Style | Diary of a Somebody

Bill Amberg – Day 1

Furnishing Swiss hotels and private yachts is all in a day’s work for the fêted leather artisan

Bill Amberg – Day 1

November 27 2012
Bill Amberg

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

On Monday morning, I’m in the studio early to catch up with Kay, our senior leather worker. She’s just got back from Gstaad, where she and a colleague, Kristen, have been installing 62m of hand-stitched handrailing in the beautiful Alpina hotel.

Then it’s off to the West End, to inspect the leather parquet floor we installed in the new men’s shoe department at Selfridges. We finished it in a mad rush for the opening, and this is the first time we’ve been able to walk around after the dust has settled and have a good look at it. Luckily, all is well – only a polish required.

Later on, I head south to our store in Shepherd Market to see the final samples of our new nylon and leather bag collection, which we’re launching next season at Pitti Uomo menswear fair in Florence. It’s the first time we have designed a range like this for years, and I’m eagerly anticipating the reaction to what I hope will be a strong new group of bags.

In the afternoon, I travel across London to visit Kate Maclaren at leading yacht designer Andrew Winch Designs, where I have been asked to show ideas for one of their latest projects: a 164m boat, with laser-etched and embossed patterns on calf and goat skins from Italy.

I have recently started a blog for the studio, but thanks to my workload, my old friend Colin Cameron comes in once a week to ensure we keep it bang up to date. I enjoy his visits, chatting about what we have been up to while he converts my thoughts into something more coherent.

Finally, Rob Herman, head of operations at Stink production company, arrives after everyone has left me in peace, bringing his briefcase in for modification. We both ride bikes and use the same messenger bag, our Large Transit, but it needs a laptop slip pocket, so I’ve cut it from leather and decide to fit one for each of us, using my favourite ancient sewing machine. It’s good to know I can still do it.

See also

People, Bill Amberg