About Us

Established in 1972, Cape Cobra Leathercraft is Africa’s largest exporter of luxury exotic leather goods. Our name pays homage to the Cape Cobra snake, native to Cape Town, South Africa. Our atelier handcrafts sustainably farmed Nile Crocodile, Ostrich, and Python skins into timeless pieces in a variety of vibrant colors and styles.

We are a third-generation family run business, with a long legacy of manufacturing bags for luxury fashion houses around the world, that seek the work of our exceptional artisans for their own. Our in-house brand’s offering is an eloquent expression in the art of eternal style.

What gives Cape Cobra Leathercraft’s pieces their elegance and depth is poetry of the past combined with meticulous moments spent in the present, concentrating on elevating the raw materials available today.

Robert Schäfer

A History of Luxury

The late Lothar Schäfer once patriarch of the business, honed his skills in maroquinerie in his native Offenbach, Germany, during the 1950’s. Travels to Egypt would bring him to meet his future wife Denise, of Frano-Italian and Lebanese decent. Together, they embarked upon a courageous journey down the continent, bringing classical European skills and influence along with them. At the very southernmost tip of Africa, they found the meaning of home and prosperity in Cape Town.

Lothar and Denise’s legacy continues to thrive in the hands of their sons Robert, second-generation master artisan with over 4 decades of experience and Richard, whom heads up the sales department of the business. Their granddaughter Justine, a graduate of Parsons New York, joined the company nine years ago to rise through the ranks, becoming the Creative Director of their in-house brand.

Together, they oversee over 80 South African artisans and continue to instill the unwavering quality, pursuit of beauty and age-old traditions of the handcraft brought to them all by Lothar and Denise.

Manufacturing an exotic leather handbag is an intricate and timely process, not only because it is handmade, but also because each skin is unique in its patterns, scale composition and scars. Our specialist artisans respectfully preserve the natural beauty of the skin and allocate them to specific designs. Allowing the perfect culmination of design and detail. No piece will ever be the same and that is what gives exotic leather products their luxurious allure

Justine Schäfer - Creative Director and third generation family member

Our Luxury Tastemaker

Loyal to herself, her legacy and not to any particular brand of the ‘moment’. Her choices are unpretentious, deeply personal and the beautiful objects she surrounds herself with have been curated slowly over time. She understands the power of her choices, and chooses wisely, knowing that her buying power helps shape the world around her.

Cape Cobra allows for understated luxury to accompany her on her travels, enhance her professional life, uplift her through the everyday and celebrate her at special occasions.