San Francisco based designer and founder Sam Chen grew up surrounded by people working with fabrics and in fashion. He was taught how to hand sew at a very young age and he regularly visited his seamstress mother at a garment factory. This upbringing motivated him to build a successful career in the fashion industry. But he didn’t focus on design, initially. He went through retail and management before approaching his goal of creating his own brand. And that might be the reason why modern design and modern business approaches go hand in hand for Chen.
In 2015 he founded Article & Goods, a luxury leather goods brand that focuses on no-nonsense leather accessories like card holders, wallets and organisers. The leather qualities are chosen carefully, as are the colours. The design in general is a tool to emphasise the haptics and the structure of the leather, as well as the functionality of every individual item. And then there is the business side: Sam Chen’s experience and research confronted him with a mark-up of 8x to 10x on luxury accessories in the classic market.
He chose a different path. He managed to shorten the supply chain, removing several middlemen in his business approach and now manages to offer lower direct prices for high-end quality. These leather goods are worth every penny, not only quality-wise but also practically. Because what do we need most from a wallet? We need it to be handy, age well and stay around safe and sound for as long as possible.