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Adrian Furstenburg is an eponymous luxury leather goods brand known for taking the designer handbag back to its purest form by fusing technology with traditional handbag craftsmanship. Every piece is custom made using the finest leathers from France, meticulously crafted by specialist craftsmen at a state-of-the-art atelier, and lined with a vibrant fabric - that makes every piece perfect to the clients’ expectations.

After winning a prestigious design award in New York City, Adrian Furstenburg launched the brand in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2017 and since then created one-off pieces for clients all over the world and has done collaborations with airlines, banks and other corporate clients. The business is now based in Singapore and continues to grow into the leader for premium, personalized leather goods. 

The AF view on sustainability: 

Mountains of discarded products that find their way to landfills are “unsustainable” because they strain our natural and industrial waste remediation systems. There are two principal sources of this “unsustainable” behavior in the fashion industry - unsold and obsolete products. Both types account for the vast majority of the mountains of waste the industry produces. It is now fashionable for activists and convenient for corporations to blame consumers for culture fostered by social media. 

However we believe that the problem, and thus the solution has little  to do with changing consumer behavior, but instead -has everything to do with producers' wasteful habits and design decisions.

Unsold products. Unsold products exist fundamentally because of supply chains that operate on a just-in-case model. Design, manufacture, and then try to sell. Push driven supply chains are inherently at risk producing goods that will never be consumed. This inherent risk comes from the disjuncture between predicted demand and actual demand (style, sizes, colours, quantity etc). 

Consumer research, historical data analytics, testing sales with small batch production combined with responsive mass production supply chains that can scale quickly to restock sold-out product lines - are all examples of strategies used today to minimise unsold inventory. Few have proven to be capable of doing so. 

We believe that by manufacturing finished products on demand - only after they are paid for, we can eliminate the possibility of unsold inventory. Instead of producing products in the hope that they would sell; we make every product - because someone wanted it made. 

Obsolete products. Obsolete products have been purchased before, but rapidly discarded. They are discarded for many reasons, which are studied in the academic literature under the subject of “planned obsolescence'' or better known as fast fashion. But specifically for this industry, these obsolete products exist for two reasons: 

Firstly, they have contrived durability. They look wonderful and appear indistinguishable from quality products, but break down rapidly in use. Coatings rub off, paint peel, crack or flake off, stitches give, and the materials were done just after several months. This is almost always a product of using poor materials, design decisions or construction techniques. Products with contrived durability force owners to discard them even if they do not desire to do so.

Secondly, products can become obsolete by perception. A knapsack style from the First World War may look wonderful on the movie set of 1917, but perhaps not so much in a co-working space today. Changing trends make it desirable to own newer products and tend to put all the products into disuse even if they remain like new.

We believe in making durable, customised products. Durable products will retain the quality for years, and although customised products may still fall into disuse, they will be discarded at a far slower rate than generic ones.

We sell before we produce, and whatever we sell has personal value, and is built to last. As a consequence, we will have contributed to building a world with more choices, but lesser waste. We believe this world is a better one - for consumers, companies, and the planet we call home. 


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