Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

Scaramanga an original lifestyle

Back in the 90s Scaramanga founder, Carl Morenikeji, spent six months travelling around India. He fell in love with the traditional artisan craftsmanship, the skills being passed down the generations.

On his return from Rajasthan, Carl brought back an old leather satchel, handbound journals and a few small old wooden boxes. Everyone loved his goods and he soon felt there was an opportunity to start a business sourcing leather bags and decorative items made by skilled craftspeople, as well as finding original vintage furniture.

In 2006 he took £2,000, a couple of empty suitcases and plunged back into India, seeking out craftsmen and women who would use the same traditional tools, techniques, and methods to recreate modern leather satchels. 

Fourteen years on Scaramanga offers a vintage inspired leather bags, accessories, as well as vintage and antique furniture, and an eclectic range of decorative homewares.
Most importantly, they’re still buying from their original supplier.

Scaramanga is one of the pioneers of the satchel and man-bag resurgence; then quickly diversified into other classically styled bags: totes, messenger bags, duffle bags and briefcases. The bags are handmade using traditional tools and techniques, by a small family-run business in Kolkata. Because our suppliers and their employees are dependent on our orders for their livelihoods, we always pay an advance of 50 percent. This allows them to buy materials and pay their employees whilst fulfilling our orders. The balance is paid before our Kolkata bag makers dispatched the order.

We create our own retro classic designs and exclusively use semi veg tanned leathers that few chemicals. The bags have a vintage look and feel about them that gets better in time. 

Our expert artisans work in small teams of four to five people, who are responsible for fabricating the entire bag from leather pieces to finished bag. Each team is led by a master craftsman who oversees less experienced team members. This encourages greater skill development and job rotation. 

On the furniture side, Carl seeks out unusual interiors and vintage furniture from around the world. Much of his furniture comes from India, but also Japan, the USA and more locally in Scotland. 

Scaramnaga trades on a solid reputation, buying from established dealers and sellers. They’ve developed strong working relationship with their craftsmen who know how Carl likes his furniture restored — keeping its character, patina and history. 

An exciting part of their business is working with props buyers from around the world who are looking for items that have a very particular look and perform an exacting role, and they almost always want the props on set within 48-hours. Think movies like Dumbo, Maleficent 1 & 2, The Hobbit, Paddington 2, Abdul and Victoria, Tarzan.