Basil Racuk – Americana Made Irresistible.

February 14, 2010
London menswear is fast approaching and I find myself, once again, deliberating over what to cram into a minuscule Ryanair carry-on bag. It’s too cold to go all SS10 and not quite cold enough to justify AW-esque layers and fur (who am I kidding I don’t even have any…). I may still be in sartorial limbo as regards my clothing but were the shows taking place in four to six weeks from now, I know exactly the bag I’d be hauling on to that flight.

Basil Racuk is a California-based leather goods brand. The kind that’s of good quality, unfussy aesthetics and pure, unadulterated, saliva-inducing style. Inspired by Northern California’s renowned and wide-reaching history of craft, Basil actually succeeds in what so many other designers seek to do – updating something influenced by the past for wearing in the present (quite literally with the iPhone case). Each piece is crafted from full-grain deerskins or cowhides and requires four to six weeks of production. Usually, my accessories are a little more enlivened (in terms of colour etc.) than these, but no matter really, they’re good enough to eat and surely, by extension then, they’re more than ripe for wearing (excuse the food/clothing comparisons, it’s nearing lunchtime). Workwear may have crept onto the runways a few seasons ago but what with all the sh*t-kicking boots etc. that have been proposed for AW10, I reckon it’s a style that’s not likely to budge any time soon. Here, for me, is where it starts…

1e452 basilracuk5

987a6 basilracuk4

^ Top – Painted satchel, Bottom – Painted soft brief. Vegetable-tanned, 5 ounce-weight leather. Basil uses indigo dye sourced from Japan to create a striated effect, which takes full effect after three weeks of conditioning.

1b6d7 basilracuk3

^ iPhone case.

8b7fc basilracuk2

^ Small Voyager. Basil terms this the “2.0”, souped-up version of its predecessor, the original Voyager. New features include taped seams and double-rivets at the strap attach.

0c456 basilracuk1

^ Undoubtedly my favourite – the belt/suspender. A latigo leather style, which is multi-functional in purpose in that suspender component can be detached. Available in black, dark brown, and vegetable-tan.

c0460 basilracuk6

^ Another latigo leather model – the hard brief. This bag marries the robustness of the briefcase with the chic of an attaché.

Basil Racuk is available at Unionmade in San Francisco and Leffot in NYC.
  • godglamit February 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    love the painted bags, completely original and fresh.

  • Soooali February 14, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Ah, these are beautiful!

  • meagan March 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm