Vintage-inspired men’s accessories for town and country, opening soon in Soho.
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When Marley Hodgson created the Ghurka brand in 1975, he was inspired by his love of a specific type of 20th-century gear made for regimental officers stationed in India, who were known as Gurkhas. Taken with the rugged elegance and workmanship of the leather, Hodgson first made a Gurkha bag for his young son and then went on to launch a line of luxury men’s accessories and travel gear of the same name. Today Ghurka is a premier luxury accessories brand, and although the products remain steeped in history, the company is moving swiftly into the future, with a new CEO and a new flagship opening this week in Soho. (A boutique opened in early 2012 at the Sherry-Netherland, on the Upper East Side.
The company’s new owner, John Reuter, of Brightwork Brand Holdings, is focused on reenergizing Ghurka and bringing its luxuriously rugged travel accessories to a new generation of power players. Eli Manning and LeBron James are customers.
“I have always been incredibly passionate about American craftsmanship and preserving the American artisan trades,” says Reuter. “When I purchased Ghurka, I was very excited to spearhead the revitalization of a great American brand rooted in such inspirational ideals.”
And revitalize he will. Ghurka’s Soho shop will remain a pop-up through the holiday season before closing briefly in January and reopening in February. In the next three to five years, Ghurka will open additional retail stores throughout the country and continue making custom goods for partners such as Eleven Madison Park, whose leather menu cases and trays are made by Ghurka.
Perennial favorites will be on hand at the new flagship, displayed in a setting that feels like a portal to the world of classic adventurers and explorers. A khaki leather and twill Expeditor attaché case retails for $795. The handsome Cavalier travel bag comes in three sizes and an array of leather hues and ranges from $995 to $1,395. The functional Pontoon rolling bag starts at $995 for a smaller twill version and goes up to $1,495 for a larger leather style. All Ghurka bags are handcrafted at the company’s production facility in Connecticut.
“The Ghurka man is masculine, worldly, and authentic,” says Reuter. “A man of quiet confidence.”
Ghurka: 781 Fifth Avenue or 65 Prince Street, 212.826.8300