"If you want something done right, do it yourself" really only works if you're James Franco, and you're rich enough to deal with the consequences if yourself ends up doing it totally f'ing wrong. Doing it himself -- but with a little expert help -- the guy behind Rustic Leather.
A design-minded motorcyclist who could never find a briefcase that matched the durability of his saddlebags, Rustic's founder happened onto an artisan leather-worker in a Mumbai marketplace while on a business trip and was so impressed by the meticulous craftsmanship that he partnered with him to produce a line of near-indestructible carryalls, but not Carrie-alls, as there's no containing the psychic rage of a scorned teenage girl. Available in three sizes, the suede-lined OG briefcase is 100% full-grain leather (buckskin tan or rich chocolate) with heavy-duty buckles, five interior pockets, a false bottom for stashing valuables, and removable shoulder straps for Voltroning into backpack form; all's hand-stitched with Marine-grade polyester thread that's UV-resistant, not a problem since it's already pretty tanned. Newer, just-as-heavy-duty wares include paired-down satchel versions of the briefcase, a zippered, three-exterior-pocket backpack, huge goat/bull hide duffel bags, a refillable leather-bound journal embossed with a world map, three wallets, and a man-baggish shoulder-pouch that clips to their other products -- foiling
purse man-baggish shoulder-pouch snatchers.
Moving into other arenas, RL's current design agenda includes a full-leather case for guitars, an instrument pretty much everybody in Austin thinks they can do right.
Published: June 27, 2011 at 4:00am EDT
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