Recently I introduced a new leather to our collection. Italian Sport Leather goes back to our ethos—why we started Anson Calder in the first place. We wanted to let customers choose products that fit their lifestyles.
While French Calfskin and Italian Sport Leather are both high quality and built to last, they come with a few key differences. Deciding between the two isn’t a matter of better—it’s a matter of which is right for you.
Let me explain.
Our Italian Sport Leather is unique. The first thing customers notice is that it feels different than French Calfskin. Not better, not worse. Just different—with a bit of a rubbery texture. That’s because it’s treated with a patented coating that helps the leather withstand dings and scratches, giving each piece a distinct, durable texture that underscores its toughness.The coating also lets us offer a variety of new colors. Vibrant colors that won’t fade or darken over time. Wipe it clean, take it out in the rain, hike Mount Everest with it. Italian Sport Leather is designed to hold its own for a life on the go.
Products in image: Cash Wallets in Italian Sport Leather
I believe what you carry should adapt to how you live—every single day. An active lifestyle with gyms, lockers, and lots of outdoors shouldn’t preclude anyone from a quality bag or wallet that simplifies life. That’s why we’re giving our customers a different option. Worrying about dings and scuffs while putting a nice bag through its paces can be stressful. Because Italian Sport Leather holds up so well against scratches, scuffs, and rain, it removes some of that stress, while still melding perfectly into daily life.
Products in image: Tote in Black Italian Sport Leather (Left); Backpack in Black Italian Sport Leather (Right).
But does that mean Italian Sport Leather is higher quality than our traditional French Calfskin leather? Absolutely not. The two are simply different.
We source our French Calfskin from a French Tannery that’s been in operation since the 1500s. Because they use traditional tanning methods, the French Calfskin feels and smells like you’d expect incredible leather to—because it is incredible. It also means that French Calfskin will patina over time, developing a unique weathered look the more you use it over the years. In other words, French Calfskin will develop character and a personality all its own while the Italian Sport Leather will retain its vibrant color.
Products in image: Cash Wallet in Green Italian Sport Leather
Though Italian Sport Leather was designed to take a beating, French Calfskin is still tough. It will self-heal from minor dings and scratches and it is designed to perform well in the rain or snow—something we experienced first-hand a week ago during an NYC blizzard. Our bags were wet, but the contents stayed snug and dry inside. By the next morning, they were as beautiful as ever. We couldn’t tell they had been soaked the night before.
Ultimately, choosing French Calfskin over Italian Leather comes down to you. If you want a worry-free, versatile material built to survive trips to the office and gym, Italian Sport Leather is a great option. On the other hand, If you like your leather to age like a fine wine, love a good classic, and don’t intend to carry it to base camp, French Calfskin might be a better choice.
If you want to purchase a wallet or bag that’s built to last a lifetime, you won’t go wrong with either leather. It all comes down to how you live and the role your wallet or bag is going to play every single day. Is worry-free, water-repellent, color-retaining more your thing? Or do you prefer refinement and the rich patina that comes with it? It’s a tough choice—but it’s going to be a good one either way.