Leather Elephant by Dimitri Omersa for Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
About a year or so ago, a friend of mine sent me a photo of a leather elephant at an antique booth located about 10 minutes from my house. He thought I'd be interested in it but had no idea that I had been looking for one of these for a very long time. I asked him what was on the price tag, and when he told me an amount that was a third of what they usually sell for, I hopped in the car.
These leather animals have been in circulation since the late 1920s when an English luggage maker named 'Old Bill' created a pig while figuring out ways to use his leftover leather. Old Bill sold the pigs through Liberty's of London where they're still sold to this day.
In the 1950s, Old Bill sold his company to Dimitri Omersa who began introducing new animals into the mix — the first being an elephant. In the 1960s, the leather animals caught the eye of the then American luxury outdoors brand, Abercrombie and Fitch Co., who introduced and sold the animals to their wealthy American clientele.
While the leather animals have continued to be produced and sold by Omersa, the ones in highest demand are those for Abercrombie or produced from the 1950s through the 1980s. These are still frequently listed at auction for significantly more than the current retail price of those produced today.