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Can’t Get Enough Of Jocasi


The kapis bag with its drawstring style opening, plaited leather handles and slouchy soft leather first put Jocasi on the map. It also spawned copies galore, but as Colin McDowell recently said, “only the best ideas get copied.” Jocasi, however, created the original – and quality wise the copies failed dismally. It all started three years ago for Carla, Simon and daughter Jodi, rearrange the first two letters of each name and you’ll get an idea of where Jocasi came from. 

“You won’t get better quality than this,” says Simon, brimming full of enthusiasm, “all our bags and belts are handcrafted,” he continues. The leather is indeed incredibly tactile, the new range arriving in autumnal shades, such as – berry, deep green and vintage tan. Simon is sat knee deep in bags, methodically preparing each one for the camera, across the other side of the room models are getting styled and made-up.

Jocasi prides itself on being a family owned business, and this family vibe is continued over in Indonesia where the leather pieces are made. Sound working ethics with fair pay and first rate working conditions all feature, at Jocasi it’s all about creative and happy employees.

Back at the shoot Simon has formed a conveyer belt of bags and models, one gets snapped then another steps in. “These shots are for the website, we’ve got more styles this season, plus more belts and a few hats too,” he says. There”s retro look carry-alls called Stopout’s, little Parax perfect for those evenings out, variations of the Kapisa and the quirky Spike bag which takes two days to put together.

When not being photographed the models eye up the merchandise, getting paid with a bag or belt is part of the deal. It’s a tough call, to select one item from many irresistible pieces. “I can’t decide,” says one model, “I like everything.” No wonder Jocasi are doing so well! “I can’t wait to see what each girl chooses,” Carla adds, “it’s interesting to see who goes for what.” The buzz of seeing a complete stranger wearing a Jocasi piece still gives the family the greatest thrill. Celebrity fans include the likes of Denise Van Outen, Tara Palmer Tomkinson and Kate Thornton. 

The shoot presses on and now Carla has taken over, styling Jocasi hipster belts on each model. There’s an assortment of plain, woven, hand stitched and antique buckle varieties that look great over jeans and this seasons boho skirts. Half a dozen classic Jocasi hats round-off the session, pulled snuggly over the head they look just the ticket for the oncoming months of chill. The autumn/winter collection is in the can and the next step is to get it all up on the website. “Thanks girls, you’ve been brilliant, let me buy you all a drink,” Simon says appreciatively.

Next up Jocasi is preparing to exhibit at London Central, which opens its doors this Sunday. On display will be the latest Jocasi range along with the recently launched Jocasi Junior and Jocasi Men’s lines.

London Central, along with London Edge and London Front Cover is on from Sunday 5th to Tuesday 7th September at London Olympia, SW5. www.londonedge.com

Jocasi Stockists: 

Top Shop (Oxford Street / Manchester / Birmingham / Selfridges / Kensington)

Harrods (Knightsbridge Way In department)

House of Fraser (Various Nationwide)

USC (Various Nationwide)

John Anthony (Various Nationwide)


JoJo Iles


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