label lover IN HIS SKIN As a fourth-generation scion of Singaporean tannery Heng Long International, which provides skins for luxury powerhouses such as Hermès and LVMH, handbag designer Ethan Koh knows a thing or two about leather.
bags of ambition Koh grew up helping out in the factory and made his first bag at the age of 13. Internships at Louis Vuitton and Hermès were followed by stints at the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. In 2011, he launched his eponymous brand.
CLEVER LEATHER Koh crafts minaudières from premium crocodile and alligator skins dyed in bright colours. Designs avoid flashy labelling and Koh is targeting a super-high-end discerning consumer. Eighty per cent of the business is focused on bespoke orders and Koh counts Saudi royalty among his clientele. These are bags for women who know their top-grade exotic crocs from their average alligators.