About Black Swan

Black Swan likes to make it personal

We source only the best leathers and hides in South Africa. Each hide is ethically sourced and hygienically tanned. Each colour and texture is personally chosen for a specific item.

We manufacture in Cape Town, with love.

About the designer

As little girls, we grow up dreaming of being successful and independent. We look for beauty, for passion. Some dream of being a princess, a doctor, a teacher or a vet.

In my case, it was a love of handbags, leather and design. I had the opportunity to study marketing, and worked in many dynamic corporate companies. It is only in my later years, that the thought of creating my own style, brand and designs, came to life.

Lockdown 2020 brought this about quicker than I thought, and for that I am grateful. I started teaching myself to make leather handbags and items by hand, cutting patterns, stitching and adding detail. Soon this escalated into a demand for production on Black Swan items, and Black Swan Handbags and Accessories was born. Black Swan is my interpretation of classic, practical, very unique yet stylish beauty. The beauty of Black Swan handbags.

Janine is the owner of Black Swan


It starts with an idea

Firstly, I will have an idea of a range in mind. This could be coral colours for summer, nudes and olives for winter, or mustards and reds for Autumn.

I look at trends, but mostly go with hides I fall in love with when I visit my leather suppliers. I will see a colour, or a specific hide, and immediately the creative process starts.


Time to get creative

Secondly, I then meet with a pattern maker, for new designs. This is a long process of mock ups and pattern adjustments. Else I use my existing patterns. 

I then sit with our manufacturing partner, and throw all the hides on the floor, where I decide and finalise which hide and colour gets used for which bag patterns. Then comes the add ons, like should we add a snake or crocodile print the the bag, shall it receive a tassle, is it a dual purpose bag or does the hide lean to simplicity in its beauty. We look at the inner lining and layout of pickets, to create a practical bag from the inside, but beauty from the outside. The lining must complement the leather and even offer an element of surprise, so that it is never boring. 

We also then match up accessories such as make-up bags and wallets, so that our Swan clientele may have matching items. 


Execution is everything

Lastly, the bags are quality checked twice. I will invite selected clientele for a pop-up shop experience, so as to have 1st hand experience of the new range and to purchase.

Advertising will be done on social media and stock will go to various stores. Stores will only carry 1 item of each colour or style, thus enabling the exclusivity.

Black Swan does not mass produce. We seldom make more than 4 of the same colour per bag. Most bags and accessories are bespoke and unique. 


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