Convertible Top-Zip Satchel (Brown) & Convertible Pouch (Cognac)
"These bags are not disposable, they’re not fast fashion, they’re not something that is meant to be worn with the trendy outfit of the season and then you pass it on or throw it off to a consignment store. These are things that women have for many, many years."
When you look at the ethos of Will Leather Goods and the founding pillars it was built on, you find a deep-rooted appreciation for quality and artistry. Those pillars are highlighted in the creation of every piece. You can pick up any of our bags and feel confident that every single pocket, buckle and stitch was placed with thoughtful intention. But this level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail doesn’t come without sacrifice. When asking Will, he said, “We spend time every single day to create the customer experience.” This theme is exemplified nowhere better than in our newest collection. After spending the last 12 months in the development stages making sure no detail was left behind, Leather and Light officially launched Friday, March 24th and boy are we pleased with how it turned out.
“Leather & Light was inspired by the way light reflects off our leather when you’re working with it.”
Will expressed that this line is all about leather craft and leather expertise. He said, “Leather & Light was inspired by the way light reflects off our leather when you’re working with it,” and as soon as you pick up a piece from this collection, you know exactly what Will was talking about. Check out the questions below to get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Leather & Light, from our head designer, Jonathan Liberty.
Crossbody Bag (Cognac)
Q: What does Leather & Light mean to you?
A: From concept and origination, Leather & Light is very true to its name. It’s leather forward in terms of simple detailing. It’s soft, it’s light-weight and has some body to it, so it has a good amount of structure. At the factory level, we hand rumple and crease the bags after they’re constructed to bring out the pull-up effect in the leather. The bags are part of the brand ethos and one of our brand pillars, leather experts. Part of Leather & Light is, of course, being “light”, in more ways than one. The first is weight. I’ve been designing women’s handbags for the last 16 years and probably the number one objection in the women’s market is the weight of the bag. We wanted to make sure we addressed those needs in this collection. We also really wanted to make sure that we had a point of difference. If you look at the Journey Collection and you look at Leather & Light, there is a very clear delineation of both aesthetics, leather, and of course weight. The second way we are talking about “light” is definitely the way it looks. There is a slight glaze of paraffin wax that gives it that glassy effect. We then hand rumple the bags to create waves in the leather that catch the light. It’s one of the times when the concept and the name was very true to the overall meaning and intention of the collection.
Convertible Top-Zip Satchel (Brown)
"It’s about the emotional draw you feel towards something even after seeing it for only a nanosecond, which I think really is the ultimate key to sales." - Jonathan Liberty
Q: Out of the 5 pieces in the collection, which is your favorite?
A: The Mini Drawstring Bucket is definitely my favorite. Hopefully in the future we are also going to pair it with a full-sized drawstring bucket. The Drawstring, I think, takes well to the leather because it is able to fold appropriately at the top main entry. We did a lot of convertibility with these bags so whether you wear it as a crossbody or a shoulder bag, it’s highly functional, hands-free when you want it to be, and I think it has a good emotional value to it. People always ask me, “What are you talking about when you say, ‘a bag is emotional’?” It’s about the emotional draw you feel towards something even after seeing it for only a nanosecond, which I think really is the ultimate key to sales. With this collection, we also wanted to offer a price point set below some of our existing collections, like Tuscany or Soft. One of the key words for our brand is being ‘inclusive’ and that means being inclusive to price points: having varying price points across our collections that allow more access for other customers. Not everyone wants to spend $495 on a handbag; it’s just not a thing. In Leather & Light we offer price points starting out at $175 and capping out at $350.
Mini Drawstring Bucket Bag (Cherry)
Q: What is your favorite detail in the bags?
A: My favorite detail would definitely be the convertibility for the Mini Drawstring and the Saddlebag Crossbody. The ability to go from crossbodys to shoulder bags on both is fantastic. Being a brand with a lifetime guarantee, I think we create a lot of wardrobe staples. We’re not creating a trend bag for the season. I like to think of Will Leather Goods bags, especially for women, as something that a woman is going to wear for six months. She’s going to find another bag, because that’s life and it’s kind of the cadence of shopping habits, and it’s going to go in a dust bag in the closet. But then, in six months when that woman pulls the bag out of the closet, it feels just as good and it feels just as right as a wardrobe staple. These bags are not disposable, they’re not fast fashion, they’re not something that is meant to be worn with the trendy outfit of the season and then you pass it on or throw it off to a consignment store. These are things that women have for many, many years.
Q: What can we look forward to with this new collection?
A: For me, it is showing the customer something new, showing that Will can address something more feminine but keep the brand DNA strong. One of my favorite quotes is actually from Pierre Cardin. In the 60’s he was a major force in design, he once said, “Anyone can have good taste, but not everyone can have a point of view.” For me, the key to a brand is maintaining your point of view and I think that’s something I look forward to with Leather & Light: even though it’s a step out for us, it maintains the brand point of view, because after you lose your point of view your brand has nothing.
Double Zip Convertible Clutch (Green)