Caracalla 1947

By Jo Phillips

Caracalla 1947 is named after the famous Italian circuit in Rome on which Ferrari won its first race on 25th May 1947. The brainchild of founder and CEO Simon Jordan, the business specializes in producing hand made Italian leather goods inspired by the world of motorsport.

Here we have a new launch from Caracalla 1947 which includes Carbon fibre material – the Formula 1 material of choice. The exclusive leather goods brand inspired by the world of F1 has made a pretty swish collection of weekender bags titled the Monza weekend holdall which is complemented by a selection of other high-quality items including wash bags, drivers’ bags and wallets. 

Here we spoke to the owner of the brand, Simon Jordan about all things leather.

ACM Logo Blind embossed shoulder leather

How did you come to start your journey working with leather? (this is a great way to bring in anything like a childhood moment that may have got you started on your creative journey)

Most of my time in my final year of school I spent in the Metalwork and Woodwork Departments – I came 1st in Metalwork and 2nd Woodwork in my year of exams. I thought about my design for long periods of time before going about making it – I wanted mine to be the best. I have always enjoyed being creative and seeing the final item, a great sense of satisfaction. I spent many years restoring sports cars and winning concurs competitions – this was down to my passion of just doing things 100% correct and taking pride in all that I do.  Italy October 2005 whilst leading a group of my Ferrari – Maserati clients to the World Ferrari Challenge Finale in Mugello Tuscany, One member of the group was carrying a beautiful dark brown Italian leather Holdall which I took a shine to – he told me he purchased this in Florence, After the race on the Sunday I took the whole group of clients into Florence and that’s when I purchased my very first Italian Leather Holdall – these are the reasons for my purchase: The Design proportions I liked, shade of brown leather, the large dark yellow stitching size & colour – from the moment I touched this Holdall standing in Florence on that day, I knew that I would make a career change and totally devote my life to the design and manufacturing of Luxury leather goods HAND MADE IN ITALY – the attention to detail is what drives me and being able to work with people in Italy that are truly skilled and passionate is really satisfying. ‘The Love of Leather.’

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Whats the best thing about working with Animal skin.

Because each piece of cow hide is unique, it continues to create its own look throughout its life, the lovely smell of real leather is never forgotten, it’s amazingly versatile because it starts off on average about 4 – 6mm in thickness, it can be cut down to various sizes; for Wallets it needs to be much thinner than for Holdalls. The Grain is always interesting as some people have a preference to what they like to see – We only use full grain natural leather because we think this is the correct real look, but you can have a small fine grain look or a very smooth grain and some brands print/emboss various different types of patterns or logos, Prada use famous print called Saffiano, Mulberry are famous for the mock-croc look – the great thing is that you can design your own pattern that can then be embossed in each hide of leather. Later this year I will launch a New Collection called ‘ Auto Classic’ which we will emboss our unique design into each hide – so look out for this coming.

Can you do things with skins that you just can’t do with other fabrication?

The thing I really like most about high quality treated cow hide that you can not do with other fabrications, Is that you can achieve a perfect look and finish by heat embossing logos (see attachment) into leather – Shoulder leather is the best for retaining a super clean look for your brand logo – this part of the cow is more expensive as the leather is soft, smooth and dense which is perfect for retaining the depth of the logo and it will hold that look for years. Other materials will not perform as good as leather skins over the years. Just the sheer strength of high quality leather will outlast its owner if its treated to a coating of leather cream once a year – this will stop it drying out.

You have recently created a wood texture on skin, can you tell us a little of how this came about and how you do it?

Having a real passion for design & detail, I enjoy creating new ideas/concepts that I can apply to leather this always keeps my mind active – I love Italian Superyachts/Boats – I study the formidable detail that goes into designing & building this amazing masterpieces on water this has given me the inspiration to design & produce this exciting new look, Teak wood and leather have the same characteristics – you never get two identical pieces as they all start off as a living item and become unique. The process I have developed in our tannery has allowed us to create a genuine teak look,  no panels will be the same – that’s the beauty – uniqueness. It has been great fun bringing this Teak look to life in Leather. I have measured the exact spacing for the holly wood inlay and teak to the millimetre from a famous Italian boat manufacture that I admire, the proportions are 100% correct that I have applied – otherwise its pointlessIMG_1809

How do you do it?

It’s quite easy when you know how – but I don’t really want to tell you, is that OK? all I can say it takes time, patience, passion, love and attention to detail and that’s what I’m all about – if you have all of these you too can produce the same as me.

Gucci is the brand that I admire and follow, I find the story/history of this brand fascinating.

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