Although not American myself, but being able to live in New York for almost a decade, I began to appreciate the craftsmanship and unique "Americana" designs behind some brands and products. Billykirk is a brand I've had my eye on for many many years. Started out in Los Angeles back in 1999, by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray, Billykirk is now a popular leather and canvas design company in US. Founded on the desire to make products that last for a long time, understated, functional driven, and gets better with age(yes, normal wear and tare is actually a good thing!). This keep-it-simple design philosophy is not led by trends but rather an appreciation for utility, longevity and provenance. Partnered up with three manufacturers in the country, and relocated its home base to New Jersey since 2005. Most of their small leather goods and bags are handmade by in-house artisans or by a group of Amish leather crafters in Pennsylvania.
Over the past year or so, Billykirk really geared up on rebranding itself and moved towards a "New American Lifestyle" brand; personally I really like their new products, its got this old school cool rusty look to them, all very functional for our 2014 lifestyles. Billykirk is very much into the bike culture, so if you are ever looking for cool yet functional bike accessories, you now have a place to go!
I recently got myself a Black No. 166 Large Water Repellent Canvas Carryall.
Although people usually use this bag as the perfect weekend bag, since I'm so tall I love the size of the bag (more proportional to me), and I bring it to my office or out on the weekend. The carryall comes with an all leather adjustable shoulder strap and their signature leather luggage tag. Two interior pockets for phones and random stuff, as well as two buckle closure for extra security. On one side of the exterior it also has a slot pocket for card holders and other quick to grab items. The bag is made with a sturdy 20" frame it stands 14" tall and can expand to around 12". Best of all, the bag is water repellent canvas, perfect for all destination under all sorts of weather. Of course, it's made in USA. Recently I took the bag with me to Tokyo and Japanese loved it; people kept asking me where I got the bag, so I love that "you have a great eye" comment.
Here are a few of our favorite Must Buy Items from Billykirk(Stuff We Like)
The collaboration with Faribault Woolen Mills, a cool brand we've been following as well.
Handbags and Travel
Billybirk will soon be opening their first flagship in New York's Bowery area, so be sure to check them out when its open!
New York Flagship
16 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
(646) 684 4050
Text and photo by Leon Yuan, also courtesy of Billykirk