During the time Bazerdžan has and continues to operate, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with a wide array of some truly wonderful people. Some we’ve already talked about, some we’ll present further down the road. While there isn’t a person or a partner we can single out as being our favorite because we love them all, one particular individual deserves mention for what he does for us on a daily basis. Meet artisan Ibro, the principal manufacturer of almost anything with a Bazerdžan Wear tag on it: bags, backpacks, modular cases, and laptop bags.
A long tradition of craftsmanship
At 60 years young, Ibrahim Kazazić or Ibro, as we so affectionally like to call him, is the person responsible for all those bespoke leather / eco-leather products you can see in our store and website. As with many crafts around the world, handcrafts are passed down from generation to generation. Bosnia and Herzegovina is no exception, as we witness this ourselves all the time through our numerous collaboration. Unsurprisingly, that’s how Ibro started: continuing a long line of family tradition.
In 1986, after 40 years in the leather-making business, Ibro's father decided it was time to pass the baton to his son. He started to share his knowledge and know-how to Ibro, only to find Ibro was a natural. The talent was there from the start, and Ibro picked up where his father left off. Following this early foray into the trade, Ibro slowly built up his marvelous selection of tools and machines. His workshop is abuzz with activity and as soon as we step inside, we are instantly filled with excitement as we can see our ideas materialize before our very eyes.
If we had to describe Ibro in just a few words, the first association would be old school. Not in terms of equipment but in that keen sense of doing business with a select clientele. It’s not like you can walk into his workshop and forge a partnership. Being 40+ years in this trade, Ibro was a little skeptical when we first crossed paths, due to numerous years and years of experience and certain expectations that must be met. After all, a recommendation and a good word can only get you so far. In that regard, we are extremely fortunate to be able to work with him, as well as humbled by him recognizing our willingness and maturity to make all of this happen.
Part business, part education
Working with Ibro is never a dull moment. He provides us with an idea here and there, all in the effort to make the best product possible. Sometimes, that means butting heads and working together on our creative difference to figure out what’s best. There were even a few instances where Ibro wouldn’t touch our ideas because he knows it won’t work. Either the bag wouldn’t be of satisfactory quality, the material is wrong or isn’t durable, and so on. The man knows what he is talking about and we respect that.
For every such occasion, he would pull up his chair, sit us down, and explain the different aspects of this trade. Each time, we learn something new about the leather and the making of bags and backpacks. Oftentimes, we get the feeling this man has a doctorate in manufacturing bags and all-things leather. Apart from his extensive knowledge, there are special machines for specific stages of manufacturing. Every stitch is carefully approached and executed. Most people don’t have that work ethic or expertize, which makes Ibro special in our hearts.
As for the manufacturing process, the first step is making sure the leather and other materials fit the product in every aspect. Ibro does the selection out of local production in Visoko (we keep things in-house, remember?), then starts making the pattern and begins sewing. After that comes gluing some of the pieces together, thinning of the leather, and a final round of sewing. As a final touch, the dry stamp with the Bazerdžan logo is printed on the product and it is ready for our shelves.
Each bag takes between half a day and full day to complete, depending on the intricacy of design. To get the whole process a bit closer to you, check out the rest of the photos from Omar Hani, documentary photographer whom we had the pleasure to work with.
That would be a little something about Ibro, the hands behind Bazerdžan Wear and a bonafide expert in leather-making. Until next time!