Caracalla 1947
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HAND MADE IN ITALY

Made in Italy
About Caracalla 1947 HEADING_TITLE

Made in Italy

On a sunlit morning in the early 1980s, as he tinkered with an old Ferrari Daytona, a young Simon Jordan daydreamed of the glamour, wealth and pure exhilaration invoked by motor-racing.

It was a world of which the schoolboy, who was already a motorsport enthusiast, could only dream.

Fast forward 30 years and Simon is now living that dream as owner, founder and chief designer at Caracalla 1947, the UK’s prestige motor-racing inspired leather goods label.

The journey from wistful adolescent to thriving entrepreneur was by no means easy. Yet it was destined, captivated as Simon was by the people and places of motorsport – Monza, Ferrari, Fangio, Maranello, Ascari, Caracalla – and the high-octane Italian fashion those names invoked.

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Having worked for Jack Barclay, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Simon joined MHT Ferrari when motorsport guru Robin Mortimer, who had taken a shine to Simon, offered him the opportunity of a salesman position. Here he impressed several legends on the way, including Dick Lovett and Bob Houghton, with his passion and hunger for knowledge for new cars and old. They could see that motor-racing coursed through his blood, equalled only by his enchantment with the home of that sport, Italy; land of fine food, Verdi, Tuscan leather, undulating vineyards, racing circuits and, of course, Ferrari.

It was during a trip to the Mugello Racing Circuit in Tuscany in 2005 that Simon’s destiny – and that of Caracalla – was sealed. His keen eye for craftsmanship fell on a beautiful hand-made leather bag being worn by a fellow spectator at the Ferrari Mondiali meeting. Detective work led him quickly to the local shop in which it had been sold and then to the factory in which the impeccably crafted bag had been stitched together.

Within hours he was travelling home to Bath with a car full of the highest quality holdalls, travel bags and briefcases he had ever seen, which he intended to sell to discerning friends and contacts.

Next, Simon needed a name for his venture. Ferrari had won their first ever race on Sunday 25th May 1947, the 9th Rome Grand Prix, almost 50 years to the day before Simon’s induction into the industry – on a Roman circuit around the historic baths of Emperor Caracalla. The name Caracalla was born.

Simon stayed in touch with the Italian factory owner, a veritable artist, designing and commissioning a series of increasingly coveted pieces of motoring memorabilia that related specifically to the favourite drivers, marques or circuits of his well-heeled customers.

By the late 2000s, Caracalla was famous for its collections of hand-made Commemorative Motorsport Holdalls with their vegetable-tanned tones, intricate motoring designs and finest Italian leather. And this year, Simon found two new investors who have injected energy, ideas and passion into the business and share his belief in its future. Some major changes have included a rebranding of the business and a new name – Caracalla 1947. Of course, the craftsmanship for which the business has become famous remains.

And that factory worker in Italy? Well, you can ask Simon for details on that skilled artist who turns Simon’s designs into some of the most beautifully made leather goods in the world…but he’ll never tell you.

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