Hare+Hart Teaches You to Care for Your Leather

Because it’s only an investment piece if you make it last.

Oil and leather, best friends forever.

Like wine and Justin Timberlake, good leather only gets better with age. If you take care of it, that is. “When I turned 26, I complained to my boss at the time about getting old, and she said, ‘Whatever, I have leather coats older than you,” says Jennie Engelhardt, one half of the team behind Hare+Hart. “And it’s true: People save their leather.” She and her cohort Emily Harrison, who source skins and produce their bag-and-jacket line in Argentina, know the tricks to making the material last, and Jennie is down to share them. lydia woolever

Get Down With Oil
“Number one: oil and condition. Leather really is a skin, and just like yours—out in the wind and the rain and the sun and the weather—it gets dried out. Oiling it regularly makes a huge difference. It keeps it supple. Do it at the beginning of the season. It’ll help prevent water damage. It’s really easy: Put a little oil on a cloth or old T-shirt—we like Obenauf’s—and rub it in. Wipe away any excess. They say do it in circles, but I don’t follow that. Use it on scratches. Use it in the lines and creases where you bend a lot, like at your elbows. Wear it out, oil it, wear it out, oil it. The more you wear it, the softer it gets, like your best pair of jeans.”

Pay (Some) Attention to Color
”I wear black leather in all conditions—if you have a black bag, you can do whatever. You can add black polish to it to cover up any stains, the way you do with shoes. You might want to be a little more careful with lighter leather, but even if your light leather gets wet, just put some oil over the water spots. I have a camel bag I wear all the time—in rain and snow—and I just oil it and let it get beat up. I get so many compliments on it. It looks way better than when it was new.”

Know What You Can’t Fix
“Remember that leather is skin and is porous, so things will absorb. There are some good cleaners for grime, but if I spill something like nail polish remover on my bag, that’s never coming out, no matter what I do. So avoid certain things. Like wine.”

Need some nice leather to take care of? Get H+H’s so-awesome bucket bag now!

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Hare+Hart Knows Buenos Aires

And now you do, too.

As we imagine it, Jennie Engelhardt and Emily Harrison of Hare+Hart spend all of their time eating medium-rare steaks, cracking open bottles of Argentine red, and tangoing until sunrise. But when the design duo is in Buenos Aires—they both also do time in NYC—they have to get work done, too, as they produce all of their line’s elegantly simple leather goods just outside the capital city. Here, the nine places you’ll find them when they’re not hanging out at factories. lydia woolever

imageThe bar at Milion.

Emily: “It’s a bar in a huge, old, three-story mansion in this chichi neighborhood—like the Upper East Side—called Recoleta. Argentines aren’t huge drinkers—so it’s not like the New York cocktail scene—but they make these amazing basil cocktails here. And there’s this beer called Quilmes, which is definitely cheaper to drink than water.” (Paraná 1048)

La Cabrera
Jennie: “This is a special-occasion parrilla, or grill. Emily gets their bife de lomo (tenderloin), and I like their ojo de bife (rib eye). We usually share an order of mollejas (sweetbreads) and provoleta (grilled provolone). We’re definitely not vegetarians.” (José Antonio Cabrera 5099)


Jennie: Medialunas, or ‘half-moons,’ are the Argentine version of a croissant. They’re smaller and sweet—they have a little bit of honey on top. They’re everywhere, but the best are at Domani. It’s a block from Emily’s apartment, so we go there and do work a lot. It’s like a weird sort of IHOP or American diner.” (Salguero 3006)

Bosques de Palermo
Emily: “Bosques de Palermo is this big park with grassy areas and paths and lakes not far from my apartment. Jennie goes running there; I walk my dog.”
Jennie: “People are always having maté with each other in the park. It’s like tea-slash-marijuana. You drink out of the same straw and pass it around like you pass a joint. If people invite you to share maté, it means they like you. It has more significance than just sharing a drink.”


Jennie: “This place is hilarious. It’s trying to be really fancy, but it’s also trying to be very American. It’s like a nicer Chili’s. They have nachos and french fries, but my personal favorite is the fingers de pollo—the chicken fingers. We go for happy hour a lot. The Argentines love it so much—from fancy, older people to these trendy, mulleted hipster kids, all hanging out at this suburban American chain restaurant in Argentina.” (Del Libertador, Av. 4625)

Palermo Soho
Emily: “We both just love shoes. Palermo Soho is a neighborhood near my place that has great boutiques Jennie’s been in Buenos Aires less than 24 hours, and she’s already been to Mishka, our favorite spot.”


Campo del Fiori
Emily: “After steak, Argentina’s big food is fresh, homemade pasta. It’s a staple. We go to Campo del Fiori for this amazing pre-fixe lunch. You get a drink, appetizer, fresh pasta, and then a dessert, all for like 12 bucks.” (Venezuela 1401)

San Telmo Antique Market
Jennie: “Every Sunday in San Telmo, this neighborhood downtown, there’s a huge fair with all these arts and crafts and antique vendors—jewelry, furniture, clothing, trinkets, these amazing lights and chandeliers from all centuries. I got some really cool old glass apothecary bottles there. It’s hard to transport stuff back to the U.S., but it’s a great place to just walk through and look around.”

Emily: “This is a silly, fun club where we go dancing. Argentines aren’t big drinkers, but they’re big partiers. They’re really into techno. You don’t go out until 2 A.M., and everything’s open ‘til sunrise.”

Don’t miss out on Jennie and Emily’s made-in-B.A. edition: This black leather bucket bag is rockin’.

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In the outskirts of Buenos Aires, there sits a small, old factory where a family of craftsmen—they’ve been at this for generations—works away tanning and stretching hides to be made into ridiculously cool leather bombers and bucket bags for the line Hare+Hart. Jennie Engelhardt (right) and Emily Harrison split their time between the Argentine city, where Jennie once studied abroad and where Emily moved post-college, and NYC, and their ties to this place is what got their label started: “One trip, I decided I wanted to have a custom jacket made, and it turned out awfully,” Jennie recalls. “The styles weren’t contemporary, but the leather and craftsmanship were of such high quality that we really thought, ‘This could be something.’ So we started brainstorming designs.”
Since launching in 2010, they’ve both sourced their leather and done production in Argentina, and they plan to keep it that way for awhile. “I think that at first the craftsmen we work with thought, ‘You young American girls—you don’t know anything,’” Jennie says. “But it’s been a few years, and I think they’re finally starting to admit that we might know something.” —lydia woolever


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