The smell of leather

April 21, 2022

Anyone who lives in a Hanomag truck as a Tiny House for years becomes allergic to frills. The things you surround yourself with have to be functional and straightforward. For carpenter and fashion designer Leens Jan Ondra, that means making accessories out of cowhide that get better and better with daily use. With his one-man manufactory Ondura, he supplies everyone who wears jeans without a stretch component with wallets, key rings, knife cases, smartphone cases or belts. His best seller, the “Klassik Biker Geldbörse”, combines the advantages of his products: best material, best workmanship, no gimmicks. Vegetable-tanned cowhide from German tanneries, sewn with tear-resistant thread by Leens Jan Ondra, brass snap fasteners and eyelet. For design, he relies on the old (another thing you learn when living in a 1966 Hanomag). The patina comes naturally.

Punk rocker Leens Jan Ondra gets downright romantic when asked what attracts him to cowhide: “Quite a lot: smell, feel, memories. It’s such a versatile, natural raw material, used since the dawn of mankind. What’s important here is the mindful use and longevity of the products.” Says he, turning up the Ramones and turning back to the workbench.

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