Michael Thalhammer uses tattoos to bring a whole new glamour to this Bavarian clothing classic. The Lederhosen rebel calls it “Bavarian Surfstyle”
Leather pants rebel
In addition to mountains, brass band music and beer, many people associate Bavaria with dirndls and lederhosen – and rightly so! The traditional costume stands for the Bavarian attitude towards life – by wearing it, the locals represent their region and identify with it. People still like to wear traditional costumes.
As well as Michael Thalhammer from Sauerlach: The trained social pedagogue and former musician runs a shop for traditional Bavarian clothes in his home town. But his models are different, fancy, modern – Thalhammer not only sells high-quality leather pants, he also tattoos them and thus helps them to shine again.
Bavarian surf style
“My trousers are exactly as I imagine a good pair of Lederhosen to be”, the Bavarian adds. “Traditional but casual. Combined with a T-shirt, I like to call it ‘Bavarian surf style’. It’s a combination of my love for Bavaria and my passion for the beach and sea.”
Godfathers of the Bavarian Lederhosen
"I like to call it ‘Bavarian surf style’"
As the Lederhosen lie in all their glory on the solid wooden table in the “Brandner und Kneißl”, you can see how much work and dedication goes into their creation: Thalhammer has the trousers made in the region. The leather comes from local regions, and is processed in a small tannery that he knows. The “tattooing” process is actually burning in, but the emblems are as individual as a tattoo.
The two Bavarian rabble-rousers Brandner and Kneißl lend their name to the shop, which was opened by Thalhammer in 2015. They also provide the name for the two Lederhosen models, which he has been selling in Sauerlach ever since. Robber Kneißl, who was once the Robin Hood of the foothills of the Alps, standing up to the authorities, and was executed by guillotine at the age of 30; and Brandner Kasper, who drank a considerable amount of schnapps whilst playing cards and managed to cheat death.
When he was later fine-tuning his shop concept, he knew: Selling Lederhosen with extraordinary decorations, that was it. But large embroidered badges were not an option, as he knew from his own experience. “One day I thought of my grandfather. The fact that there used to be all of these fired wooden boards with pictures and sayings hanging around his house. Then I thought: Why can’t I just burn a pattern into Lederhosen?”
Rebellion or not; in one sense, Thalhammer is very traditional: “I don’t make Lederhosen for women. Women look far too beautiful in Dirndl to cover themselves in Lederhosen.”
More about Michael's leather pants at brandner-kneissl.bayern (in German only)
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