Artistry in Leather: Laddie Howard


What do you consider art?

Paint on canvas? Statues made from clay? Music?

Laddie Howard of Columbia, South Carolina is a true artist.

His medium is a combination of leather and exotic skins.

And his creations are works of art.

I know Laddie from attending the Charlotte Seen fashion shows. His bags, as well as the choreography, are always a crowd pleasing portion of the shows.

I recently traveled to Columbia to attend an event he co hosted with Ron Donovan, luxury shoe designer.

I walked through the white curtained entrance into the courtyard of Laddie’s home/workshop/showroom.

Walking along the cobblestone path, past the several little niches and sitting areas, I admired the fountain and the beauty. To sit in this space has to fuel his creativity.

The smell of leather pulled me around the corner and into the workshop.

I was immediately taken back to my childhood. To the memory of an uncle who made saddles in a little shop in his backyard. He made me a small handbag that I carried forever. Perhaps that’s where my love of handbags began.

I watched as Laddie handled a piece of cobalt leather.

His hands molded it into a beautiful piece of sculpture that will grace the arm of some fortunate lady and make her outfit complete.

HIs designs appeal to all. From clutches to cigar cases, there’s something for everyone.

Unisex pieces include messenger and duffle bags, bracelets and backpacks.

I then crossed into a world of elegance. Indulgence. Luxury.

His workshop opened up into a showroom that will put even the finest boutiques and department stores to shame.

His motto is “Style is something that is built and expressed over time…not something you get on a shopping spree.”

Seeing his bags paired with shoe designs from Ron Donavan was aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

It was as if their creative minds worked in unison.

I was then treated to a glass of wine and a conversation with the artist in his wine cellar/bar area.

It was a delight to be in this world.

I eventually had to leave the real life fantasy world and return home to Charlotte.

I took with me memories of a day of being in the presence of two intelligent, dapper, creative gentleman.

And my very own L.Howard Artistry In Leather handbag.

Art takes on different forms. If you open your mind and look at the world around you, perhaps you will find it.

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