The Ashland Leather company is maker of fine, small leather goods. Based in Chicago, Illinois, they specialize in making high quality wallets, key fobs, key cases, and leather watch straps. Ashland Leather was formed by two tanners from the Horween Leather Tannery. With a knowledge of how to make superb leather, they decided that they needed to also make great products from great leather and their company was born. BestLeather had the opportunity of reviewing their Johnny the Fox bi-fold wallet.
Your first question might be, “Johnny the Fox, what’s up with the name”. That’s a good question. Named after a 1920’s Chicago gangster who was tough as nails, this wallet is similarly tough, with a never say die construction. All of Ashland Leather wallets have similar names from unique Chicago history. For more info on the inspiration behind the name, read here.
The Johnny the Fox is a classic bi-fold wallet, but the fact that it is made with genuine shell cordovan from Horween, ratchets up the uniqueness and quality of the wallet a few notches. My first impression of the wallet was that it is a very simple bifold, but as I held it, and thumbed over it, I could tell that it was not an ordinary bi-fold, and the main reason was the leather.
Shell Cordovan is a very unique and fairly rare leather. A small section (the shell) is taken from a horse hide and tanned by Horween to perfection. It’s a process that they have perfected over many years, and the end product is a piece of leather that is beautiful, looks rich, and as a distinctive feel. In fact, it takes Horween over 6 months to complete the tanning and finishing process for their Cordovan.
Shell Cordovan is known for it’s durability, denser grain, and resistance to abrasions. What I did not initially know about Horween’s Shell Cordovan was its high gloss finish. This makes the wallet pop when you whip it out of your back pocket and pull out the green.
Johnny the Fox has a main compartment for your bills, along with three slots on each side of the fold for your cards. It also has a sleeve where you can slide in additional cards or necessities. Though not a minimalist wallet where you slip in a few cards or cash and that is it, this is a simple wallet. Using it this past week, there was something pleasing in using a classic wallet where there was sufficient room to carry some bills, plus all of the cards that I need to use. It is a little too thick to also be used as a front pocket wallet, but it was never meant to be.
Ashland Leather also has high attention to detail in the crafting of their products. This wallet had precise stitching placement, clean lines on all of the cut leather, and perfectly symmetrical. The fine craftsmanship is a great complement to the fine leather.
Ashland Leather’s Johnny the Fox bi-fold wallet is simple, it is classic, and the leather is beautiful. The quality of leather used on this wallet will ensure many years of use and abuse. If you are in the market for a classic bi-fold, with a high degree of class, look no further than the Johnny the Fox from Ashland Leather.