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Shadyside leather boutique stays on top of fashion

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2002

You just can't have too many leather coats. Especially when designers of late are constantly creating fashion evolutions.

"Better coat manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to stay fresh and exciting, because people use coats for so many different things," says Roberta Weissburg, owner of Roberta Weissburg Leathers in Shadyside.

The shop carries fashion-forward, as well as traditional, designs that will satisfy the needs of any coat horse, with looks from French, Canadian and American designers.

One of the standout designs is from Canada-based Dominic Bellissimo. The distressed, hip-length brown sueded leather coat gets a contemporary look from the black curly lamb interior ($1,195). The lamb lining also makes the extremely light coat warm enough for a chilly day.

Another great look comes from American designer Cole Haan, the well-known shoe manufacturer that started making leather jackets two years ago. The quilted black-leather racing jacket ($695) has a slim fit and hits the body at the hip. The zip front gives the jacket a contemporary look.

Weissburg doesn't have to go far to find some of the most exciting looks in her shop. She has been designing custom leather apparel for more than 20 years. Her reversible corsets, for example, feature everything from green snakeskin to red tooled leather ($225 to $495), and her newest handbag designs are inspired by a recent trip to the American Southwest. The one-of-a-kind leather bags show the diversity of New Mexico, with a coyote baying at the moon stitched on one bag and tulips based on Tom Mix's favorite cowboy boots on another ($295).

"I tend to keep designs clean, and I like to let the leather speak for itself," Weissburg says. "I like to use one special detail."

Her coats and jackets are based on traditional designs, but with a twist. One of the jackets, for example, is a semi-fitted, hip-length, round-neck jacket made from silk-screened Italian leather with a subtle rainbow-print stripe on white background. The jacket ($695) is finished off with a hand-blown glass bead button.

Another one-of-a-kind look features a traditional funnel-neck jacket done in white leather with a small, perforated star pattern ($695). The matching dress is also available ($695).

The shop also carries designs for men. One look, a shearling-lined black leather jacket with a stand collar from Rizal ($1,495), incorporates the look of the moment — shearling.

"Shearling has become so well known and popular and an exciting leather item," Weissburg says.

In addition to selling leather jackets, coats and apparel, the shop stocks the Brighton line of handbags, jewelry, shoes and gift items.

Each handbag from Brighton is made with excruciating attention to detail, such as plenty of pockets inside for cell phones and makeup, sturdy zippers and washable fabrics. The five-piece luggage set was designed with women in mind, and each piece fits together. The weekender ($350), with braided leather handles and detachable shoulder strap, fits perfectly on top of the wheeled carry-on ($500). Other pieces in the collection include a garment carrier, large cosmetic case and small cosmetic case. Each piece is attractively lined with a floral and striped fabric and comes with plenty of pockets inside.

Roberta Weissburg Leathers


  • 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; until 9 p.m. Wednesdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
  • 5415-5417B Walnut St., Shadyside.
  • (412) 681-8188.

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