Chiaroscuro is a New Delhi based workshop initiative that specializes in crafting leather collectibles - aesthetically pleasing creations that are grounded in humble functionality while harnessing the skills of India’s storied craftsmen.
True to our by line, we make beautiful bags with much love & great care using the most carefully selected & outstandingly natural, pure, PURE leather.
Chiaroscuro was born out of a quiet desire to create real answers to some lingering conundrums.
Could a pure leather tag also mean really great leather?
Yes it can. Each of our products is made using ONLY pure leather. No leather lookalikes. No fabric bags with a little strip here & there in the name of pure leather! All leather. All pure. And all SUPERIOR QUALITY. Don't take our word for it. Buy one and watch it grow old with you for ever and ever! All our leathers are responsibly sourced from tanneries that create leathers only as a by-product of the meat industry. No animals, endangered or otherwise are ever reared primarily for their hides. All the leather qualities we use are tanned using natural tannins and colored with mostly vegetable dyes to keep the process as environmentally responsible as possible. We also fashion most of our creations from sample and stock lots of various tanneries and suppliers around the country in an effort to put to good use, the material that has already been tanned and created in order to avoid wastage.
Could really great leather be affordable?
Yes! We were tired of seeing products with ridiculous prices all around - and the excuse (you guessed it) "it's pure leather." But hey pure leather doesn't have to mean expensive! Each of our bags is made using handpicked leather qualities (Literally! Our leather suppliers will vouch for how long we spend in their warehouses with a magnifying glass, choosing each of our skins individually after MUCH discussion and checks). Look through our product images. You'll see. And when you hold one of our bags in your hand, you'll just know.
Could affordable products have lasting quality?
Oh my absolutely yes! Affordable does not have to mean cheap or use & throw! Each Chiaroscuro is affordable. No it wont cost you a month's rent. But it will last you well anyway. You will need to show it some love from time to time. But it will last you. No tears, no rips, no color bleeds, no wilts! When we say quality, we mean quality. We believe disposability is a choice, not a physical characteristic. So change your bag if you want to, not because you need to.
Could lasting quality make fresh fashion?
Yes yes yes! Things that last don't have to be boring. They are classic. Our products are muted and understated. No overbearing metal bling. No loud branding. We call it quiet confidence. Our creations are easy to match with a variety of outfits and occasions, so mix it up and keep it fresh!
Could the freshness last a lifetime?
We love the poetry of our conundrums. Lifetime freshness? Yes absolutely possible! A lot of our designs draw inspiration from vintage pieces. With their classic detailing and the aforementioned superb make quality, we're hoping you pass on your Chiaroscuro as a part of your inheritance to your grandchildren. And which grandkid doesn't love the fashions from a few generations before?
Could Made-In-India equate to quality craftsmanship?
We are proud to be Made In India. India & its artisans are at the heart of our every endeavor here at Chiaroscuro. With the advent of fast fashion and high street retailers, "Made In India" has come to be associated with mass produced, low priced and base quality products. The image of handcrafted one-of-a-kind creations made with generations of skill, knowledge and love feels like a distant memory! One of our foremost mottos while conceiving Chiaroscuro was to do our little bit to build this image back again. We are proud to say that none of our creations are mass produced. Each piece is made lovingly by a single artisan, from beginning to very end. One piece at a time.
Could each craftsman be given a nurturing work environment?
Yes! Chiaroscuro stands firmly against sweatshops, mass production and contractual labor. We employ our own team of artisan makers and each piece is made in-house in our very own workshop. Our effort is to keep the focus firmly on our artisan makers. They are the ones doing all the magic, we just wouldn't BE without them. Each artisan is nurtured with guidance, training and support in an effort to give them a strong sense of self respect and appreciation for their creative process.
Could nurturing environments create a strong work ethic in them?
We are a small team but when most of our artisan makers first joined our family, their work was not much more than just another means of earning a living for them. Something a bit more respectable than hard labor, and better paying too. Over time, interactions and nurturing we witness small changes. We are proud to say that they rarely skip work, are learning to have healthy savings, be responsible about their work, respectful in their demeanor, stable in their approach to life and above all, proud & happy to be doing what they do. We hope to keep expanding our family, one artisan maker at a time.