“Owning one of our bags is a lifetime commitment, so put it in your will.”
– CHAPEL Goods
You may have never have heard of this incredible brand, and if not, we are excited to introduce you. Nothing about CHAPEL goods lends itself to mediocrity. From the neat display to the crisp white backdrop of the walls, clear intention and specific choices are evident. The brand has a carefully curated style that feels simultaneously exclusive and comfortable.
Take your pick of duffels, moonbags and everything in between, because CHAPEL has it all. All of their products are handmade and the materials used range from canvas to 100% bovine (cow), Kudu or Eland leather, sourced locally or in Namibia. The leather is available in 12 different shades and it is possible to order a bespoke bag made specifically.
Aside from the quality, it is the story that sets this brand apart. The founder and owner, Caleb Pederson, is a fashion designer and avid traveller. He was inspired by the intersection between the different functions of bags in his everyday life, and the function of bags in the different cultural contexts he came into contact with on his travels.
In fact, the brand’s name comes from a trip to India, where the inspiration for his own creations first took root. Initially, Pederson wanted to make shoes and chose the Hindi word for sandal, “chappal”. In 2009, he transitioned to making leather bags after seeing a gap in the market. The name CHAPEL stuck. To celebrate the birth of his brand, this year they recreated their first manufactured backpack, almost a decade after the journey began.
Currently, there are six employees that put the bags together at their factory in the Woodstock exchange. Many of these are original team members who have been joined by a sales team and their own graphic designer, Simone van der Spuy. Although the brand is committed to its own aesthetic, van der Spuy shares that there is always room for collaboration if the concept serves both traders. “In the past we have done colabs with other designers and artists for limited edition bags.”
All of the bags they produce have an authentic feel about them, and owning one makes a lifestyle statement. To quote the website: “We ride, explore and take journeys to stay inspired. The risk is to start.” They are for the traveller, investor, and above all for the lovers of experience. They suit those who prioritise style and sustainability over fast fashion.
This business proves that our country houses great talent, with heart and care behind what we produce. CHAPEL is right up there with the luxury leather brands, and should they fulfil the goal of expanding their online store reach, it will be an export we can be proud of.
176 Albert Road
Woodstock, Cape Town