Companions for a lifetime - our vision
In July 1999, a man visited me. He was passing through. Mid-fifties, adventurer type. He had come to show me his bag. An intact leather Harold's bag, one of the first models we made in Colombia. The bag had accompanied him on his travels around the world for the last 15 years. The leather had a unique patina. For the man, the bag seemed to tell the stories of his travels.
We had this model still unchanged in the range. Since his first bag should serve him as a souvenir, the man bought it a second time. It was not yet so unique, but that would change again in the course of the upcoming trips, he said. This encounter formed my vision of Harold's: to conceive bags sustainably, to design them timelessly and to produce them with the best craftsmanship.
- companions for a lifetime -
Harolds at a glance
Bag craft in the third generation
How it all began...
In 1936, my grandfather Nikolaus Schmelz laid the foundation stone for Harold's in Obertshausen and opened a leather bag manufactory. In the following almost 80 years, we have constantly developed the production processes.
My father Günter Schmelz has been with the company since 1955. He consistently built up long-term cooperations with foreign partners, first in Italy, later also in Colombia and India. Carefully selected materials as well as craftsmanship and know-how formed the basis for our bags.
In 1999, I, Thilo Schmelz, joined the company. As a trained architect, I compare a bag to a house that people like to live in: it is thoughtfully developed in form and function, durable in design and use, and made of authentic materials.
Today, this way of working determines the qualitative and aesthetic appearance of the Harold's brand: constructive, timeless design, first-class craftsmanship and natural leathers.
Company founded by Nikolaus Schmelz
Günter Schmelz joins the family business
Cooperation with production in Florence-Scandicci under the product name Harold's
Establishment of cooperation with Colombia and production of high quality bags in Colombian vaqueda leather
Start of cooperation with Indian family business
Entry of the trained architect Thilo Schmelz into the company - 3rd generation - and beginning of the sustainable orientation and establishment of the Harold's concepts collection with a constructive design language.
Resumption of production in Germany
Constructive questions - design
In the design process we always ask ourselves the questions: What does the material want - what does the function want - what does the craftsmanship want - how does the bag want to appear - how does the bag look after years of use? Through the intensive examination of these questions, we succeed in combining functionality with the special features of natural leathers and traditional techniques of leather processing.
This is where the special character of Harold's bags comes from: they can be worn for any occasion - they become more beautiful with time - they tell stories - they adapt to the needs of their wearers - they are discreet, yet individual and the design is timeless.
Bags for a lifetime - Sustainability
"Harold's accompanies a lifetime..."
For us, a bag is sustainable if it is durable and it gives its wearer many years of pleasure. To achieve this, we work hard on the longevity of materials, the quality of craftsmanship and the timelessness of our designs. We carefully coordinate these various building blocks in the production of bags, because each individual link determines the quality of our products.
The longer and more intensively our products are used, the better their eco-balance - a result that our customers appreciate.
Leather tells stories - material
Leather is a natural product - expressive and vital.
We use high-quality, robust leather with a balanced fiber structure and material thickness for our bags. These arise exclusively as by-products of food production. It is important to us to preserve the quality of the natural material. The leather is tanned using vegetable substances, remains open-pored and is gently finished.
This is how our products get their unique feel and develop their individual aesthetics in use. By wearing them, unmistakable traces are created that make the bags unique. Each of them thus tells its own story, which connects it with its owner.
For the cotton fabrics we rely on yarns in organic quality. The weaving is done according to our own recipes in Germany to obtain particularly tear- and abrasion-resistant fabrics.
Know-how we share - craftsmanship
Harold's has a nearly 80-year tradition of producing top-quality, durable bags. We accomplish this by sharing our expertise. The design and development of our products, as well as the manufacturing of some select lines, is done in our manufactory in Obertshausen, Germany. We trustfully place our experience with natural leathers in the hands of our long-term partners in India and Colombia.
Regular exchange on site and the analysis of local craftsmanship characteristics guarantee the best possible implementation of our design ideas.
In mutual respect and trust, we work together on our vision: to design bags sustainably, to create timeless designs and to produce them with the best craftsmanship.
Harold's - companions for a lifetime -
To conceive bags sustainably, to design them timelessly and to produce them with the best craftsmanship
requires consistently high quality craftsmanship. To ensure this, constant and transparent production conditions are the basic prerequisite.
We achieve stable working conditions through sound training and familiarization, contractually regulated working hours, safe and hygienic circumstances and, above all, an evenly distributed order situation. Only in this way can we maintain and further develop know-how in mutual exchange with our partners. Detailed descriptions of the productions in India and Colombia can be found here: