Home Fashion & Accessories The Rise and Rise of South African Luxury Brands

The Rise and Rise of South African Luxury Brands

3 mins read

By Estelle Arielle Bouchet
With its vast resources of ostrich precious leather, South Africa has naturally emerged as the leading contributor to the international luxury bag industry.

Precious leather brands such as CAPE COBRA Leathercraft or LORENZIare crafting exclusive leather bags for a selective clientele across the globe. We will soon bring for you an exclusive report on LORENZI under our SPIRIT SAFARI series.

Royal Clientele

This CAPE COBRA bag was the preferred choice of the South AfricanPrincess Charlene of Monaco when she wed Prince Albert

She ordered this amazing minimalist petal pink clutch made of KLEIN KAROO exclusive ostrich skin. CAPE COBRA is the supplier to the British and Monegasque Royal Families, a sign of its highest level of style and quality.

These brands are well established in the South African market, and are on par with all the major luxury European bag brands in terms of design, leather, quality and know-how.

Not only that, but the most relevant French and Italian luxury groups source their top grade leathers for their Collections from KLEIN KAROO Finest Ostrich Leather in Oudtshoorn. Large quantities of precious ostrich skins have been recently ordered by these Houses of prestige. The fact that this country is the sources of exotic leathers, ostrich and crocodile primarily; it is a clear advantage to the local companies.


The two brands, CAPE COBRA Leathercraft and LORENZI, both have a very strong DNA and are denoted by a strong design and production structure. Not only do they produce their own exclusive Collections but are also asked by major luxury brands to achieve their production.

In the case of CAPE COBRA, the company has been founded by the German-Lebanese family Schafer in Egypt (Cairo) with the first shop « Rivoli » during King Farouk’s reign. At that time they were specialists in refined leather luggage and hand bags. They also produced shoes for children.

The Schafer Family Saga

During the Egyptian revolution, Mrs Denise Schafer made a snap decision to move back to Germany in Offenbach , the native city of Mr Lothar Schäfer, and a city which for centuries had a tradition for specialized leather craft. Next, Denise Shäfer along with her husband and young children, moved to her native country Lebanon. Here, Lothar and his wife created a company called « Cordoba », named after the Spanish city which became known for its quality leather « leather of Cordou ». Then, again for political reasons, they went to Bayreuth.

Final Destination

The big step for the family was their decision to finally establish their company in Cape Town in South Africa. Thus, in 1972 CAPE COBRA Leathercraft was established in Cape Town

Despite having to begin from scratch, it was their pioneering spirit and deep courage that brought them luck. Cape Cobra is actually one of the most important luxury bag company in Africa.


The Company

It is a family business and each member has a very specific role in the company. Obviously this achievement and success could not have been possible without Denise’s strong and generous character; which led to her becoming the founder, along with her husband, of CAPE COBRA Leathercraft. Their son, Robert Schaferis now the talented CEO of CAPE COBRA Leathercraft. He works closely with his brother, Richard, who is in charge of the direction with him; and with his lovely daughter Justine, member of the business development team Passion and dedicated work has made CAPE COBRA South Africa’s larger exporter of exotic leather luxury bags and accessories.

This here is a luxury universe inspired by South Africa and its beauties.

EAB Press & Image

Image Copyrights KLEIN KAROO-EAB Press & Image
Photography – Caleb Bjergfelt and Estelle Arielle Bouchet

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

6 + 4 =

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy