Having begun as a family business of saddlers in 1878, Connolly's reputation for its quality hides soon piqued the interest of the luxury automobile industry, with companies such as Bentley and Ferrari appointing Connolly as their main leather supplier. Aside from its connections to prestigious names in the car world, Connolly has a rich British heritage, with the company’s leather gracing the seats of the Houses of Parliament and the Coronation coaches of the British Royal Family.
Isabel Ettedgui, owner of Connolly, has been quietly breathing new life into the company, relaunching the brand in late 2016 with a collection of exquisite leather accessories, objects and timeless ready to wear. The backdrop to this new chapter is a beautiful 18th century townhouse in London's Mayfair from which Connolly offers a distinctly personal retail experience. With Ettedgui’s approach of “less consumerism, more quality”, the collections are produced responsibly and meticulously by craftsmen and women in factories in the UK and in Ubrique, the centre of leather craft in Spain.
Isabel Ettedgui cites longevity and affection for a product or brand rather than “growing at such a rapid rate that you can’t keep up” as her guiding principle for Connolly. “We’ve gone down a track that is very much our own. Our pieces are not heavily branded – our focus is on the quality and the craft. We see it as very much a slow burn,” says Ettedgui.
“It’s about seeing something from concept stage. I love being at the factories and the workshops. There is nothing like watching people create with their hands.”
“It’s about seeing something from concept stage. I love being at the factories and the workshops. There is nothing like watching people create with their hands.”Isabel Ettedgui