Will Leather Goods’ legacy store occupies some 9,000 square feet in the heart of Detroit and while the brand’s strain of Americana and forgotten soul mirrors that of the Motor City, one doesn’t need to be familiar with Detroit to understand the appeal of Will Leather Goods’ wares. There are stores in New York, Venice, California; Eugene, Oregon and nearby Portland.
Inside the Detroit flagship, a leather hide is branded with the company’s credo: “Will makes products to inspire your journey.” With that in mind, T+Lsat down with founder, Will Adler, to talk about his travel style, the inspiration he gets from being from Detroit, and what it’s like to work with artisans across the globe.
Q. You grew up in Detroit, what inspired you to come back?
A. My memories of Detroit are extremely positive and extremely powerful. When I was growing up in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s, it was one of three cities in America that were great. It was always New York, Chicago and Detroit. I lived in a blue-collar neighborhood where there was a mix of a lot of different people from all over the world. People were going to the Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler factories, the first shift started at 6 o’clock in the morning so people were waking up at 5 and I would hear the roar of engines.
When I was 8 years old I started going with my older brother on a bus from the northwest side of Detroit to what they call the Motown Review, at the Fox Theatre. At that point, I was seeing acts like Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops when they were beginning in their career.
When I was living in Detroit, there was 2.5 million people living in the city. Now there are less than 500,000. So there’s a big upsurge especially in the area where our store is, Midtown. You’ve got some cool, great brands like Shinola, Fellow Barber and this new restaurant Selden Standard. They were so welcoming.
Q. How does travel influence your work?
A. We say that people who appreciate Will Leather Goods enjoy traveling over vacationing. There is a big difference, vacation you like to go sit by a pool or an ocean and have a drink and relax. Traveling you want to get into the culture, the people and you want to get into the uniqueness of places.
From a young age, I have been interested in newness—and I use that as a lens when [meeting with] artisans [and discovering] new materials. [For example,] we have developed a relationship with some weavers in Oaxaca who are making these rugs. We’ve learned how to take the rugs and laminate them in a certain way for our bags. Traveling to these places, you really get into the workshop of these artisans; you really get into the culture of these cities. I’m traveling to Bali, to Africa, to parts of Indonesia to parts of Japan where we make products, to Thailand where we get materials. It’s not bullshit; we are really working with worldwide Artisans.
Q. When it comes to bags, what’s your travel style?
A. Well recently my personal travel bag is a leather tote. You can move very quickly with a tote and you can open it up in a hurry. When I am going on a more of a business trip I use the new William collection Guardian bag, a smaller briefcase made with leather from Tuscany.
Mariah Tyler is a digital photo editor at Travel+Leisure. You can follow her on Instagram at@mphbox.
Will Leather Goods is proud to offer WILL's guarantee.
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Unlimited Warranty (valid from date of purchase)
1 Year Limited Warranty (valid from date of purchase)
All Warranty Repair requests must be processed and validated by our Warranty Team.
Our lifetime guarantee is a warranty against defects in materials (leather and hardware such as snaps, zippers, buckles, rivets, etc.) and workmanship. Our leather, as with all natural materials, will occasionally have unique characteristics such as: small scars, creases and variations in the color and are not considered defects. Validated warranty repairs are repaired or replaced at no charge.
Due to the nature of leather and vintage materials our warranty does not cover natural wear and tear from daily love. Worn edges or corners, natural fading and softening of materials is an expected occurrence. We guarantee the foundation of our product will hold your belongings safely. We find that patches and natural wear are a part of the story that unfolds as your product grows with you. One of a kind, Vintage and Found product may need to be patched or stitch due to the nature of vintage material.
Maintain your favorite leather pieces regularly to ensure soft and supple leather. Leather can be cleaned and restored with a regimen of leather care products designed to clean, condition and protect. Leather Care can help maintain your product longer. Please see our Leather Care page for more information. We recommend conditioning your leather at a minimum of every 6 months. Learn more about how to care for your leather.
If you are in a dryer (hot or cold) climate please condition your product as soon as it feels less supple, dull or faded. Vegetable tanned leather when conditioned should feel slightly oiled and look rich. Similar to the nature of skin it needs to be moisturized as soon as it feels dry. We charge $25 + shipping for conditioning or head to a store for onsite conditioning for Free and the full Will Leather Goods experience.
Product Care Information
We highly recommend using leather care treatment to maintain and preserve your leather products: Product Care
Our wax coated canvas is coated with paraffin which makes this water-resistant, but not waterproof. If your canvas product gets wet, we recommend you let it air dry thoroughly in a warm dry place. If at any time your canvas has scratches or marks, these can typically be reduced by using a hair dryer on medium heat to help the wax soften and absorb back into the canvas.
By purchasing products from Will Leather Goods you agree to the terms in our Lifetime Warranty. Will Leather Goods reserves to right to alter, edit or cancel our Lifetime Warranty without notice.
|Pant Size||Men's Size||Women's Size|
|11" (1st Hole)||15.5" (1st Hole)|
|9.75" (3rd Hole)||14" (3rd Hole)|
|8" (5th Hole)||12.5" (5th Hole)|
|20" (1st Hole)||23.75" (1st Hole)|
|18.25" (3rd Hole)||22" (3rd Hole)|
|17" (5th Hole)||19.75" (5th Hole)|
The monogram has existed since 350 B.C., but came into popularity as steam ships started to cross the Atlantic to help identify the trunks and luggage of the travelers. Today, the monogram remains a functional identifier, while also lending personal style to your leather goods.
Personalize your product or gift with a monogram in either our small 1/4" font or our large 1/2" font. We use traditional heat stamping to deboss into our vegetable tanned leather.
Protect your investment piece with our specially-formulated All-In-One Leather Solution to ensure the lifetime of your leather collection. Handcrafted by expert artisans all over the world, our leather goods deserve to be treated with care.
We use only the best leather made to stand the test of time. Handcrafted by expert artisans all over the world, our leather goods deserve to be treated with care. Protect your investment piece with our Mink Oil Crème to ensure the lifetime of your leather collection.
Starting in summer 2018, Will Leather Goods is investing 2% of every Will Leather Goods purchase to give kids in America a bag to carry their dreams – with an ambitious goal of donating 100,000 backpacks to kids across America by 2025.