Off the Cuff has been around for a while – nine years in fact – and for much of that time, we have been on the hunt for great men’s bags. Today especially, whether heading out to the office or running a few errands, men are carrying more gear than ever. Mobile phone, a tablet, wallet, laptop, keys, pad and pen – the list of everyday necessities keeps growing.
One of the first bags we ever reviewed was the “Counterfeit Mail Bag” from The J. Peterman Company. Founder John Peterman actually sent it to us for review himself. That’s when we knew OTC was something special. For me personally, it was a huge moment. I have always been a huge fan of J. Peterman, not the fictionalized Seinfeld character, but the actual company. It revolutionized how you sold products by building a tranportive narrative around a single object. The deliberately imperfect use of watercolors instead of photos to illustrate product was part of that distinctive brand-story process. Even the catalog itself was unique; tall, slim and modeled after an old Bugatti manual. As a result, it always resided on the top of the reading stack.
In many ways, J. Peterman’s creatively intellectual approach to communicating its brand value continues to inspire the OTC brand.
Fast-forward to today and the launch of a new fundraising effort by bag maker Linjer brings us back to that J. Peterman moment. In this case, we are, sort of, on the other end of the story. Linjer is a creative and energetic leather goods company that makes minimalist-inspired bags of surprisingly high quality given their price points.
We will shortly be testing out the label’s classically-inspired soft briefcase and are really looking forward to showing it to you. This briefcase is of a particular style we happen to love. It is a simple, clean-lined business case that goes well in a boardroom or a coffee shop. The apex of this timeless design is the iconic, and exceptionally expensive, Delvaux Newspaper Briefcase.
We would have wanted to check out Linjer’s briefcase in any event, but imagine our surprise when co-founder Roman Khan told us that their take on this great bag was itself partially inspired by OTC. Several years ago he wound up on our site while looking for a briefcase that was made well, smartly designed, and reasonably priced. Not finding what he needed out in the marketplace, OTC helped (a tiny bit) to inspire the birth of Linjer. The name means “line” Norwegian, a nod to the brand’s minimalist ethos; Roman is Norwegian.
Our socks are duly knocked off.
A hallmark of this label is Roman’s and co-founder Jennifer Chong’s insistence on finding ways to deliver high-end quality at direct-to-consumer pricing, such as using only full grain vegetable-tanned leathers. Judging from the reviews thus far, that standard of exceeding product quality expectations has been met.
As part of their product line expansion, Linjer just kicked of a crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter. The goal of this campaign is to launch the brand’s new collection. A similar crowdfunding campaign last year resulted in the label’s successful inaugural collection – which included the flagship briefcase. Included in the new collection are a holdall travel bag, laptop case, classic cross-body purse, and zip travel wallet, to name a few items.
They have some fantastic gift incentives, so please consider supporting this great brand’s effort to build on their hard-earned success. We do not often promote individual fundraising or crowdfunding efforts, though many are pitched our way. Linjer is a unique brand that has a fully envisioned sense of self and purpose and which has already demonstrated that it can and will deliver on the founder’s high standards.
We want to see where Roman and Jenn go next.