Over the last few years, I have built up a diverse collection of leather jackets. Many are from iconic designers like Giorgio Armani, Dolce Gabbana, Martin Margiela, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent etc. Generally, I am not motivated by labels per-se and am inspired by innovative design. The garments I have procured are very rare in terms of colours, styles and patterns. Essentially this inspired me to create my own brand called ‘Morley Rose’. My concept was to create stylish Italian Nappa blazers with industrial photographic textures (concrete, marble, galvanised steel, glass) for pocket trims and lapels. I achieved this with the generous assistance of veteran Melbourne based craftsman John Presser and Pan Yiannakou who created a patented digital print technology.
For a few years, I have followed Cengio Bilgic who has established a leather goods brand called Corrigia. I became familiar with his work on Facebook through specialist watch groups. When purchasing as a special timepiece it goes without saying you would also require a bespoke handcrafted strap. Corrigia manufactures a range of beautiful straps for discerning clients around the world. On his website, they are advertised on various Panerai models but can be customised accordingly.
As well as making watch straps Corrigia also offers a range of other high-quality products like belts, rucksacks, satchels, wallets and weekend bags. These are all fabricated from the highest grade of Italian cowhide, which is then treated with a superior resin-and acid-free Beeswax leather balm. This makes the leather supple, soft and very sustainable. Certainly, this quality is well above the normal standard found on the High Street. Essentially, that is because the product is fastidiously handcrafted in a small workshop located in Jockgrim, Germany.
Recently, Cengio has expanded the product range to include a variety of stylish leather jackets. Approximately 18-months ago I featured a brand called KA/NOA, which was established by former watch industry executive Bruno Grande. I reviewed their flagship jacket called the Leon Bomber Jacket. The quality is exceptional and far surpasses many of the designer jackets I own. The main reason is it has a boutique quality and is fabricated in a small workshop. The same comparison applies to the Freigeist Blue by Corrigia.
Over the last few year’s brands in the fashion industry have had to be more transparent about the country of origin. Nowadays if you say a garment is made in Italy, the label has to state the name of the manufacturer. A great case in point is Staff International who crafts leather jackets for Dsquared, Maison Margiela, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood. Certainly, this isn’t an issue because ultimately you are paying for the design. However, if you want something really special it is hard to surpass the Freigeist Blue by Corrigia.
Very kindly Cengio Bilgic sent me a Freigeist Blue so I appreciate the overall quality first hand. Certainly, the jacket massively exceeded my expectations and so did the meticulous attention to detail. For example, it is fabricated from the finest Italian Lamb leather and durable tear-resistant yarn. Everything about this product epitomises fine craftsmanship and the desire to achieve perfection. Aesthetically, the style of the Freigeist Blue is reminiscent of the iconic ‘Panther’ by Belstaff. However, Cengio has added his own ‘je ne sais quoi’ (indefinable quality) to the composition. I absolutely love the quilted pattern and urban tailored structuring, which is bang on-trend.
During many conversations with a Cengio Bilgic, I realised how passionate he is about the art of leather crafting. He still adheres to traditional methods and all his products (including the Freigeist Blue) are created using a variety of antique tools (old awl, leather knife, plane etc.). Interestingly to create a unique vintage patina Cengio spends many hours of grinding and polishing each section of the leather. For the final process, the skin/hides are finished with a saltwater and natural leather balsam treatment.
To purchase the exquisite Freigeist Blue jacket or any other fine quality leather products from Corrigia follow this link