Red Hills Company: Handmade Leather Goods from Moscow
Red Hills Company is a small manufacturer of handmade leather goods and is based in Moscow, Russia. Established by Ilya and Dina in 2013, it all started as a hobby that quickly got out of control.
Initially, Red Hills Company started from a personal desire for high quality leather goods. In the early days of the brand, Ilya was searching for a new wallet for himself with little success, so he decided to make one. Production steadily grew as he began to make small leather accessories for his friends and family.
Fast forward to today and Red Hills Company is shipping their wallets worldwide through major retailers such as Cultizm. Although many things have changed over the years, the passion for making high-quality leather goods by hand remains the same.
The name of the brand derives from a city called Krasnogorsk, which means Red Hills in English. It is the city where Ilya was living when he started the brand and it still serves as a major inspiration for him. One unique part of Red Hills Company production is that Ilya sources leather from Russia, which is unique as Russia is not really familiar with leather production and development.
According to Ilya, the most important signature of Red Hills Company product is the precise attention to detail, even down to the inside features and finishing of the product. One detail we love is the engraved concho button with ‘Red Hills’ script logo; the buttons are actually made from a high quality steal which is also used on spacecraft.
On the western outskirts of Moscow, in an old industrial area, The Red Hills Company workshops sits on the top floor of an old resin or rubber factory. It is a large space, with huge windows and plenty of space to work. The workshop also boasts a separate stock room and a lounge area with a sofa, beautiful carpet and a record player. It is here that all Red Hills Company items are made, with the exception of a few locally sourced pieces of hardware.
It may be surprising to learn that all Red Hills Company products are made by a single pair of hands, from start to finish. This is surprising not only because we live in an age of mass manufacture but also because making leather goods by hand is a very time consuming process. For example, making just one medium wallet takes Ilya around four hours.
The most commonly used leather on Red Hills’ product is cowhide, due to its strength and beautiful aging process. When it comes to sourcing the leather, Ilya normally goes to a local distributor who sells leather from Russian tanneries. Sometimes, for a special project, he may approach another distributor who imports hides from overseas.
When looking for a new leather, Ilya first tries to imagine the finished product. When the product specification is defined, he starts sourcing the appropriate hide. In this respect, it is usually the design that determines the material. However on occasion, for special projects, Ilya will pick an existing design and utilize different leather for a limited edition release. This was the case for the sold out medium wallet made from vegetable tanned suede leather.
Over the last six years, Red Hills Company has developed continuously and organically, in order to keep up with growing demand. Ilya is always on the look out to enhance the technology and machinery used to make his product. Currently, all leather pieces are cut using a hand press, with interior components sewn by a heavy duty sewing machine and the exterior is sewn by hand. Attaching the hardware and polishing the edges is also done by hand, but with the help of some tools to make the process less time consuming.
Whilst the brand has undoubtedly changed and developed during its existence, the ethos remains the same: producing handmade high-quality leather goods from Moscow. Head over to the Red Hills Company web store to see the current collection or place an order. Tell Ilya that we sent you.