Necessity is the mother of invention. Although Dan Cahoon, founder and president of Jerry Pair Leather, didn't invent the age-old craft of leather making, he recognized the lack of leather options and seized upon a need: to provide high-end, hand-crafted leather specifically for interior designers.
Tanned in environmentally sensitive facilities in Italy, Germany, and France, Jerry Pair Leathers are known world-wide for their uncompromising quality and broad, sophisticated color palette. From well-designed homes, private clubs, and luxury hotels to yachts, planes, universities, and the world's most exclusive boutiques, one never knows where Jerry Pair Leather might appear. But rest assured, it will be both luxurious and beautiful!
Q: Why were you driven to start a leather company?
For years we represented top leather brands through Jerry Pair & Associates. They were quite good, but eventually each one of them began offering only leathers suitable for contract projects. There are so many gorgeous leathers and colors appropriate for residential projects, but they were not being introduced to designers. We decided to start a fashionable brand that offered collections featuring the most luxurious and exotic leathers in addition to servicing clients who needed durable and affordable choices. Jerry Pair Leather is constantly striving to offer curated leathers suitable for any budget. If a project requires affordable leather, JPL takes pride in providing the best a designer can select.
Q: What leather items can you not live without?
I love my Polo leather gym bag, and it keeps getting better with age. I'm sentimental about my leather covered flask that has been with me since college. It's embossed with my initials and carries just the right amount of Makers Mark. We have had many good times together. I also have to mention my authentic American Gator wallet (technically it's leather too).
Q: Which celebrities embody the spirit of leather?
Undoubtedly Ralph Lauren is at the top of the list. He's captured the American spirit and the ranch lifestyle by showing leather in fashion and home furnishings. Mick Jagger and Joan Jett use leather to accentuate the rebel lifestyle. Kate Moss, the super model, continues to show off her individualism, sense of style, and fashion wearing leather pants, shirts, shoes, and handbags. Peter Marino is our own leather celebrity, and no one could imagine Peter without his leather at this point. This of course does not diminish the contribution of Elvis, Marlon Brando and Fonzi, who all became legendary wearing biker jackets.
Q: Celebrity who needs to wear more leather?
Elon Musk or Dr. Fauci. Ha!
Q: What environments do you love to see leather in?
Most interiors look better when leather is used. It adds another element to the space like paint, wallcoverings, rugs, and window coverings. Leather can be naughty or nice, and it is used to convey many different messages and evoke a variety of emotions. The warm English libraries are the quintessential use of the pure anilines that show distressing and patina beautifully. There is the opposite mood with the Italian sleek and polished personalities you might see on private jets, modern restaurants, and clubs using protected leathers. They always look ultra-chic. It's a lifestyle choice that screams quality and cool at the same time.
Q: What iconic fashion designers or luxury brands have offered the best leather pieces?
Prada and Ghurka are my favorite. Luxury leather handbags are a premium staple for women's fashion.
Q: Why does leather never go out of style?
It's timeless. It has been the material of choice for centuries that distinguishes the extraordinary from the ordinary. Knowing the quality of leather you're looking at is key. Touch may be most important, but smell, color, depth, thickness, and finish all create a unique finished product. Leather is a lot like wine in that each tannery is like a vineyard. Each has its own distinct attributes that contribute to the personality of the finished hide. It's also an organic product that is green in many regards. It is much easier on the planet than synthetic materials, and our European tanneries responsibly recycle wastewater.
Q: Does every home need leather?
Yes, everyone's home needs at least one lounge chair or ottoman covered in leather. Barstools are always a good choice. In interior design, leather makes an impact. There is nothing quite like it!
Thank you, Dan, we all need a little more leather in our lives!
For more information, please visit jerrypairleather.com
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INTERVIEW BY LESLIE NEWSOM RASCOE
Images courtesy of Jerry Pair Leather