career of motorcycle legend Eddie Mulder. After taking the 1960s racing world by storm, Eddie turned to stunt riding, where he doubled for Clint Eastwood, Peter Fonda and Evel Knievel. Crafted from supple nappa leather, the bag is – like Mulder himself – a mix of the practical and the showman. With plenty of capacity to store leathers, helmet and gym kit, the Mulder Bag also boasts eye-catching creative detail with lively colour combinations and decorative leather flower motifs.
Simplicity is at the heart of this envelope-style case, crafted from a single piece of tanned leather. Unfussy, clean and classic, the real value of this exquisite piece lies in the care and deft detailing, which includes hand-waxed edging and an antique brass pin fastening.
Boasting all of the careful consideration of its card-carrying sister piece, the Spruce Sunglasses Case has an extra layer of practicality built in, with a stud-fastened leather snap, to keep on a close eye your glasses. And, like all the pieces in this capsule, the Spruce Case was hand-crafted from British materials in Bill’s London workshop.
The clean, unfussy design of the unisex belts makes for an enduring style, but there’s more here than at first meets the eye. A brass buckle, left unfinished, allows the belt to develop a unique patina over time. Wear provides the finishing touches to the piece, and hints at a relationship between clothing and owner familiar to anyone who owns a waxed jacket.
“Well made, strong, reliable,” is Bill’s summation of the collection. Once again, with subtle understatement, he manages to get right to the essence of this capsule: craftsmanship, rigorous attention to detail and elegant practicality. They are exquisite objects that make beautiful gifts, built for life by Bill Amberg and Belstaff.