Since 1856, Tanner Krolle have been pioneers at the heart of the leathercraft industry. For well over a century, their discreet and enduring vision of British luxury has seen the brand maintain an unwaveringly loyal customer base. The attention to detail and quality of unrivalled craftsmanship are undoubtedly attributed to company founder, Fredrich Krolle, whose values remain at the core of every collection.
From humble beginnings making saddles using rudimentary hand tools, to producing highly recognisable luggage, bags, attachés, document cases and jewellery boxes using only the finest quality materials their aim to make the very best products has never been compromised. Each and every piece is shaped by highly skilled technicians using age-old skills to stand the test of time. Forever looking towards the future, Tanner Krolle is a name synonymous with authenticity, heritage and thoroughly modern, global outlook.
Establishing Roots in London
Second generation saddle-maker Fredrich Krolle moves to London from rural Germany in the 1850s and takes a leap into the world of entrepreneurialism. By 1856 he had set up his own leather workshop close to St. Paul's Cathedral and it soon became a thriving family business.
His son Henry Krolle joined the company and in 1890, was recognised for his contribution to the leather industry by being awarded the Freedom of Drapers Company. The Krolle family begin to adapt their wares to an ever-changing world, heralded by the beginnings of a new era of tourism and travel.
The War Years
In 1914, Krolle are commissioned to develop and produce the cockpit instrument covers for the Sopwith Camel biplanes, used by armed forced in WWI. The following year, they are tasked with creating the iconic Sam Browne belts, and other leather goods for the British Army. In 1920, the relationship that would soon become the modern-day Tanner Krolle begins, when Albert Krolle moves his business into the premises of London's Tanner family – well known and manufacturers of stationery. The merger gives rise to an expansion of expertise and travelling bags, suitcases and handbags become standard items in the range.
The Defining Decades
After the trauma of the Blitz, the British population embraced a new decade of optimism. Tanner Krolle's product ranges are widely advertised and by 1957 they are being stocked by trusted retail partners in the USA including Brooks Brothers, Saks, Crouch Fitzgerald, and Gimbels. The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) charters its first ever transatlantic, commercial passenger service from London to New York in 1958 – a landmark occasion which begins to revolutionise the luggage industry. By the early 1960s, Tanner Krolle bags, cases and trunks were highly recognisable across the train platforms and airport lounges of the world.
An Era of Change
Economic turbulence and political crises across the globe during the 1970s and 80s sparked significant cultural highs and lows. Public protests, marches and strikes are seen as catalysts for the emergence of new musical genres such as punk, heavy metal, funk and disco. But amidst the unrest of both decades, there were glimpses of growth and progress, with Concorde making its first transatlantic flight and the London skyline changing thanks to notable architectural developments. Tanner Krolle are asked to design and produce bespoke luggage for Aston Martin's V8 model, cementing their place as the brand of choice for the discerning traveller.
Loyal Supporters of the Brand
There have been countless notable Tanner Krolle customers over the years, many of whom have been revered across the world as leading icons of style. With intense travel schedules and busy lifestyles in the limelight, they turned to Tanner Krolle to create leather goods that are beautiful, timeless and durable. Jackie Onassis, Cary Grant, Sir Sterling Moss and Diana Princess of Wales were all fans of the brand, as was the late Princess Margaret, who commissioned many items during her lifetime, including gifts for her sister, HM The Queen. Sir David Attenborough is still using his treasured luggage since it was gifted to him on his 21st birthday – a great testament to the quality of workmanship at Tanner Krolle.
Tabitha Simmons Joins the Brand
In December 2020 Tanner Krolle announces Tabitha Simmons as Creative Director, heralding a new chapter for Britain’s most exquisite and last independent luxury brand.
Simmons is an award winning accessories designer, American Vogue Contributing Fashion Editor, global traveller and style icon, and her designs blend British tradition with contemporary needs.
“After many years of admiring Tanner Krolle, I am honoured to be collaborating with such an incredible and iconic English brand, filled with rich history and dedication to timeless craftsmanship. From the beginning of my design process, we focused on minimal waste, while maintaining the integrity and timeless nature of the pieces, that can be passed down from generation to generation.“ - Tabitha Simmons