The briefcase is described thus:
One of our top priorities when we’re preparing to launch a new product is ensuring that we’re presenting you with radical value. Never have we been more certain that we’re succeeding in that. Normally you’d find briefcases made in the US with Horween leather for $500-$700, ours is only $199. This is less than you’d pay for a canvas briefcase from most brands, and our most radical value to date.
Introducing the Horween Briefcase, our take on the ideal way to carry your work essentials in beautiful style. Rich Horween leather and rugged solid brass hardware impeccably constructed in California. This is your new daily carry.
We worked for a long time to bring our dreams of a Horween bag to life. The group of craftsmen we finally chose have been making bags in California longer than I’ve been alive. It’s in their blood. Yes, it’s their job, but it’s also their hobby and passion. They eat, breathe and live making some of the finest bags in the country.
The design of the bag is clean, functional and classic. There’s a single zipper compartment with a solid-brass two-way YKK #10 zipper. In lieu of the standard brass pulls, we’re making our own from the same Horween leather as the bag, and riveting them. The handles are made of a burnished Horween latigo leather in a matching color. They are riveted and sewn to the sides of the bag for an extra-durable connection. An adjustable shoulder strap is also made of this latigo leather, and provides additional carrying options for your commute. On the interior of the bag, we’re using a heavyweight waxed canvas for the two interior dividers (one on each side). Each of these dividers / laptop sleeves is large enough to fit a 15″ macbook pro. Sewn into the right side one is a leather organizer with pockets for pens, business cards, and your phone. Lastly, we’ve finished these briefcases with feet sewn on the bottom for extra durability.
This briefcase is crafted from full grain steer hide made by the Horween Leather Company in Chicago. Horween’s Chromexcel is famous and Color #8 even more so. We’ve used it in accessories and they’re beautiful. We’ve used it in our sneakers and they became the stand-out color in the line. Like Horween’s Dublin line, Chromexcel has tremendous base shade and pull up. The difference with #8 is in its dark burgundy color. Its deep base results in a much more subtle beauty. You still get color variation as the bag bends and creases, but it’s more fluid and muted than in lighter CXL colors. Instead, you see wonderful gradations from deep brown-reds to slightly lighter reds. Even differences in light bring out new beautiful shades.
FIT 17″ x 12.5″ x 3.5″
FABRIC Horween Chromexcel #8 full grain leather
TRIMS Brass YKK #10 zipper, solid brass hardware
SHIPPING Sept / Oct 2016
And here is the lovely Natural Essex from the same company
So, who are they and how can they offer this surprisingly low price?
The company is WearGustin and here is where it gets interesting. It’s crowdsourced. They list a campaign on their website, you sign up to back it and once there are enough backers to fund it 100%, it goes into production. Once enough people pledge to back the product, you will be charged and then they will produce them.
We set out to create the first fully crowdsourced premium fashion company; a company that would break all the rules people thought were unbreakable in this industry.
We believed we could deliver Barney’s quality at Gap prices, all locally made — your support let us prove it.
We believed our new model could remove the inefficiency that plagues most fashion brands — your support let us prove it.
We believed an authentic, honest and open relationship between designer and wearer is the only way forward — your support let us prove it.
The prices are very reasonable and once a campaign is closed, another one will start so you don’t just have one chance to get what you want.
There is no inventory, they do not own the production facilities, they use small runs and factory down times to produce their wares, so you do wait for your item.
The downsides are, I guess, returns and refunds, delays and quality control. Also that the burden is on the customer rather than the company.
But as a business model it is very innovative. Usually this type of funding is used for startups but in this case the whole company is built on it.
It is easy to register (though I would prefer to be able to see everything without logging in) and there are some nice looking, very reasonably priced items. Many are reminiscent of other brands’ products at much lower prices though.