Meet M&M Leather
Icons Made Here
Mon 26 Jun
Meet the brothers behind the artisan leather workshop where pieces are created to last
When M&M Leather Workshop opened their stall in Camden Market Stables in 2010, London was awash with preppy fashion and Indie bands. A lot had changed since four brothers founded M&M together in 1995 – a statement that still stands today, as we chat to founder Yacine Mouhi stall-side on a warm June day in 2023.
Yacine Mouhi in the M&M Leather Workshop on Saddle Row
Vintage satchels are placed on shelves as far as I can see into the back of the stall, alongside hundreds of leather belts, all organised by colour and lined up next to each other.
Satchels are one of the most popular choices; all named after local Camden places or landmarks (the Chalk Farm, the Hawley, the Inverness) and varying from simple black leather to monochrome and neon. It was a customer’s request that sparked the idea to offer a customisable option, Yacine tells me – “Once we made one for her and put it on the shelf, everybody wanted to buy one.”
As we chat, Yacine is cutting new belts. He takes a sheet of bright red leather, slicing it with a tool that looks extremely sharp, and nipping the edges with a curved chisel. It looks like he could do it without looking, but I spy a few bruised fingers that tell more of the story.
“Camden is so unique” he says “even the customers are unique. There’s nothing like it in the world.” He beams – “I’m serious!” I tell him I believe him. “As a trader, you feel special being here – not just anyone can trade in Camden Market.”
As another hammer blow hits the well-worn work surface, it strikes me just how handmade these products are. In just a few minutes I’ve seen belts cut and holes stamped out, bags take form, handles shortened. A customer comes by and chooses a colourful bag, while she’s paying, Yacine has already made a personalised label bearing her name and fixed it to the lining.
“People have had enough of mass production” he tells me. “Our parent’s generation used to buy things to last – things that could be worn and used by future generations. Now you buy cheap stuff and leave it behind when you move. If you pay for quality, you know you’re investing your money well.” If anything deserves to be called quality – this is it.