October 12, 2005
The Brighton brand was launched in 1991 with a single collection of belts. But over the years, Brighton has become an accessories company with something for everyone. Handbags were added to the line in 1993, followed by small leather goods, watches, footwear, fragrance, jewelry, home accessories and eyewear. The collection also includes men’s belts, wallets, watches and other leather accessories.
Today Brighton is the only major accessories line featuring products that coordinate from head to toe. A customer might choose a lipstick case that matches a wallet, earrings that match a pair of sunglasses, a handbag that matches footwear, or an entire coordinating collection consisting of multiple accessories. Each piece in the Brighton collection is a unique original design. The company’s design team travels the world seeking new leathers and inspiration for the products one-of-a-kind ornamentation.
Brighton products are available in nearly 6,000 specialty stores nationwide and 50 all-Brighton stores from coast to coast. In keeping with owner and president Jerry Kohl’s philosophy to do business only with stores that offer excellent customer service, Brighton products are not sold in department stores or on the Internet.
Brighton is a division of Leegin Creative Leather Products based in City of Industry, CA. employees to a technologically advanced plant employing more than 600 people. Components for some of the products are manufactured internationally in countries such as France, Italy, Spain, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Although the Brighton brand is only 10 years old, Leegin was founded in 1966 by a young California couple named Lee and Ginny. The business in those days operated out of a warehouse in Redondo Beach and was a diverse one; in addition to belts, Leegin made handbags and sandals.
Jerry Kohl was a Leegin customer at that time. He was concerned about the timeliness of deliveries and felt the situation could be improved. Coincidentally, Lee and Ginny had decided to phase themselves out of the business and so a new partnership was formed. Jerry put his efforts into learning the leather business and two years later Lee and Ginny were able to realize a lifelong dream of relocating to New Zealand.
On November 13, 1972, Leegin was incorporated under its new ownership with Jerry Kohl as president. In addition to Brighton, the Leegin family of brands includes:
Casual and dress belts sold under the Leegin label.
Updated contemporary and fashion forward belts sold under the Onyx and Billy Belts labels.
Honest belts, the basic all-American belt featuring rich heavy cowhides.
Western belts and hatbands sold under the Silver Creek, Justin, and Tony Lama labels.
A myriad of special belts sold to other belt companies and to private label retailers (belts sold under the retailer’s own label name) such as: Lands’ End, L. L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, J. Crew and many more.
Unique styles fashioned of materials collected from the farthest reaches of the globe under the One World label.
Today the business thrives as the Leegin/Brighton national sales force covers every state, and serves customers worldwide. Brighton is acknowledged as an industry leader, recognized for innovative styling, outstanding workmanship, and the use of high-quality materials.