Features \\ Building a Better Briefcase

After several years living in Shanghai--where Matt and I met as friends--we ended up on opposite sides of the world, he settling in Hong Kong and myself in New York.  Like everyone, we kept tabs and traded notes: jobs, family, and activities, including daily minutiae and complaints.

One thread we often returned to was how challenging it was to find a suitable briefcase. From a number of personal experiences, most briefcases we encountered were a variation of too heavy, too stylish, or too functional.  So, our wish list of desired features began to grow too large to ignore, and from that emerged a design ethos for a briefcase for men like us—moving through cities with full workloads and social calendars—distinguished by a balance between smart features and classic style.

A few notable choices we made early on included selecting lightweight, weather resistant fabrics to minimize weight.  And, feeling that the quality of the leather could never be sacrificed—we adopted the best leather we could source, partnering with Horween; its suppleness and quality for aging well could not be better suited for our handles and shoulder straps, your touch points with the product itself.

Features elsewhere also reflect experiences from our personal lives.  A very wet and hectic morning navigating New York’s subway--with coffee in one hand and umbrella in the other--inevitably ended in a comedy of errors, but led to our signature umbrella holder.  Matt, meanwhile, recalled once being delayed on the customs line at Hong Kong International airport for want of a pen and an incomplete re-entry form.  So, we added a discreet pen attachment to our luggage tag.   

There are more stories like these that informed our design process.  We believe most men in modern cities encounter similar issues on a daily basis, or can at least identify with some over the course of living in an urban city.  We’ve thoughtfully added every feature and detail based on how we move and spend our days so that a smarter alternative is finally available. 

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Jimmy Lau \\ Co-Founder of Stuart & Lau