Founded in 1956 in a small workshop and barn in the quiet village of Spratton, Ibex England has since become one of the most recognisable leather belt manufacturers in the world.
In a story that features the best of British design and manufacturing, we delve into the history of Ibex England.
From his small workshop and office, founder Peter Lee MBE began Ibex as a manufacturer of components for the local shoe industry.
After frequent visits to the US in the early ‘60s, Peter soon noticed the potentially for quality leather belts and the variety of designs, which he brought back with him.
Not long after this, Peter took his extensive knowledge of leather, combined it with his burgeoning design skills, and began work on the first range of Ibex belts.
From strength to strength
It was during the ‘60s fashion boom that Ibex thrived. With the distinctive and now iconic first Ibex logo designed, the original farmyard and barn in Spratton was converted into a modern factory and office building.
Ibex continued to grow, bringing other businesses into the fold, and expanding their offering into footwear, other leather clothing and small leather goods, as well as establishing an office in New York.
Reaching new heights
This success continued into the ‘70s, when Ibex was operating 7 manufacturing units and was supplying most of the major retailers in the UK, as well as many abroad.
As the brand flourished the company rapidly expanded and was granted the Queen’s Award in 1972.
Success was further consolidated when Ibex became the appointed and sole UK licensee for Pierre Cardin Belts.
Working closely with Pierre Cardin, Ibex was able to expand the collection into the UK, raising the recognition of the Pierre Cardin brand.
By the late ’80s Ibex merged its operations into one large production unit in Brixworth, Northamptonshire.
The collection was also expanded to include the Eqqvs brand of mid-range, classic casual leather belts, braces and leather goods.
Ibex was operating out of its Northamptonshire factory when Oxford Leathercraft purchased them in 2014.
A natural fit for the two businesses, the Ibex brand is a key feature of the Oxford Leathercraft portfolio.
Oxford Leathercraft has continued to uphold the Ibex core values of resilience, agility, and quality, besides focusing on keeping the product offering on trend and providing the best service possible for clients.
You can learn more about the Ibex history here and view the full product range here.
If you’d like to discuss introducing Ibex into your range, contact our friendly team here.