"We wanted to build products that reflect the source from which they came," says Tutwiler, who co-owns the business with her mother, Mary Tutwiler. "It's not just leather, it's not just a thing — it comes from a real animal. A lot of designers lose that connection to nature. We think we maintain the aura of the animal."
Crafted from local alligator skins, the pieces are beautiful and durable. Tutwiler says a clutch could last a decade or more. By selling long-lasting heirloom pieces manufactured locally, Tutwiler hopes to support Louisiana's economic growth and position in the fashion market. "We are all about being a Louisiana company and supporting other Louisiana companies, such as the trappers and manufacturers," she says.
Cocodri pieces range in price from $105 for an eelskin cuff to $1,664 for an alligator clutch and are available at Style Lab for Men (3326 Magazine St., 304-5072; www.stylelabformen.com) and Ralph Goodyear Ltd. (2050 Magazine St., 525-1570).