Studio Visit: Jas M.B.
The Sehmbi family opens up their London workshop for a look at how they produce such covetable leather bags
Stepping into the small, family-run facility that produces accessories for the decade-strong British label Jas M.B., you immediately know that leather is their business. The workshop-style factory—helmed by Jas Sehmbi and his son Taj—is packed wall to wall with beautiful hides of all colors and textures, which are soon turned into the covetable bags that grace his shop, Doors, not far away on Rivington Street in Shoreditch.
While London is the city that gave Sehmbi his start, Jas M.B. fans span the globe. In fact, Sehmbi's first line of bags, originally made from nylon and canvas, were so popular in Asia that they were hugely copied. It's this reason he became inspired to begin working with leather, a material he tells us he knew much more about at the time anyway. Sehmbi's designs continue to make a stylish mark, and are worn by discerning fashion bloggers like Susie Bubble and are stocked at top-tier stores like Barneys New York (one of the original Jas M.B. buyers years ago) and Net-a-Porter. This year Urban Outfitters Europe is also carrying Jas M.B., which features a vibrant collection of leather purses, camera bags and iPad sleeves.
"The smaller the production, the more control you have over the quality and finish."
Apart from adjusting a few methods to improve production, Sehmbi says he still employs the same techniques as when he began. His efforts are hugely focused on quality in construction, and to achieve this he keeps each run small and in-house. "The smaller the production, the more control you have over the quality and finish," explains Sehmbi. "It is also a big benefit being able to see the product from start to finish and being able to work around technical issues that may arise when making the product."
Sehmbi's bags clearly speak to an international audience, but he maintains that the aesthetic is "very British" in his eyes. The ease with which he is able to keep his work consistent is likely due to the fact almost everyone working there is family, and not only do they all live and work in England, but they truly understand his design vision and commitment to the achieving the highest in craftsmanship. From his son to his wife and mother, everyone at Jas M.B. HQ is determined to make beautiful leather goods that "make people happy" wherever they are.