Fez MEDINA in 1919,

the heart and the capital of The Kingdom of Morocco which is under French protectorate.

 

As any kid of his generation, LOKMAN spend most of his day wandering in the narrow streets of Old Medina

here the artisanal work is one of the main source of livelihood as from almost every corner, you soon noticed the sounds of handwork, the sawing of wood, the chiseling of stone, the loud click-clack of two-pedal looms
At that time, Fez was the moroccan capital of handcraftship and probably one of the most renown cities in the world to hold an excellent reputation in this field.

 

Curious and attentive, he was following the trains of mules passing all day long piled with fetid, slaughterhouse-fresh animal hides — goat, sheep, cow, camel — deposit their loads in a riverside complex of buildings

LOKMAN was always fascinated that out of the same structures stride customers in gorgeous and fragrant leather handbags and jackets. Such transformations made his little mind wondering how such change is possible, as he could not understand why men in dye-stained shorts pass days and years washing, treating, smoothing and coloring the skins in huge, ancient vats. LOKMAN starts referring to the Fez tanneries by “THE WITCHCRAFT House”.

The magic spell of FEZ TANNERIES will lead LOKMAN curiosity about leathercraft to grow up moreover As he turned 15 years old, LOKMAN succeed to convince a respected merchant in Medina, to find him a decent job in a leather shop close to Tannery Chouara, built in 11th Century, and considered the heart of Leather market in the country. LOKMAN, who could not be happier, was following proudly, every morning, the footsteps of the countless generations who have labored before him in leather profession.

Before his 25th Birthday, LOKMAN had to join the French army.
At that time, the WWII conditions forced most young Africans to help the Allied forces in their European battles. The circumstances brought LOKMAN to Tuscany, Italy where he had to fight until the end of the war and where after which he settled down in the region for several years.

During the first post-war years, LOKMAN had to do several gigs from gardening to farming to feed himself, and luckily for him….

he found his heart’s desire in his beloved Craftsmanship, especially, that his master was one of the most talented Italian leather workers.

LOKMAN, who was always passionate about leathercraft since his young age, become notorious by “Esperto Marocchino” and as the most passionate leather artisan in Tuscany region

Many years later, and after forming very close relationships with the leather artisans of Tuscany, he decided to come back to Morocco, as he got nostalgic about his family and homeland.

Once back in Fez Medina, LOKMAN was delighted to find himself again with the sight of the world famous tanneries in the medina, Tannery Chouara; he took every possible advantage of its unique window into the pungent, natural process of producing excellent leather using methods that have changed little since medieval times.

It did not take a lot of time before LOKMAN started building a reputation that brought him the highest profile customers of his region then the whole country, his eminence even overpassed Moroccan boundaries, and many Italian tourists in Fez came to see Tannery Chouara and LOKMAN, the wonderful Leather artisan who speaks Italian!

Besides establishing himself as one of the most talented and successful leather artisans in Fez at that time, LOKMAN stood more apart by his sense of giveback as he offered, for many generations, the most deserving young hard workers a Special Leather Briefcase with his own signature LOKMAN, hat signature soon became recognized by people and coined as “The Success Companion”.

Feeling approaching his retirement, LOKMAN who was still at the top of his art, tried to transmit his knowledge and passion to the youngest generations while continuously supporting and giving a boost to those in greatest need. Despite his generosity, LOKMAN Aldabbagh unique Success Companion briefcases remained for many years, the property of a close circle of historical and lucky-granted people, as his tradition and leathercraft skills had slowly disappeared over time and sadly, no one from his subsequent generations could follow it.