Leather goods can be pricey. That’s a fact when you’re looking into quality leather. But what if that leather lasted you a really long time? You’d consider it a good investment, right? (Treat yourself)
But prices can also be deceiving when it comes to high-end designers. It’s a little intimidating actually. You see a belt retailing for $500 and you just can’t figure out exactly why.
I wanted to figure out where I was getting the best bang for my buck, with the hopes of also supporting a Canadian brand. There are few names out there that are great, but Brave Leather stood out to me since they focused on leather products and their prices weren’t over the top. I also held out on writing this post sooner because I wanted to give the leather a chance before I reviewed it or came up with any conclusions. My past experiences involved leather cracking or immediate wear and tear. Obviously I wasn’t dealing with the best quality leather at the time, but it was a little frustrating having to replace a belt within a few months. I realized that it doesn’t hurt to spend a little more to get something worth it.
I was also given the opportunity to pop into the production factory of Brave in Toronto, where everything is handmade and you can completely observe every step in the process behind the creation of their leather products. Creating my own leather belt with the founder Scott Irvine was also an experience of its own. Often we don’t take much time to consider how the products we purchase are made because it’s so easy to get anything nowadays. But after seeing the intricacy of Brave Leather’s production, I was convinced that this brand was doing something right.
Each bag, belt and cuff is made from the finest Italian, vegetable tanned leather. This process is non-toxic and ultimately the result is quality leather that is meant to last. It is imported personally by Scott and there is a large variety of leathers at the production facility. I picked up a few much needed items, such as a few belts, a messenger bag, a bracelet, and a wallet. The leather felt and looked like quality as you could see natural creases, scratches, rough edges and wrinkles. Beyond that, you could still smell the natural, musty scent of leather, which is oddly satisfying.
From a style perspective, the products fit well into most trends as they’re very versatile. They do have quite a few ‘western’ and ‘edgy’ pieces that add boldness, but you can work with practically anything if you get creative. Their women’s products also really stood out to me, but I decided I’d save gifting for later.
A Closer Look at the Products
You’ll notice that almost everything I picked up is Cognac leather, because I absolutely love the particular colour tone that Brave uses. I also find that this particular colour of leather works really well with anything, especially during the warmer months. It’s almost as versatile as black, and can add a hint of refinement to any look.
The cognac strap belt was the one I got to personally make and because of that, it became very special. It’s a heavyweight belt that is simple and perfect for any occasion. You can dress it up or wear it casually. I expect this belt to last me a lifetime due to its timeless, stylish design.
The Amal Leather Belt is your go-to classic belt. It combines simplicity and quality for an everyday piece that you can carry forward to any occasion. It looks best as a ‘dress’ belt for work attire and formal occasions, but who’s to say that you can’t make it look better casually?
The Marlow Braided Leather Belt is a more refined and detailed piece of work. It’s stylish in every sense and works really well with preppy looks. You can totally wear this with work attire but is bolder than the Amal belt, hence my preference of wearing it as a casual piece.
The Leith Rugby Messenger Bag
I’m in love with the unstructured feel this bag has. Although there is no added padding, the quality leather serves as a protective layer to your electronics and overall the bag is surprisingly spacious. Although it has a schoolboy messenger feel, the bag itself looks really good on any outfit. It’s a piece that stands out and will definitely get some heads turning.
The Leather Note Sleeve and Wils Double Braided Cuff
You can’t go wrong with these simple accessories. The leather note sleeve is perfect for people who don’t like pocket clutter, while having a nice quality carrier for your cash and cards. I like the fact that there isn’t any heavy branding on this piece; it’ a simple quality leather bi-fold wallet.
If you’re a fan of incorporating accessories into your outfits and care about the details, the braided cuff is perfect. It adds a ‘you know what you’re doing’ feel to any wrist piece without much effort. It is a little bulky at times, but it looks great and for me that outweighs the negative.
Want more? Like what you see? You can find Brave Leather products online at www.braveleather.com or at luxury retailers and fine boutiques such as Intermix, Holt Renfrew and Anthropologie.