“SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION.”
Leonardo da Vinci
Was da Vinci a Scandinavian? Perhaps not, masculine style is immediately recognisable
but he appreciated one of the cornerstones of to those in the know. The materials we use
Scandinavian design. In Scandinavia, simplicity are selected without compromise: flawless,
- in both function and form - traditionally goes 1st class hides, the rarest of precious metals,
hand in hand with superlative craftsmanship and and the very strongest threads. The craftsmen
understated elegance. That is why Scandinavian who build them are the best in the world, with
designs tend to stand the test of time; how they expertise stretching back literally centuries.
can be simultaneously classic and modern.
We believe that true quality need not shout to
All GRAAE products are developed and designed be heard. That is why you will struggle to find
in Denmark. Our belts, wallets and bags any logos or brand names on GRAAE products.
epitomise the timeless tenets of Scandinavian
design: functionality, quality craftsmanship and For what function do logos serve?
understated elegance. Their sophisticated yet raw,
who you share this with
“QUALITY IS NOT AN ACT, IT’S A HABIT.” UNCOMPROMISING APPROACH
Aristotle Klavs Graae
At GRAAE the quality of our products starts at feel confident our products will meet with your In Denmark, the name Klavs Graae has been the Vietnamese War while living on the Spanish
the design stage and continues right through approval. If you prefer to stay one step ahead synonymous with the finest quality leather island of Ibiza, but spent most of the 1970s living
to the last stitch and final polish. There is no of the latest fashions, and if you are prepared to products for decades. and working deep in the forests of Sweden,
compromise in functionality. These are products compromise on quality in order to do that, then, honing his skills and deepening his knowledge of
which are designed for men to use, built on a with respect, we suggest you look elsewhere. During a career spanning more than forty years, wild hides, forestry and the natural world.
masculine scale with, in the case of our bags for Mr Graae has accumulated a knowledge of hides
example, man-sized handles and straps. Are GRAAE’s leather goods the best of their kind and their tanning, colouring, cutting and stitching In 1984, Mr Graae returned to Denmark to found
in the world? which is unsurpassed. the company which eventually became GRAAE
If you appreciate patina, longevity and a style COPENHAGEN and conclude his decades-long
which never dates; if it is important to you that You be the judge. Mr Graae first began working with leather in 1967, training as a leather tailor. Since then he has built
things serve their purpose to perfection; then we in a workshop in central Copenhagen. Among his a loyal and appreciative clientele for his belts,
first clients were local and international rock bags and wallets, all of which continue to be
musicians, including members of Led Zeppelin and built by hand according to Mr Graae’s trademark
the Rolling Stones. He saw out the 1960s making uncompromising approach to quality, function and
leather goods for American draft dodgers from timeless style.
“QUALITY IS NEVER AN ACCIDENT.
IT IS ALWAYS THE RESULT OF INTELLIGENT EFFORT.”
The heart and soul of a GRAAE product is the Quality of leather is dependent on several factors:
leather used in its construction. We use, simply, from the climate in which the cattle were raised
the very finest quality leathers in the world, both and the type of feed used, to the method used
externally, and for our linings. Predominantly to tan and colour it. The animals from which we
sourced from Northern Europe, our leathers source our non-exotic hides - water buffalo calf
are selected to meet the highest standards of and young cattle - were raised in cool climates,
structure, density, colour and durability. We do which makes their skins tough yet supple.
not tolerate imperfection.
Our hides are vegetably tanned using natural
plant extracts, such as oak bark, rhubarb,
eucalyptus and acacia bark. Oil is then applied
to preserve the leather’s water resistance and
durability. Finally, the hides are dyed using a
transparent aniline dye, which leaves the grain
visible. It allows leather to age gracefully, to
respond well to maintenance, and to improve
with time. Our leather will darken and shine like
a good saddle. The alternative, chromium dyes,
though roughly ten times cheaper and more
widely used, weaken leather’s structure. Unlike
aniline dyes, they do not penetrate the leather
fully so that, when it ages and cracks, a colour
contrast is revealed. Chromium dyes compromise
resistance to water and, not least, have serious
Our reptile skins, meanwhile, are harvested
in strict accordance with the Washington
Convention on International Trade in Endangered
“THE GOOD GOD IS IN THE DETAILS.” strength. They are then plated with solid sterling
Gustave Flaubert silver before receiving a final galvanising coat of
palladium, a metal several times tougher than
platinum, and many times more expensive than
You may be familiar with the phrase, ‘Don’t sweat gold. Why do we go to such trouble and expense?
the small stuff’. Well, that’s precisely what we Because palladium is the best material for the
do. In fact, we relish the ‘small stuff’, because, at job - the toughest, the best looking and the most
GRAAE, we believe that is where true excellence durable. It is lighter than platinum, and does not
lies - and often in the elements you can’t see as tarnish.
much as those you can.
We don’t make our bags and belts, we build
For instance, none of the hardware which graces them, by hand, for hands to touch.
our belts and bags is standard. Every bracket,
lock, hinge and buckle is specially designed They are virtually indestructible.
and constructed to our own highly demanding
Our locks are hand-milled for strength and
precision; our zippers hand polished for ultra-
smooth action and longevity. All our belt buckles
and bag fittings are hand cast from solid brass,
using metal moulds - as opposed to cheaper,
quicker silicone moulds - for precision and
“THE DEVIL IS COMPROMISE.” At GRAAE we have no interest in shortcuts.
Shortcuts are a form of compromise. That is
why, for instance, we never use just glue in the
construction of our products. Using only glue is of
course quicker and easier, but glue deteriorates
over time which is why we always combine glue
with stitching for optimum strength and longevity.
Stitching can also deteriorate - if you use cotton
or silk thread. So, we use artificial silk which,
though many times more expensive, is many
times more durable. A GRAAE product is built to
last a lifetime.
The temptation to take shortcuts is never stronger
than when it comes to the less visible elements of
a bag, wallet or belt - the lining, for instance. We
resist such temptations. The lining of a bag is a
common weak spot, but not with GRAAE bags. All
of our bags are lined with calf skin for strength,
durability and sheer tactile pleasure.
At GRAAE we have little time for the caprice
of fashion. It is not our aim to keep ahead
of trends. On the contrary, we look to create
products which serve their purpose with optimum
efficiency, minimum fuss, and timeless, masculine
Range Our Weekend Bag epitomises this approach.
Practical, durable and understated, this is a bag
built to give a lifetime’s satisfaction - whether in
47 litre or 67 litre form. The smaller of the two
conforms to the most miserly of airline carry-on
baggage regulations; the larger is perfect for a
long weekend. Both are the natural choice for the
intelligent, modern traveller.
Each Weekend Bag is constructed by the finest
leatherworkers in the world: Italian craftsmen
and women whose expertise can be traced back
literally centuries. Each bag takes several working
days to build, using the very best young cattle
hides which are heat tumbled to intensify their
grain, and coloured with aniline dyes to maintain
the integrity and longevity of the hides.
Like all GRAAE products, our Briefcase exudes Alternatively, for those occasions when you need to
quality, quietly. carry less, there is the A4-sized portfolio. Or, if you
still require the capacity, but prefer something more
What do you want to say about yourself in casual, there is the Casual Briefcase: a little more
a business context? That you are discrete, raw, a little less formal, a more relaxed form. Both
dependable, that your judgement is rational, that are built, as always, to the most exacting standards
you appreciate timeless values like integrity and of construction and design.
honour, elegance and function. We believe the
Briefcase says just this. The Briefcases bring order and elegance to your
business life, on the move. Available in black
Function is paramount in the design of all our or brown, with either matching or contrasting
bags, and so the Briefcase has ample room for stitching.
laptops, files and documents, whether in the one-
or two-compartment version.
designed to be used
The selection of a GRAAE bag or briefcase is
not a decision to be taken lightly. These are not
disposable products, these are not disposable
This is why GRAAE products are built to last,
created with passion and a relentless attention to
detail. They are designed to accumulate character
over time, to never go in or out of fashion, and
never to lose their soul. A GRAAE bag is built to
age, to breathe, to change with time and adapt
to its owner.
Above all, GRAAE bags are designed to be used,
again and again, year in year out, for decades. A
GRAAE bag is for the journey of a lifetime. Your
What is there in the making of a belt? Not so
much, you might think. But there are belts, and
there are GRAAE belts. Never before has so much
time, effort and expertise been expended in the
design and construction of a belt.
Most belts - even the supposedly superior ones
- are foam filled. Ours are constructed using four
pieces of leather - no foam, no card - so that they
maintain their shape better, resist cracking, and
adjust to the contours of your body.
For some of our belts we use leather which has Our range of belts is suitable for everything from
been heat-tumbled to intensify its grain and jeans to suits, formalwear to casual. They are
vegetable dyed to best showcase that grain and available in classic colours, with a selection of
minimise cracking. All of these procedures are buckles.
costly, yet if you refuse to compromise, if you
want the very best belt in the world, a belt which GRAAE belts are available in two lines - with
will last for years, these are the logical steps you silver-plated buckles, where the belts are made
must take. from young cattle; and with solid silver and solid
gold buckles, where the belts are made from
Water buffalo calf hides provide the ultimate
leather for a wallet, being both incredibly tough
and durable, yet also giving and supple. It bends,
stretches and changes depending on how it
is used, the passing of time lending it a patina
which is, in its own way, a unique expression of
the use to which its owner has put it.
Our wallets are designed to be discrete, theirs’ is
a timeless style which we feel is most appropriate
for an item which will be used for many years. A
wallet should encourage an intimate, long term
relationship through its ease of use and tactile
appeal. Your abiding interaction with your wallet
comes through your sense of touch. For this
reason we line our wallets with calf skin. We use
artificial silk for the stitching - which though costly,
is far more durable than cotton or natural silk.
We trust that you will forge a unique relationship Because they are galvanised with Palladium,
with whichever GRAAE product or products you all the metal fixtures on our bags and belts are
choose to acquire. Indeed, we encourage it. We protected against oxidisation, but you may care to
design and construct our products to age and polish them from time to time using silver polish
change, to breathe and stretch over time. In this and a soft cloth.
way, they reflect the lifestyle and, you might even
say, the personality of their owner. A GRAAE product is built to age gracefully, to
endure whatever modern life can throw at it, and
There is little need for maintenance with GRAAE to become more beautiful with every passing year.
products. Because of the unique way in which we
prepare our hides, they do not dry out. Instead, And, we think you will agree, there aren’t very many
they accumulate a natural patina and character things about which that can be said, are there?
over the years. Eventually, however, after some
years, they may benefit from refreshing with
some leather conditioner gently applied with a graaecopenhagen.com
soft cotton cloth.