In reaction to growing trends of mass-production and outsourcing, Jason Jones and Mike Feldman launched Parabellum with a simple desire to make some of the best hand-made leather goods in the world. While they have select stockists around the globe, their craft is an intimate one based almost entirely in Los Angeles. The team works together on every single piece, ensuring that each aspect of their work is carefully considered to fulfill the most demanding requirements for style and durability
Of their line, the Medicine Man Duffle is one of the best examples of what Parabellum is about. The bag is made from 100% Buffalo leather, which is treasured for it’s uniquely toothy texture and tensile strength. However, because the label adopted American Bison as its totem, Jason & Mike only harvest hides from animals that live organically on free range ranches in the US. So as not to squander the character of the buffalo leather during tanning, they treat each hide in their own family run microtannery where they keep a close and well-trained eye on the entire process. The leather is then skived by hand before being cut and sewn. While their bags are lined with a Kevlar-reinforced suede interior, the Medicine Man Duffle in particular features an adjustable/removable leather strap. Once completed, each piece is hand-finished for posterity and individually numbered for good measure.
Parabellum offers two hardware options for most of their goods. Their copper rivets and buckles are designed and crafted by American artisans using single-use molds. The natural properties of copper allow it to develop a unique patina over time which is sure to complement the aging process of the buffalo leather. But if custom-cast solid copper isn’t up to snuff, the bag is also available with Military Grade Ceramic hardware. Though not widely realized, ceramics are amongst the hardest man-made materials in the world (think anti-ballistic plating for vehicles and thermal-resistant tiles on NASA’s space shuttles). In other words, you needn’t worry about dishing out the abuse.
In addition to creating wonderful pieces, the label is particularly inspiring in terms of it’s outlook. Borrowing from its mission statement, “[t]here was a time, not so long ago, when a man could buy a belt of such high quality that it lasted a lifetime and could be passed down to his children. With the inception of the Parabellum Brand, we believe that time has returned.” That said, when considering the labels emphasis on environmental responsibility and collaborations with local artisans, I dare say that their time has returned with a vengeance.
Be sure to scroll through the gallery below for detailed images of the Medicine Man Duffle as well as some shots of their process. You can find more about the brand and their work on their website, including information about their upcoming women’s handbag collection.