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Exclusive: Introducing Republic of Leather

Greetings, soleRebels family.

It’s no secret that I LOVE leather. After all, I have spent the past several years creating the planet’s fastest growing African-originated global footwear brand: soleRebels.

My love for leather has grown, and as a result I became inspired to create something that reached new heights of excitement!

I saw that the luxury market was ripe for a total re-imagining. To me, there was not only a great opportunity to leverage technology and craftsmanship to create the most amazing products, there was also a need – in fact, a burning desire from people around the world – for a fresh interpretation and narrative of what luxury was, and most importantly, what luxury could be about.

I experienced firsthand that there are MANY incredible leather craftspeople all over the planet – from seasoned pros to newly graduated craftspeople – who were often under utilized, or worse, had no work at all. 

I also saw that there were many areas around the globe where leather crafting and production had been undermined and had withered, despite its economic importance. 

I knew that a platform that tapped into these rich global talents and resources would have the power to reinvigorate these centres of production and create fantastic employment opportunities in communities around the planet, while also reinterpreting how – and literally where – luxury goods are made. All the while, we would be allowing our customers the power to select where their goods are made. 

I wanted a company where giving was constant and ongoing, and where philanthropy was embedded in the DNA of the brand and business model, and I saw an opportunity for the giving to be done in a totally new and exciting manner. 

I saw a chance to create A CONSTANT GIVING company, yet one free from the judgements of what is a “good cause” to support. 

Instead, decisions around philanthropy would be TOTALLY given back to our customers, rather than in our hands. After all, our customers  already know the many amazing organizations and causes around the world who are devoted to doing great things, but who can ALWAYS use more resources.

So I said, no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, let’s use this existing and massive global matrix of positivity and let our buyers decide the cause that their order will support. Their purchase will gift on their behalf any cause, anywhere on the planet; big or small, and as near as their own local community organization or as far away as a global relief organization. 

That truly gives the power over the cause to support back to our customers, in a real and meaningful way. The power to give has been returned where it should be!!

As I continued to think and explore, I realized that no one in the global luxury market had married the idea of customer-designed, craftsperson-made products with customer-selected site of production and philanthropic giving.

I set out to personalize both the creation of amazing leather products and the giving experience, making each specific to and driven by each person. And so I founded The Republic of Leather!

The Republic of Leather [or ROL as we like to say here at HQ] is a global creative community  that lets you do 3 amazing things:

  1. Enables YOU to digitally custom design and create amazing luxury leather goods – from gorgeous bags and incredible jackets to elegant gloves, accessories, and more!
  2. Lets YOU select the actual designer you want to create your products and power the development of a new generation of leather artisan entrepreneurs around the globe. Because talent is everywhere!
  3. Gives YOU the power to have us gift any organization or cause, 5% of your purchase price, on your behalf – whether it’s an international organization working a world away, or your local library. The power to give is back in your hands.

Our vision is to re-imagine the luxury leather goods market by powering the creativity of our customers, creating jobs for craftspeople all over the planet, and energizing the causes our customers are passionate about.

If any of the iconic luxury brands were starting today, Republic of Leather would be the model they followed – a seamless blend of technology and exquisite craft, married to a brand ethos that creates globally empowered citizens expressing their creativity and generosity.


Thank you all,

Bethlehem's Signature

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

soleRebels Creator/Founder


Click here to visit the Republic of Leather