STILL HIS BAG
Tucson Citizen ~ Lorrie Cohen
Gilman's Dark Star Leather is flourishing and he credits his
of Dark Star Leather is filled with leather vests and jackets
that Gilman purchased for his previous store. The other
section is lined with items such as handmade sandals, (back in
style), purses, wallets, binders and date books. The
custom-made items are created by Gilman and his staff in a 400
square foot workplace in the back of the store.
the leather Gilman uses for his custom work comes from
Italy, France and the United States.
ostrich, alligator and lizard skins for overlay and inlay
also displays purses and silver belt buckles that other
local and regional artists have created.
Gilman's focus has changed over the years, many of the clients
have remained the same.
are locals who were the hippies in the '60s," he said.
"Now they've grown up. Many have climbed the corporate
ladder and can afford more."
account for about 65 percent of his customer base and tourists
about 35 percent. It's not uncommon for celebrities such as
Robin Williams, Linda Ronstadt and Wynonna or Naomi Judd to
visit his store.
regret is that Richard Leece, his late friend and co-founder,
is not around to enjoy their dream.