Introducing SALT Co. Leather

We love to see new leather companies starting off on the right foot here at BestLeather. Today I’d like to introduce Standard Artisan Leather Trading Company, or SALT Co. for short. This Salt Lake City, Utah based company opened for business only a few months ago and primarily makes leather bags. Full grain leather, brass hardware, polyester thread, and function-focused designs are beautiful and come with a lifetime guarantee.

Some of you may have noticed these bags look quite familiar. Unfortunately, regardless of the quality of the product, some companies aren’t able to remain in business. Such was the case for the former Kendal & Hyde. However, thanks to SALT Co. bringing Kendal onto their team, many of his designs have been revived. Some minor design tweaks and improvements have been made but the heart of what made Kendal’s artistry so popular remains.

We got our hands on this gorgeous briefcase and have been using it–look forward to a full review in a month or so. Until then feel free to check out the other wares at SALT Co. Leather.


Speakeasy Leather Co. Launches New Line of Bags on Kickstarter

Speakeasy Leather Company, based in Milwaukee, WI, has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for a full collection of American-made leather bags. The bags, backed with a lifetime guarantee, are inspired by the “Prohibition Era” of American History. The bags in this collection all have a unique silhouette and represent several years of design and development.


The line includes the 1920 Overnight Duffle Bag, the 1933 Weekender Bag, the 1846 Messenger Bag, and the Bootlegger Backpack, available in four different leather colors – Burnt Timber, Red-Brown Gizmo, Tobacco Snakebite, and Rio Latigo. There are also some smaller items like a wallet, key fob, pen, cardholder, dopp kit, tablet sleeve, and more.

From the Kickstarter Campaign:

I am doing my part to rebuild the Milwaukee leather industry, preserve its history, and move it into the next century. Sourcing and manufacturing locally is the foundation of our success. With your support, we will be able to generate a positive impact in a time where it seems like everything is heading in the opposite direction. You become a major part in rewriting the future of the American leather-making and manufacturing industry. You are not just backing a product that is outsourced you’re backing a quality product that will last for generations and continue to tell the story you are now a part of.

The Kickstarter has already reached its goal, but it’s not too late to get one of these beautiful bags for a sizable discount, as well as help reach their stretch goals. Check it out!

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Introducing Rugged Minimalist — Exclusive BestLeather Preorder Sale

Here at BestLeather, we love to find young companies getting their start in leather goods–especially when they’re starting off right. We’re excited to introduce Rugged Minimalist, fresh off their very first Kickstarter and making some incredible products. We’re also excited to announce a special limited time pre-order promotion code just for our BestLeather readers!


Rugged Minimalist is based out of Watertown, TN. Founder Jason Barnes and his crew were inspired by a desire to make things, and to make them better. After trying his hand at a few projects and becoming bored with his 9-to-5, the decision was made to start a new company and get their first boost from Kickstarter.

Rugged Minimalist has a beautifully simple mission. First, to use the best materials possible–the highest grade vegetable tanned bridle leather Wickett & Craig have to offer, solid brass hardware, and polyester thread. Next, to design their products with minimal, timeless designs–to ensure the style lasts as long as the material. Finally, to offer those products at a reasonable price–and back it up with a lifetime guarantee. Made in the USA.


Their featured products are their line of bags. Alongside their own take on the classic briefcase, satchel, and messenger designs, they also offer a clever vertical satchel, perfect for your tablet, and a popular tote design for the ladies. Wallet and keychain accessories are offered as well.

As a special pre-order promotion and extension of their Kickstarter prices, they’ve decided to offer you, our BestLeather readers, an additional 25% off and free shipping to US customers with promo code BESTLEATHER25. Hurry over to Rugged Minimalist’s shop and pre-order today–not only will orders be fulfilled in the order they’re received, but in addition, the first five customers to use this promo code on an order over $300 will receive a free travel notebook wallet ($80 value)! Code valid until June 16th. Items expected to ship in July.

We’re excited to see this great new company grow. Look out for a full review of one of their bags, coming up soon!


Born and Bred England Cord Wrap and Card Wallet — Rebranding to DENAGY

In light of some big changes over at Born and Bred, we’ve had the chance to bring out and review some of their previous line of products – and introduce you to the brand new DENAGY. These two pieces are high end leather goods we can fully recommend, and the new product line brought with the rebranding to DENAGY introduces an increase in both quality and luxury.


Both the card wallet and cord wrap are handmade with Italian vegetable tanned leather that feels both sturdy and flexible. Edges are burnished and coated. Rivets and snaps are solid brass.


The card wallet is hand stitched with in-house waxed nylon thread. The stitching is expertly done, uniform, and very strong. Between the quality stitching and sturdy rivets and snaps, you’re looking at products that will stand the test of time and look great along the way.



The wallet is a snap-closure main pocket with a single card pocket sewn to the back. It may be a card holder, but it’s very high capacity. Including one card in the front pocket, I managed to get 13 cards in! This is a bit of a stretch though, and 9 cards is a more reasonable limit. The wallet is fairly thin, though the snap does present a drawback here–it adds over ¼” (0.6cm) of thickness, bringing the wallet to about ⅞” (2.2cm)  with 9 cards. In exchange, you get the security of knowing your cards will never accidentally fall out.


I really like this cord wrap. As you can see in the image below, it quite perfectly holds my workout headphones. It’s downright convenient to have them nicely wrangled in instead of the usual tangled mess. The notches keep your cord nicely lined up. It may struggle to hold a bigger cable like a computer charging cord, but it should handle most earbud headphones well.



Both the cord wrap and wallet have a strong and defined look, carried by the presence of the snaps and rivets that give a slight biker feel. The leather is thoroughly dyed, and doesn’t succumb to scratches or marks too easily. Both of these products are refined yet rugged in appearance.



The DENAGY brand was inspired by a nostalgia for 50s surf culture, a time when innovation went hand in hand with quality and style.

Paul De Nagy’s lifelong passion for making things by hand originally led him to making surfboards, but an appreciation for style led him into the fashion world and, in 2009, founding Born and Bred. Over the years his company grew to include leather wallets, accessories, carry goods, and collaborations with other like minded designers.


Paul believes that hand made goods take on the personality of the person who makes them and it is with time, effort and love that they develop soul. He often describes leather work as having a zen like quality, a constant search for perfection that one can get lost in. It is this search for perfection that has led him to further refine his collections under the new name DENAGY. Essentially, Paul has quite literally put his name on the line.

The rebranding to DENAGY brings with it an added level of luxury and refinement. This evolution in quality, look, and feel includes use of more premium materials, such as shell cordovan leather and finer thread; new construction techniques; and use of better tools.


Most people can’t believe that these products are handmade, which is ultimately the goal. That, along with the hope that your grandchildren might one day find your wallet in the attic and will want to use it…

We’re excited for the new and improved DENAGY. Make sure to check out their website, and be looking for a full review of one of their new luxury products within the next couple months.


WATCH: Parker from Stock & Barrel Explains How to Choose the Best Leather for Your Project

Parker Lichfield, from Stock & Barrel out of Ogden, Utah, has put together a short informative video about choosing the right leather for your leathercraft project. He showcases some of his own products made with different types of leather and explains what thickness and finish is best for different projects. He’s also written a great post on the Stock & Barrel blog, which goes a little more in-depth into the topic. Enjoy!

Read BestLeather’s review of the Stock & Barrel Minimalist Satchel & Accessories

Kendal & Hyde Debut Kickstarter for Leather Sandals

Kendal & Hyde, Kickstarter extraordinaires, have launched another campaign, this time funded in less than ten minutes. This time around it’s handmade sandals, debuting in two styles, a flip flop and a two-strap slipper. The sandals are made by hand in Mexico, and for every sandal purchase, a similar pair is donated to a humanitarian school system in Rwanda.

“Last year we started making boots with soles made from upcycled used car tires. The idea to use upcycled tire rubber for the soles came from a pair of Mexican huarache sandals my father bought me when I was in high school. It was an almost painful process to source and make the tire soles, but the idea was so cool and unique we could not leave it alone until we did it. (You can now buy our Goodyear Welted boots with tire soles from
We got many requests from our boot customers to make a sandal for summer. Good idea. In true Kendal & Hyde Co. fashion, we set out to make a product that will last—introducing our Two Strap Slipper and Flip Flop sandals.

Our midsole is made with a sturdy 3mm thick piece of sole leather—the same material used in boots and leather-soled shoes. It’s strong and durable, but also has a beautiful, refined look when the edges are polished. We layer the sole leather with 5mm of cork that will compress as you wear your sandal, making an impression to match the shape of your foot, for a comfortable custom fit. On top of the cork we add a 2mm thick piece of neoprene for padding.

Our soles are cut from the sidewalls of used car tires, just like the pair of Mexican huarache sandals I had back in high school. Tire rubber is very strong—believe me, it’s crazy hard work cutting up all these tires and turning them into sandal soles. They are not going to wear out anytime soon. “

Right now you can get a pair for $90, expected to ship out at the end of this summer in several waves. If these sandals are built anywhere close to the sturdiness of Kendal & Hydes bags and boots, they will last you many, many summers.

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SOCIAL MEDIA CONTEST: Post a Pic of Your Thorogoods for a Chance to Win

Heads up to Thorogood Boot owners: You could win a pair of Thorogood Janesvilles from the 1892 Collection by posting a pic of your boots using the hashtag #ThorogoodsEverywhere or posting to Thorogood’s Facebook Page now through April 22nd.

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Photo Via Grown & Sewn

From the Thorogood Instagram:

“In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd 1892 Wisconsin Collection by Thorogood will be giving you a chance to win a pair of Janesvilles. We want to see your boots out and about in the environment, among the trees, on the beach, or high on a mountain.

To enter submit a photo to 1892 Wisconsin Collection by Thorogood Facebook Page or post a picture Instagram with the hashtag #ThorogoodsEverywhere
Winner will be selected by a committee of Thorogood Shoes employee owners. All photos must be submitted by midnight on Earth Day, April 22, 2016. Winner is responsible for any and all shipping, taxes, and duties.

Get out there and take some photos! Have fun and good luck.”

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Watch: Jim Crane Reviews Leather Built’s Bunyan Briefcase

Leather Built, based in Meridian, Idaho, is a collection of high-quality leather items made in the USA. They recently sent in The Bunyan Briefase for a video review by Jim Crane. The Bunyan Briefcase is made to Leather Built’s specifications by Coronado Leather in California using Horween’s Dublin Leather. The Bunyan Briefcase is priced at $649, but at this time is available for $595. Take a look at the video below to hear Jim’s take on this beautiful bag.

Range Leather Debuts Travellr Bag and Razor Case

Range Leather, based in Spokane, WA, has announced its third Kickstarter campaign. This time around they are offering a dopp kit, a standard razor cover, and a safety razor cover. The standard razor cover fits nearly all brands of men’s and women’s standard disposable razors. The dopp kit, dubbed the Travellr, is 9.5″ x 6″ x 2.5″, making it a useful size for a travel dopp kit or makeup bag. The dopp kit and razor cases come in all brown, or a black and brown combo.

“Travellr’s story began while traveling, when I reached into my bag and sliced open my finger on the exposed blade of my razor.  As a craftsman and leather worker, I responded by designing a razor case and travel bag so this would never happen again. Travellr is built in the US from full grain Horween leather called Buccaneer.  This specific tannage has a water resistant finish and is the perfect material for the Travellr Kit.  We craft each case by hand and assemble with copper rivets, premium brass hardware, genuine YKK zippers and durable thread. We are so confident in the construction of this bag- we are guaranteeing it for life.”

Although the Kickstarter was funded in less than two hours, you can still pick up a great dopp kit and razor case for 25-33% off retail price. We’ve been very impressed with some of Range Leather’s other products, like the Sanford Pipe Tobacco CaseRange Mug, and Gannet Wallet. Check out the Kickstarter hereRangeLeatherTravellrKitWholeRangeLeatherDoppBlackMakeupRangeLeatherDoppRazorBrownWEB

Election 2016: Who Gets the Next Presidential Johnston & Murphy Shoes?

If you are familiar with footwear brand Johnston & Murphy, you probably know that the brand has been responsible for providing footwear to every president since Millard Fillmore in 1850. Most recently, they provided President Obama with a pair of black oxfords and an updated version of President Lincoln’s lace-up boots.

Now, with election season in full swing, we’re asking the important questions: who gets the next pair of presidential Johnston & Murphy shoes? There’s a chance America may have its first woman president. This video from CNN Money discusses this possibility with J&M’s CEO Jon Caplan, and explains a bit about Johnston & Murphy’s presidential tradition. Check out  J&M’s history page to see some more presidential styles throughout history.

Pre-orders Available for the New Normal Wireless Leather Headphones

An awesome product caught my eye recently, and I wanted to tell you about it. They’re sweet headphones called the New Normal. They’re wireless. They use hand-stitched Napa leather in the design. They have 8 hours of battery life. They can be customized to fit any ear. And this may be the coolest part–they have an integrated USB so you don’t have to keep a charging cord with you!



Here’s the catch: These babies aren’t shipping till early summer, so I haven’t actually tested a pair myself. That means your judgement on the pics and specs is as good as mine. But if you love the marriage of tech and leather, you might consider it. Especially because pre-ordering will save you $50.

You can read more about them at You might also want to watch this short video. If you do order, make sure to post your feedback below. If not, expect a full review from BestLeather soon!

Jaunji Debuts Leather Jackets On Kickstarter

Jaunji Goods has announced a new line of men’s and women’s jackets made with lamb, goat, or natural grain cow leather via a new Kickstarter campaign. For men, the jackets come in four styles: Moto, Cafe Racer, Bomber, and Uptown, a simple high-collared design. Ladies’ jackets also come in two styles: Uptown, and a moto style with an asymmetrical zip. The jackets come lined with standard viscose lining, but can be upgraded to a herringbone wool.


You can get a jacket with standard lining and your choice of color for $339, which is about $200 off expected retail price. Couples can pledge $669 for jackets of their choice. Jaunji has already more than met their Kickstarter goal, but this gives buyers a chance to add a nice quality leather jacket to their wardrobe for less. Keep an eye out in the next week or so for a review of the men’s Uptown Jacket!


Made in Wisconsin: See How Thorogood Boots are Made

The Weinbrenner Shoe Company (known primarily as Thorogood Brand) has been making footwear in Wisconsin since 1892 and in this factory since the 1930s. Their local ABC affiliate recently featured them in their “Made in Wisconsin” special report series, giving us a peek into the inner workings of an all-American shoe factory. You can see employees inspecting the American-sourced leather, cutting the hides, assembling the uppers, attaching the soles, and getting each pair ready to ship out.

WAOW – Special Report: Made in Wisconsin

About Weinbrenner Shoe Company

Iconic American success stories are awesome and the story of Albert Weinbrenner, son of a German immigrant and cobbler, holds true to form. Albert began his apprenticeship at age 13 working for his father. By his early 20s, in his spare time, Albert was designing work boots specifically for the trade jobs his friends had around Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1892, at the age of 27, Albert started his own cobbler business with partner Joseph Pfeifer.


Weinbrenner and Pfeifer enjoyed immediate success – becoming well known for their “jobber” boot. Today Weinbrenner Shoe Company is still based in Wisconsin and employs over three hundred people in the local area.

In addition to making sturdy workwear, their 1892 Wisconsin line is beloved in mens casual footwear. We’ve reviewed the Portage CXL Roofers and the Dodgevilles, and found them to be extremely well-made with an American heritage flair.

Best of Las Vegas Trade Shows 2016 – Fall Preview

Spring fashion weeks around the world are coming to an end, solidifying trends for the upcoming season, and delighting buyers and bloggers alike. A team from Best Leather visited several fashion trade shows in Las Vegas, including MAGIC, Liberty Fairs, Capsule, and MRKT, which featured everything from household global names to small handmade items to up-and-coming clothing labels. We wanted to share some of our favorite new looks from fall 2016 lines. Keep an eye out for these items and trends once fall comes around.

Alpha Industries – The military outerwear company will be debuting the new Phantom jacket, in both black and white leather. It’s a lighter jacket with great features like an arm pocket and knit cuffs.

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Hammitt – LA-based Hammitt has some fun designs coming for fall. Look out for their shiny new printed leather, called Curacao, on crossbodies, handbags, wallets, and more. Hammitt showcases their ingenuity with a new line of handbags featuring removable front panels that act as both a clutch and a fun addition of texture.

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Mario Latorre – Ever-stylish Mario Latorre will be debuting some new briefcase designs, a deep crossbody tote, and their first women’s wallet. They also feature a gorgeous red ethically-sourced alligator duffle. Check out our recent review of their Voltaire Litigation Briefcase, which will be coming out in matte black.

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Steve Madden Mens – Mixed media and contrasting textures were a common theme throughout many different lines, but Steve Madden’s fall line showcased some, which included some wedge heels and lots of brogue toes.



Thorogood – We were privileged to have a preview of Thorogood’s beautiful 1892 Wisconsin collection, of which we’ve reviewed the Dodgeville and the Portage CXL Roofer. Keep an eye out for more cushioned outsole styles as well as a gorgeous green boot in both men’s and women’s(!).



Timberland – Timberland will be debuting a limited run line of their iconic 6-inch boots in jewel-toned suede for fall. Featuring translucent tread and hairy suede, these fun boots are sure to be a hit. Also keep an eye out for several boots from their premium Timberland Boot Company line, featuring Horween leather and lineman toe details made with motorcycle riders in mind.



Gordon Rush – California-based Gordon Rush has several smart new designs coming out for fall, including slim chukkas, brogue dress shoes, and sleek Chelsea boots.


Dr. Martens – British footwear giant Dr. Martens showcased lots of suede designs, including some Blue Suede Shoes. Look out for lots of suede, fun prints on the 1460s, and some lighter footwear options for people who aren’t ready to commit to hefty Air Wair soles.


W Durable Goods – We forgot to shoot some pictures, but we loved some innovative products from W Durable Goods out of Fort Worth Texas. They repurpose vintage materials like Kevlar fire suits and canvas transport bags, as well as large and small bags made from new materials.

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Fjallraven – The Swedish outfitter’s iconic Kanken backpack is getting a sleek new makeover with all-black leather and G1000 material. An eco-friendly version of the Kanken will also be available this year, as well as additions to their line of sustainable, ethical down jackets.




Adam O Leathers Launches Kickstarter for Line of Bridle Leather Bags

Adam O Leathers has announced a new line of items made from famous Wickett and Craig bridle leather on Kickstarter. The line includes a briefcase, two messenger bags, leather coasters, and personalized keychains. In the past, the company has offered professional knife rolls as well as a line of Horween messenger bags.


Bag Features:

  • Made with thick English Bridle Leather from Wickett and Craig (6.5oz)
  • Marine grade polyester thread (UV resistant)
  • Heavy duty hardware
  • Hammered industrial copper rivets
  • Lifetime warranty

About Adam O Leathers

“I’ve always being fascinated by the way handmade leather products are created – how this ancient craft has lasted for centuries while still bringing some of the most exclusive products to the market. Several years ago, I decided to learn the art of handmade leather craft and now I pass this passion into every product made at Adam O. Leathers. Our attention to detail, combined with some of the best leather available in the world, is at the core of our business.” – Adam O.


The bags are currently available on Kickstarter for 25% off or more. Each bag can be stamped with your initials and comes with a lifetime warranty. $225 gets you a leather briefcase while $275 gets you a messenger bag with a single or double strap. Keep an eye out for a review of the Adam O Professional Briefcase, coming in the next few weeks!



Wool & Oak Announce Duffle Suitcase Kickstarter

Wool & Oak is a new brand specializing in leather functional goods. They recently announced a Kickstarter for their new travel duffle bag that features an organized packing system. The Duffle Suitcase is designed like a classic weekender bag on the outside and built like a compartmentalized suitcase in the inside.



“The brand’s design philosophy is about the marriage of classic design aesthetic with functionality needed in today’s modern world. With minimal branding, Wool & Oak aims to give the customer a sense of ownership of the brand,thus empowering them to mold each piece to their own personal style.”


The Duffel Suitcase measures 20″ x 10.5″ x 10″ and meets all of the TSA’s airline security requirements. It comes with. It consists of 3 compartments separated by 2 removable walls acting as partitions. The Duffle Suitcase has over 19 features including: 2 built in shoe bags, a tie pocket on the floorboard, dedicated pockets for a laptop, tablet, 2 books, a belt & 2 chargers.

The bag is made with full grain leather and comes in three colors – oak, navy, and black. There is also a canvas version offered. Wool & Oak offers a detachable leather toiletry bag that can snap on and off the side. The Duffel Suitcase is expected to retail for $550, but you if you get in early, you can get one for just $250. The Kickstarter is funded but there are still units left, so check it out if you’re looking for a good deal.

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Hidesign Seeks to Expand to U.S. Market

Based in Pondicherry, India, leather goods manufacturer Hidesign is actively working to grow its presence in the U.S. market. Hidesign was founded in 1978, as a two-man workshop. The company now has over 80 exclusive branded stores and sells in hundreds of independent stores, making it a huge player in India’s accessories market.

The company expanded to the U.S. in late 2014 and hopes to build its brand through online sales and high end independent retailers. Each Hidesign bag is made by hand with vegetable-tanned leather from their own tannery, and all their hardware is solid brass cast and polished at their own forge. Their three teams of designers are based in Milan, London and Pondicherry.

Hidesign features a range of competitively priced men and women’s bags, luggage, and accessories. Last year, we reviewed their Hector 17″ Backpack, which we found to be attractive, functional, and reasonably priced. Keep an eye out for a review of the Cerys Multi-Compartment Tote, coming soon. Hidesign often runs great sales, so keep an eye on their website to save on their already competitively priced items.