Adan Ballou The Story
It all started with a dream...
A dream to create a leather handbag that can last for generations, as items made in the style of the Arts & Crafts or Art Nouveau artistic movements aspired to be. Adan Ballou set out to create leather items that exemplified three key ideas: It be functional, well designed & made to last; It be beautiful, elegant, classic & sublime; & it be wise, sustainable & environmentally aware.
Adan Ballou's journey
The Long Road Ahead
Transitioning away from a career as a computer networks engineer, Adan moved back home to Manitoba. He took the opportunity to reconnect with his creativity & develop the idea of what his brand would represent.
With this vision in mind, he created his first collection of items named 'The Long Road Ahead'. Inspired by the knowlege that what he had set out to accomplish would be a long & difficult road, this collection was a meditation on that acknowledgment.
Adan Ballou's Development
The Fight & The Hope
Adan Ballous journey continues with further development of his skills as a designer and leather craftsman. He continues to develop his modeling skills to create a new version of belts and bags for men and women.
The Fight & The Hope collection was designed as a meditation on the idea of "The fight for what we hope for and the hope for what we fight for". How these two ideas can feed each other like an ouroboros & cycle
In this collections we take a look back at some of Adan's most popular designs, like the 357 Holster Wallets and the Skull 2.0 belt.
Adan Ballou Journey
Adan Ballou's next collection was a consideration on Jacob's ladder (the Genesis 28:12 version, not the 1990 movie version :) How virttues become vices & how failure is a great teacher where ideas that informed and inspired.
Working with local artists Adan studied taxidermy to begin learning how to tan his own leather. This collection of items was his first using Manitoba deerskin leather.
Adan Ballou Experience
2016 Abury designer winner
In 2016, Adan won the Abury Design Experience contest in Berlin, Germany. Adan Ballou travelled to Marrakesh, Morrocco where for three months he developed a collection with local Moroccan artists.
Immersed in Islamic culture & with the help of his fellow artisans, he created his 'Windows & Doorways' collection for the ABURY Collection.
The 'Asmaa' mini tote bag was one of four 2017 finalists in the "Most Sustainable" handbag category at the Independent Handbag Designer Awards in New York.
Adan Ballou experimental artistic bags
Winter & summer clutches
In 2019, Adan won 'The Best Handmade Handbag' award at the Independant Handbag Designer Awards. His 'Winter Clutch' design was made from Manitoba. Deerskin leather he tanned himself using traditional Indigenous techniqies.
Lined in blue Moroccan vegan silk and all the small details attended to, its recognition was a big moment for Adan and his development as an artist.
Adan Ballou current collection
royal Manitoba collection
This collection symbolizes the kind of elegant minimalism often found on the Canadian praries. Rugged & uttilitarian solutions to common problems that are typical to the open plains inspired the design desisions made, as well as military versaatility & workwear durability.
This is the start of a unique collection for those unique customers who are looking for a relationship with their bags. Each is made individuaally to carry the wrinkles & scars of a life well traveled,
NY 2020 IHBA Finalist
Mr. Bag - Scheer bag
This bag was one of four finalists in the 'Mr.Bag' catagory at the IHDA in 2020.
The Scheer Bag was made for & inspried by my friend Rob Scheer. It features a number of design details like hidden 'Pistol Pete' pockets & a 'Helmet strap" front buckle closure.
This was the first design made as a tool for a super hero. It was made to be a sacred object like a sword, or sheild, hammer, or wand. A symbol of a hero's strength, a reminder of their own power and a companion to carry their memories.