Founded by award-winning, internationally acclaimed premium leather and accessories designer, Edmond Chesneau, Luxury Leather Africa (LULEA) is an enterprise for social impact.
Our center of excellence is based in Thika, Kenya. We specialize in training Kenyans to be masters in the creation of luxury leather goods of outstanding quality for the global market by constant and sustained training approach. All LULEA collections are designed and crafted on location under the watchful gaze of our founder and master craftsman, Edmond Chesneau.
LULEA won an Ethical Fashion award at the House of Lords in London in 2013. Another award was received from the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization in 2014 for its contribution to the East African leather industry. We are rewriting the African narrative by choosing to invest in what we believe.
Edmond Chesneau – Founder, Director
Internationally-acclaimed French designer with over 40+ years of experience in the business of designing, producing and marketing leather accessories for luxury markets around the world. Edmond began his career under the tuition of a former master craftsman from an Internationally-renowned luxury leather goods house, Hermes. He has designed and developed collections within the constraints of manufacturing skills / facilities available in Ireland for over 30years.
Founded Lulea (Luxury Leather Africa)
Awards won: – Ethical Fashion Forum Award in 2013 in London at the House of Lords. – 2008 Dublin fashion week Accessory Designer of the Year
Accolades received: – Successful branding partnerships that included, The Four Seasons Hotel, The Irish Film and Television, Association (IFTA) – The Curragh Race course (Irish Derby meeting) and K Club Hotel (Ryder Cup) -2006 Recognized as one of Ireland’s 2000 most influential people by “Who is who in Ireland”.
“For close to 40 years I have been in the business of designing, producing and marketing leather accessories for luxury markets around the world. Lulea gives me the opportunity to apply this life-long experience into a meaningful business model in an environment that is now thankfully ready for sustainable growth and development.”
“DO WELL, DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD”
This is symbolized by our elephant logo; an animal which passes on wisdom and knowledge accumulated through its lifetime to empower the community with the necessary skills to survive and thrive. We invest in building capacity by creating:
-A permanent asset for our trainee/workforce.
-Jobs with real potential to change lives, while building an economically and socially sustainable enterprise in all transparency for all stakeholders.
All LULEA products are designed and crafted on location in Thika, a town situated approx. 40km north of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, and designed to appeal to the emerging fashion consumer who wishes to be associated with an affordable luxury brand that “does well and does good” and enables the customer to feel good about their product choice and be part of a good story.
Each unique piece is hand crafted by highly skilled, dedicated artisans. Traditional craftsmanship is infused into all our products and every item in our collection echoes the love and skill of the hands that made it. Using techniques handed down through the generations, our accessories and bags not only look great but also tell a story of lives changed through safe, sustainable employment, training and education.
LULEA describes it’s accessory collections as “beautifully crafted and having a timeless equestrian aesthetic appeal”, that use locally sourced leather and other raw materials including partnering with local communities to create beautiful and brightly colored hand-woven Kenyan wool and cotton fabrics creating a delicate balance between luxury and design and using the best possible raw materials all sourced within Kenya.
At LULEA we believe that people matter. Our workshop in Thika harnesses the talent and skills of local artisans whilst providing a safe working environment.
Our ultimate goal is to create and maintain sustainable jobs, to help empower developing communities in Kenya through the production of beautiful, unique and highly covetable products and accessories.
LULEA brand has a enviable history of working with some of the fashion and design industry’s most established names such as EDUN, charities including WILDLIFE DIRECT and store outlests such as CARREFOUR and many more. Working with such a diverse and experienced range of brands and individuals has not only inspired us but taught invaluable design and production skills which have in turn helped us develop as we continue to grow.
LULEA is dedicated to using the most environmentally sound materials possible.Our signature style comes from our extensive use of African cotton wax fabrics in the production of our products.
The reasons for this are two-fold: Firstly; we believe that by sourcing our materials locally we are further supporting the community within the vicinity of the workshop. Secondly; and quite simply, we believe that by using recycled materials where we can, we are behaving in a way that is both responsible and ethical whilst also producing a product that looks great and is a pleasure to use.