Lotuff Leather Creates Pieces for a Lifetime

The Providence-based company makes high-end leather bags and accessories.

Leather Locking Crossbody, red, $590

Sarah Murphy and Stefaan Dupont of Miles and Miles. Product shots courtesy of Lotuff Leather.

Inside Lotuff Leather’s workshop, filled with shelving that displays goods like museum masterpieces, leather artisan Fiona Bank uses a clicker press to cut the front of a Triumph briefcase from the most perfect section of hide.

“This is the most important part in forming the whole bag,” says Lotuff creative director and designer Lindy McDonough. “Each section has a number. All thirty pieces have the handbag number written on them. There are separate dies for every part, and every style has different dies.”

The cutting dies, or wooden guides for slicing leather, are custom-made for Lotuff in New York and the leather comes from a family tannery in South America. The leather for the bridle collection is sourced in the United States. “It’s like a puzzle and every hide is different,” says McDonough.

Handbags involve up to thirty pieces of hand-cut vegetable-tanned leather in hues such as electric blue, indigo, smoke, chestnut and more. Third-generation manufacturer and Lotuff cofounder Joe Lotuff and Rhode Island School of Design graduate McDonough work with fifteen team members to handcraft the high-quality leather goods in Providence. Some are also made in Lotuff’s second shop in southwestern Connecticut. “We focus on detail, quality and timelessness,” says Lotuff. “This whole idea of being simple and long-lasting.”

Lotuff follows a minimalist approach with solid colors and clean lines. Some bags sport 1950s Italian deadstock solid cast brass locks, which were later replicated. “We found the original manufacturer for that lock and we remade it,” says McDonough.

Prices range from $400 to $1,900, available on the Lotuff website and Mr. Porter, as well as from retailers Barneys, Shreve, Crump and Low and small boutiques. Bags are guaranteed for life, meaning they’ll last or they can be serviced, repaired or replaced. “It’s a lifetime bag,” says Lotuff, and appearance improves with age. “It’s like a baseball glove or great leather product that actually gets better with time and develops a patina,” he says.

Bags are sold online and in retail locations. Visitors are welcome, by appointment only, at the showroom. 1 Sims Ave., Providence, 888-763-2247, lotuffleather.com

Leather Bifold Wallet, chestnut, $195

Round Pouch, electric blue, $160

The Tripp, red, $490

Leather Working Tote, natural, $750

No. 10 Leather Weekender Bag, chestnut, $1,100


Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »
Sponsored Content
From our Sponsors

National Grid - Energy Efficiency

When Energy Upgrades Are Made, Opportunity Comes Knocking


A Family of Restaurants
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Faces 2016

Get to know some of the Faces of Rhode Island.


Sign up for our e-newsletters to keep up with the latest events, dining and more.

Dining Listings

Browse our comprehensive Insider's Guide dining listings for local restaurants - searchable by cuisine, distance and price range.


Explore Rhode Island with our mobile friendly website. Get the inside scoop on restaurants, activities, shopping destinations and more.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

Rhode Islanders of the Year

Meet the women, men and kids who have done the Ocean State proud this year.

Here's How to Apply for RI's New Free College Initiative

Step-by-step guidelines on how to score two years of free college through Rhode Island's Promise.

25 Ways to Ring in the New Year in Rhode Island

New Year's Eve festivities include dinners, rooftop parties, live music, burlesque shows and more.

28 Best Seafood Restaurants in Rhode Island

Narragansett Beer is Back

The century-old company is brewing in Rhode Island once again.
Edit ModuleShow Tags