Quite often in the world of fashion – and in the luxury market particularly – the quest for the best is matched only by the hunt for exclusivity. We all want bespoke, but how to get hold of something that truly is one-of-a-kind?
One company for whom this conundrum is not a problem is American leather goods purveyors, Ghurka USA. The company was founded after original owner Marley Hodgson saw an old Gurkha regimental kit at auction and was compelled to make his own bag based on the principles used in the kit. Although his first bag – the No1 – never made it into full-scale production, the No2 remains one of Ghurka’s best-selling bags forty years later.
For that in itself is a beauty of the brand – the timeless, classic style of the bags produced. Each style is denoted by a number, printed on each bag. The bags additionally contain a number denoting year of manufacture, as well as where they came off the production line – so an individual serial number, unique to that bag. Ghurka offer an online registration service for owners to register their bags online, making them really personal.
But that really is only the start of the story. 2015 marks their 40th anniversary, but it also marks the anniversary of their namesake Gurkha Regiment’s 200 years of service to the British Crown. The two companies have formed a partnership in celebration of this, with Ghurka USA having produced some truly beautiful products, the sales of which will go directly to the Trust.
Firstly, there is the limited edition G200 range, consisting of a holdall, backpack and wash-bag. Utilising the deep green wool used in Gurkha regimental uniforms and lined in red as a nod to the military flash worn by the soldiers, the bags are retailing exclusively at Fortnum & Mason in London with 25% of proceeds benefitting the Trust. Additionally, Ghurka’s master furniture craftsman, Richard Wrightman, has made three “Officer’s Field Sets.”
One of these will be auctioned at the G200 pageant held in June, and one is being sold in Fortnums, and Ghurka are donating the entire £20,000 price tag to the Trust. Given the recent tragic happenings in Nepal, there has never been a more appropriate time to demonstrate support for the work of both Ghurka USA and the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Ayo Gorkhali!