The Oskin story begins back in 2000 in South Africa, in the Little Karoo region. For the first time, Odile Texier set off to meet the ostrich ranchers in the little town of Oudtshoorn as part of her work for the food and drink industry. After several hours’ drive from the Cape, the landscape stretching around her overwhelmed her with a sense of vastness and plenitude.
Nature seemed serene and benevolent in this untamed valley, where thousands of ostriches ran among the bush, the rocks and the alfalfa fields. In Oudtshoorn, she discovered the reality of rearing these strange birds in a truly sustainable way, an industry which has been supporting the region since the “roaring twenties”. Odile was struck by how professional the ranchers were, and by their expertise and knowledge of their environment. She observed then, just as she has in subsequent trips, just how well they take care of these majestic birds.
Leather of incomparable beauty
While Odile Texier was forging a relationship with the Oudtshoorn ranchers, she began to discover the amazing sensuality of ostrich leather. More supple, resistant and lighter than other leathers, it takes on bright colours beautifully and improves with age. Unfortunately, this scarse and hard-to-produce leather is sold only at extremly high prices by the high-end brands. This spurred Odile Texier to make this product accessible to women like her and create her own brand. She achieved this in 2010, and brought Oskin into the world.
Teaming up with Loretta
After building up a relationship of trust with the ranchers and enjoying the privilege of selecting the skins herself, Odile Texier met Loretta, a professional with 18 years’ experience making bags and luggage from ostrich and crocodile leather. She joined Odile in Oskin and quickly put her talent to good use for the label. Out in the suburbs of Cape Town, she hired three skillfull workers to turn these skins into bags and accessories, applying perfect finishes worthy of the most prestigious fashion labels.
Simple and elegant models
Odile Texier is passionate about the richness of colour and diversity that can be attained with ostrich and ostrich leg leather, daring to combine bright colours with an audacity that soon became one of the label’s signatures. She chooses simple, timeless forms to showcase the leather and endure changing fashions. Using the artisan skills and expertise of Loretta and with a careful examination of each skin, each product is individually cut and assembled by hand. Each item is limited edition, ensuring that Oskin products remain unique and reveal their beauty over time, according to the personality of the women wearing them.