It all started with a personal need.
During the summer of 2017, Youssef had granted himself a beautiful Mac book air to accompany him in his daily productivity as an entrepreneur.
Glad to be in possession of his new computer, he began to look for a beautiful leather bag to systematically contain his Mac.
After a few weeks of research, Youssef was dismayed because he could not find a functional Briefcase, of good quality, at a reasonable price.
So he refered to his best friend Imad, an IT consultant and entrepreneur. Accustomed to travelling all over the world, Imad was able to develop a good knowledge of leather goods, and if Youssef contacted Imad, he knew that he was the right person.
In Namibia at that time, Imad recommended to Youssef to wait for his return to Morocco to carry out a prospective tour in Marrakech and FEZ, ancient Moroccan cities known for their rich artisanal heritage.
The adventure had therefore begun in Fez, in the narrow streets of the old Medina. After crossing every nook and cranny of the old Medina without finding what they came for. The two friends got to the largest and oldest tannery in the history of Morocco, the tannery chouara.
Impressed by this beautiful waterfront complex, they did not fail to observe the ancestral tanning process very closely, which had amazed them; especially that in the same tannery, there were shops where beautiful leather bags from this legendary tannery were showcased.
After contemplating some models, Youssef literally fell in love with a beautiful vintage leather bag because it corresponded exactly to what he had come to look for. Fascinated as well, Imad had wished to get the same bag for himself, but unfortunately for him, this bag was unique, and the only way to get it was to find the traces of the craftsman behind.
After hours of research, Imad and Youssef managed to find a person who was going to be of great use, because he put them in contact with the craftsman who made this bag, however, this one lived in Casablanca.
Back in Casablanca, Imad and Youssef went to see the workshop in question, became acquainted with the craftsman, and managed to obtain an exact replica of the bag bought in Fez. This bag was so beautiful, that Imad asked him how he had learned to make such bags, and it was there that they discovered for the first time the existence of Lokman aldabagh, a master leather craftsman from Fez with an impressive story.
Their new acquaintance kept telling them how lucky he was to have learned his skills from Lokman, and that’s how he told them his wonderful story. This marked Youssef and Imad, but they did not know at that moment that they were going to pay tribute to Lokman Aldabagh by creating a brand bearing that same name.
After a few weeks of use, Youssef and Imad were getting plenty of compliments on their bags from their entourage of engineers, entrepreneurs and business executives. This is how they decided to launch a first production during the summer of 2018.
Following a video to present the first briefcase they had designed to the general public, they had managed to obtain more than 100 pre-orders in the space of a few weeks, and this is how the adventure of the Lokman Aldabag brand began.
These first 100 orders were an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to come into direct contact with the market, something that was supported by an active listening approach to customer feedback based on deliveries made in person by Youssef and Imad.
This first campaign allowed Imad and Youssef to get a clear idea of the need of business executives and entrepreneurs for functional, qualitative and sustainable Briefcases. And this how the idea of exploring the leather goods market in depth manifested itself.
So let’s start from the beginning, a beautiful leather bag is made from premium leather. It was therefore necessary to see at first what are the best tanneries in Morocco, so we started to search for them. After intensive research, and contaction the Moroccan federation of leather industries, we managed to shortlist some of the best tanners in Morocco.
The selection of the highest quality leather has always been an important principle that we never wanted to do without, so we spent hours looking at the different qualities to make the best choice.
In this regard, we want to elucidate a point: All the leather that we use is full grain leather. This element is to be kept in mind because there are several different qualities of leather, but we wanted to position ourselves in terms of quality by choosing the best. After the choice of leather, comes the hardware
The task was not easy for us because we had to conduct a local and international benchmark to identify the companies that supply the best brands of luxury or high-end leather goods. And in this regard, we have managed to establish a close link with the world leader who is none other than the Japanese YKK.
Next step, what’s our signature ?
You remember Lokman Aldabagh, the master leatherworker mentioned earlier, who was known for his positive spirit and sense of sharing, especially that he offered the most deserving young workers in Fez a special briefcase that people ended up baptizing “companion of success”. This sense of generosity struck us, which inspired us to develop the philosophy of success in the form of a traditional Moroccan Pattern incorporating the values of Lokman aldabagh that converges with our idea of entrepreneurship by staying true to ourselves, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on our dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but us.
Then the 06 steps idea of success comes in: Find a Vision, Hard Work, Continuous Learning, Mutual Respect, Celebration of Success, and Give Back.
We wanted to have these symbols as engraved in our interior fabrics in all of our leather goods as a LOKMAN ALDABAG signature.
After organizing a competition that challenged about a hundred participants, we retained the pattern that you can see above.
Now the question arose, what will be the lining to use and where can we print it?
For the question of lining, we did not hesitate long before opting for Serge fabric, reputed to be resistant and suitable for high-end leather goods. On the other hand, for printing, this was another story.
We had to fight hard for long weeks before finding the right partner who finally managed to get our pattern out with an excellent rendering on our fabric.
Isn’t it beautiful to go from abstract to concrete? This feeling was indescribable at the time we touched this beautiful fabric adorned with the pattern for which we had worked so hard.
Of course, in parallel with all these aspects of research and development, we devoted a lot of our time to prototyping, first by designing our models in the company of a team of designers, on the basis of our terrain lifts ( our customers ‘ comments). And in a second time, we had to launch each of the new versions of our prototypes and test them on the ground.
In order to achieve the high standards we set ourselves, we had to prototype countless times, and at times we had to change workshops so that we could find the level of expertise we were looking for.
This is how we ended up collaborating with workshops working with some of the biggest brands of high-end leather goods, such as Jérôme Dreyfus, Chanel or Lancel.
Today, we are delighted to share with you the fruit of our work and allow the world to appreciate all the quality and know-how of the leather goods made by skilled craftsmen in Fez, the Morocco’s oldest imperial city.
The Moroccan is a craftsman by nature.