It's always interesting to discover a century old brand and realize nobody really knows about it. Google Kaehler1920 and you won't find much. The Chicago-based fine leather goods brand was founded in 1920 by locksmith Walter Gustav Kaehler. After witnessing an increase in trunks lock repairs, Walter Kaehler set up shop and decided to create better travel goods to provide its customers with.
Bonus point: Kaehler1920 products are still made in Chicago using leather from the world renowned Chicago-based Horween Leather tannery.
Väska, name after the Swedish word for bag, is a Barcelona based leather goods brand founded in 2012 by Ann-Sofi Storbacka. The brand solely uses vegetable tanned cow leather (no heavy metals) from cattle raised in Catalonia. The products are 100% handmade and take their sleek and timeless look from the Nordic heritage of the designer, but also from the Iberian craftsmanship that made this line a reality. The particularity of these bags is the fact that they use no stitching, but are built like leather origamis. The line features natural, muted colors, except for a wonderful Royal Blue (something close to the International Klein Blue).
Chief Trunk is a NYC based luxury luggage company. What makes it special, beside its well proportioned design, Brooklyn based manufacturing and high quality materials, is its history.
Indeed, Chief Trunk is the revival of a much older manufacturer, the Oshkosh Trunk Company, launched in 1898. It quickly grew into a world renowned travel goods manufacturer, found at retailers like Neiman Marcus and with a flagship store in Paris. But as travelling habits changed, Oshkosh failed to adapt and had to close shop in the early 60's.
Another distinctive feature is its crimson and gold stripes which could be spotted all over the globe, from ocean-crossing steamers to the lobbies of the world's finest hotels. Those stripes echoes the Spanish flag for a reason, they used to be on the diplomatic pouches in the use during the 19th century by Spanish embassies in the Americas. After Spain lost its remaining territories in the US, the canvas producing mill got stuck with excess stock of red and yellow striped canvas. Oshkosh bought the canvas and used it as a base to be painted, until a buyer spotted a few unpainted ones. This is how the Oshkosh Trunk Company, and later Chief Trunk gained their unmistakable look.
Launched at the beginning of this year, California Tailor was born from “the desire to create the perfect, American made, button down woven shirt” and it seems that London raised designer Gill Mclean succeeded. The shirts are a perfect mix of British refinement and Californian laidbackness, they manage to be feminine but not girly, as if you borrowed your boyfriend's shirt. Boyishly feminine would be a good description if not an oxymoron. As of today, they only offer one shirt (the appropriately named shirt No.1), in ten declinations.
Maurice Manufacture is a 65 year old shoe manufacturer based in Cholet, France. The factory manager describes their products as traditional, but with a "newstalgic" singularity. I love this word. Let's make it a goal to get it into the dictionary.
Now back to the shoes. Made from the finest materials by skilled craftsmen, you're getting a luxury product, at a fraction of the cost. Maurice also makes shoes for high end companies but also… for the police!
Prices range from about 130€ for sandals to 250€ for boots, which is not cheap, but similar to a lot of Far East made options.
Below, the tamest color combinations, but if you're feeling bold, they have dozens of different options. The shoes are made to order which is why there's a 8 to 10 days delivery time. But hey, you're not ordering Wendy's here.
A little extra here, a pair inspired by the Pink Panther (yes, from the cartoon).
The name of this brand couldn't be more straightforward. American Trench is a company founded by two friends, Jacob Hurwitz and David Neil, who were looking for a US made trench and couldn't find one. One of the most practical, stylish and timeless pieces one can own, America didn't make. Made out of Italian and British made 100% Egyptian cotton with a durable water repellent coating which does not inhibit breathability as well as 100% cotton interior plaid lining woven in North Carolina, this trench represents a great alternative to pricier brands such as Burberry or Aquascutum. And if the next 4th of July happens to be rainy, you'll be able to stay dapper, patriotic… and dry.
They also offre accessories such as socks, beanies and scarves, also made in the US.
Cashmere is a rare and coveted fabric, and what's rare and coveted is also expensive. What we tend to forget is that a non-negligible share of cashmere product prices stems from non essential factors (at least, for the end consumer) such as marketing or middlemen's markups.
Therefore, the founders of Artaban decided to exclusively sell their brand on the internet to get rid of the costs associated with a distribution network, and pass on the savings to their customers. In order to ensure transparency, they explain each step of the manufacturing process of their range which includes for now sweaters, scarves and socks, for men and wowen. Made in Italy from Mongolian and Egyptian fibers, Artaban products almost make us wish winter would come sooner. Almost.
Born in Carry-le-rouet, on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, Rose et Marius is a luxury candle and soap brand. Founded by Magali Fleurquin Bonnard, a former jewelry industry executive, it's a tribute to her (my!) exceptional region. Though the candle cups are made in Limoges, the French capital of porcelain, the candles are made of bee wax in Grasse by master perfumers. As the protection of the environment is core to the brand's DNA, there's no GMO or paraben used, wicks are made of cotton, and packaging has been reduced when possible.
Think about picking up one of these scented gems on your next trip to Provence.
November Adelaide is a Paris-based brand founded by Julien Comte-Gaz and Adrien Poznanski. They focus on bowties, made out of couture houses left overs which is why each model is produced in limited quantities. Why bowties? They say it's the symbol of elegance, and we very much agree with them. Elegance with a twist though, as they use high quality material such as wool or silk, and incorporate unusual ones such as neoprene.
Les Partisanes is the project of two childhood friends, Elise Mennesson and Jessica Quintal. They offer stylish, made in France watches, exclusively for women, which brings femininity to a traditionally male oriented industry. The most expensive watch costs 160€ which makes it an affordable yet unique gift, soon to be found on all stylish ladies' wrists.
S. W. Basics is a Brooklyn based skincare brand that makes its products using solely natural and organic ingredients. In order to deliver the most potent skincare, they use only a maximum of 5 ingredients per products. No, there's no typo. Let's ditch the digits: five ingredients! They also support sustainable agriculture by buying their raw materials only from organic, fair trade, or small-farm sources.
Strathcona Stockings is a sock company founded by Canadian designer Ryley O'Byrne. Featuring colorful and floral patterns, each pair is handprinted with the utmost care. As temperatures drop and skies turn grey, here's a way to keep a piece of summer with you.