Luxury leather accessories have long been regarded as the official domain of a select few global giants, Spain and Italy foremost among them.
Cue D'Alembert, the New York-based luxury accessory brand that is shifting the luxury focus to local shores. Today, the brand officially launched its debut line of colorful, hand-crafted leather goods on its new e-commerce site.
D'Alembert, which was founded by Edwin Schermerhorn and Charles Nathan, specializes in artisan, hand-crafted wallets and leather accessories.
Schermerhorn and Nathan originally met in college as philosophy majors and, in fact, the brand's name was inspired by the French Enlightenment philosopher Jean Le Rond D'Alembert.
"In making knowledge accessible to all, D'Alembert wanted to empower people to pursue their own creations, whether they were in philosophy, art music or literature," Nathan told Fashion Times. "Like D'Alembert, we strive to create something that inspires people to pursue higher things."
D'Alembert has debuted its new line of leather goods for fall/winter 2016, which includes four different styles of wallets and a MacBook Pro case. Each piece is made from French calf skin, and the hides are hand-dyed in New York before they are sent to Spain to be designed. The accessories retail between $165 and $395 -- accessible prices for quality leather goods.
Yet what truly sets each piece apart is the unique dyeing process.
"D'Alembert is unique because of our hand-finishing process. Most companies have tanneries finish their leather in bulk by smearing a polymer coating over the hides, leaving them looking and feeling unnatural," Nathan told us. "We craft our pieces out of unfinished French calfskin and then painstakingly dye and finish each piece by hand. A single artist carefully applies dyes, creams, pigments, and waxes to bring a visually intriguing movement and depth to the leather while enhancing its tactile presence and natural feel."
Both Nathan and Schermerhorn began hand-dyeing the hides themselves here in New York, a process that took hours in order to perfect each individual piece. And because of how each piece of leather is dyed, each wallet is totally unique and one-of-a-kind in color.
"We really strive to break from the ubiquitous world of plain brown and black wallets and bags." Schermerhorn told us. "No two D'Alembert pieces are the same, nor are they intended to be. Our hand-finishing process gives a visual movement to the leather that allows its natural beauty to shine through, resulting in unique leather goods with true character."
With the newly launched site, the two hope to continue to add on to the products' colorways. And as for what they hope the biggest takeaway will be for customers?
"We want the beauty of our works to come from their essence -- fine materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and artistic creativity --- rather than from prominent emblems or a garish logo affixed to the outside," Nathan explained. "It is the inner-enjoyment of luxury, a desire to surround oneself with fine and elevating items, that resonates with us."
Learn more about the brand and shop D'Alembert's new pieces online now.