I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much on fashion accessories. Aside from neckwear, I almost don’t see the point. But when Barrett Alley contacted me about wearing two of his handmade leather bracelets, I decided that his workmanship was worth giving it a go.
Valerie Bracelet in Natural
Bipartisan Bracelet Reverse Shell Cordovan
I’ve been a fan of Barrett’s work for a long time now. For those of you who aren’t familiar, he and his wife Camélia handcraft a beautiful range of leather goods in their studio in Dallas, TX. For aesthetic and environmental reasons, they only source the best vegetable-tanned leather available – including the much-coveted Shell Cordovan from Horween in Chicago. Every now and then, they also work with custom bark-tanned, hunter harvested deer hides. Yet no matter which leather they use, Barrett Alley is well known for incorporating vintage materials like recovered Meiji era textiles or Civil War era buttons into their work. In other words, it’s a carefully curated and well-considered labor of love.
It makes no sense to buy a nice pair of sunglasses only to let them get scratched up. If you’re shelling out for your shades, you might as well get a handcrafted leather carrying case to keep them safe. Below are my top two you need to consider before making the jump. While they approach the case from two very different perspectives, they are both premium examples of true American craftsmanship.
1) Tanner Goods Sunglass Case
Tanner Goods – Sunglass Case Back Profile in Russet
Hailing from the Tanner Goods studio in Portland, Oregon studio, this case is cut, sewn, and finished completely by hand. Crafted from 4/5 oz. Horween Chromexcel leather, this case has enough cushion to keep your glasses safe while remaining malleable enough to conform to a variety of different frames. It is pictured in the gallery below in Natural, Russet, & Black but is also available in Olive, Havana, Tan, & Oxblood. Any of the seven different colorways are sure to develop striking contrasts in hue thanks to the tried and true 100+ year old tanning formula developed at Horween Tannery in Chicago.
2) Barrett Alley “Dom” Sunglass Case
Barrett Alley – Dom Case in Russet
The goods at Barrett Alley are all completely benchmade with an extreme attention to detail. This case uses one piece of domestically tanned leather, whether it’s shell cordovan from Illinois or straight bovine from Pennsylvania. Each case is lined with one of three antique textiles from America, France, and Japan – or is left well enough alone exposing the soft underside of the leather. As always it will develop character with use and abuse, just mind your glasses.
As always, scroll through the gallery for detailed images and different colorways:
- Tanner Goods - Sunglass Case Back Profile in Russet
- Tanner Goods - Sunglass Case Front Profile in Black
- Tanner Goods - Button Clasp Detail in Natural
- Barrett Alley - Dom Case in Russet
- Barrett Alley - Dom Case Back Profile in Shell Cordovan No. 8
- Barrett Alley - Dom Case Antique Textile Detail in Natural