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  • More Than Artisans: Black Arrow

    Posted on March 23, 2017 by Krystal Contreras

    Ever wished that you can coordinate your bedroom, living room, or kitchen to match the aesthetics of a Pinterest-worthy room?  How do those rooms become so visually pleasing? Undoubtedly, the stunning rooms are designed and curated by skilled interior stylists, like the Black Arrow team.

    Black Arrow focuses on interior styling, event styling, and property consulting. The brand is run by two hardworking and stylish businesswomen, for whom we had the pleasure of interviewing for our More Than Artisans initiative. Our initiative strives to support local artists and entrepreneurs by sharing their stories. This week, we focus on Sarah and Jessi, the women behind the interior styling brand Black Arrow.

    Story Leather  What influenced you to start this business? / What is the story behind the establishment of Black Arrow?

    Sarah: Similar story to many…without sounding cliché, I got sick of working in a corporate job I didn’t love anymore. I was also never a very good ‘employee’ as I was always trying to lead and change the way things were done, which, when it’s not your business you can’t always do that. I knew very early on in my working life that I’d have my own business one day, so I set about earning the stripes to get there.

    Jessi: I was in the Fashion industry for most of my working life, which was fun in my early 20s but I realised I did not have as every 20 something fashion intern would say “a passion for fashion”. It was when I moved out of home and got to style my first apartment that I realised I wanted to pursue a career in interior styling. Like Sarah, I knew I wanted to work for myself very early on. I am a very hard worker and don’t rest until the job is done but wanted to create a life where that is on my own terms. If I want to take the dog for a walk at 11am, I can. If I want to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (don’t judge me) whilst eating lunch, I can. It may mean I am still working at 9pm that night, but that’s my choice - I am in control of my own schedule.

    Sarah and I met whilst working in Property Styling (also known as Home Staging) but were also running our own interior styling businesses as Sole Traders. We found ourselves collaborating and sharing ideas for our own individual projects that we thought, hey why don’t we just join forces and make this a thing!

    Story Leather How would you describe Black Arrow/ What does the Black Arrow brand mean to you?


    Black Arrow Bohemian, Organic, Quirky. Very true to our own personal aesthetic. Not trying to follow the trends too much. We are more about creating spaces that will create an emotional response from our clients and stand the test of time despite ever changing trends.


    Story Leather What makes Black Arrow unique?


    Black Arrow Same as above but also our brand personality. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Whilst we take our work and our clients very seriously we like to have a laugh and quite openly poke fun at ourselves in the process. We like to share the reality of our industry - everything from the incredibly creative and inspiring people we meet along the way right through to the lack lustre reality of the sweat (and chafe) that goes along with installing a job or the general challenges involved with running your own business. We feel this honest and casual approach showcases our down to earth attitudes and removes the intimidation and stigma often associated with the design industry.

    Story Leather Where do you derive your design/ style inspiration from?

    Black Arrow We both have fairly distinct personal styles that are very complimentary. This is a huge part of the reason our partnership works. Our creative style direction is very much mutually understood and appreciated. We gather inspiration from various places. Everything from the nature awaiting us outside our front doors to fashion brands like Spell Designs and Zulu & Zephyr, our amazing suppliers like St Barts, Bisque Interiors and Cultiver and of course our fellow industry sisters and misters inspire us daily! Inspiration is everywhere!

    Story Leather Describe or outline how you spend a typical day at your business.


    Black Arrow At this early stage, we are still working out of our homes so we alternate whose house we will meet at each day. The day always starts with a cup of T2 Green Garden tea, a debrief on how we slept, what we did since we last saw each other approximately 6 hours earlier and what happened on last nights episode of 'Married At First Sight’. THEN once those important topics are covered we might think about doing some work. We generally put together an agenda before each meeting to ensure we stay focussed and achieve everything we need to that day. Each day is different and could involve anything from client consultations, supplier visits, order placement / management, mood board creation, photoshoots, branding / marketing meetings, site visits and general admin.

    Story Leather What motivates you to continue building this business?


    Black Arrow The fact that we are doing what we love each day makes the motivation factor pretty much a non-issue. We also have bigger goals we are constantly aspiring towards so that definitely helps keep us moving!


    Story Leather How would you describe your customers?


    Black Arrow Our customers are generally warm and open. They often have a good idea of what they like and dislike, but just need help pulling the overall look together and need some assistance making decisions they are not feeling confident about. Most of our clients quickly become more like friends. We are in their space, learning about the lifestyle that unfolds behind closed doors, we are in their bedrooms, their bathrooms, we are meeting around their dining table and learning about every family member and how they like to live in the home. It can be a pretty intimate thing when you break it down.

    Story Leather Where do you see yourself and your business is 10 years? 20years?

    Black Arrow We would love for Black Arrow to be a joint family business with our partners involved to some extent and ideally not be so involved in the day-to-day allowing ourselves to work more on the big picture. We have lots of big plans and exciting things we're working towards but we're not ones to kiss and tell, so you'll have to watch and see!

    This post was posted in Showcase, Style Stories, Personal Style, The Weekly Story and was tagged with leather, styling, leather style, leather cases. custom cases, interiors styling, business women, entrepreneur, womens fashion, female entrepreneurs

  • Case Of The Week: Cabrini Long Wallet

    Posted on March 21, 2017 by Krystal Contreras

    Spring has arrived! It's time to be bold and take hold of the new season with bright colors and fresh accessories. Here at Story Leather, we have a wide selection of pre-made, in-stock items, as well as customizable leather goods. This week, we are taking a closer look at our Cabrini long wallet to show you how you can personalize this accessory to fit your unique style.

    Weither you are headed to an 80's themed party, music festival, or if you enjoy rocking a flamboyant style daily, the hot pink hue of the in-stock Cabrini is sure to fit your look! However, if you are looking for something more subtle, you can also choose to customize your wallet with a completely different color, or simply a different shade.

    The color of the wallet is not the only customizable aspect of the Cabrini, however. You can truly be your own tastemaker and choose from a variety of leather textures to make up the exterior as well as the interior of your wallet. Your options range from the ostrich pattern shown here, to pebble grain, crocodile, woven, and more!

    In addition to changing the color and leather texture of the Cabrini, you can also create a completely unique functional design! Let us know the dimensions you prefer, how many card slots you would like, zipper pockets, straps, the list goes on! Visit our How it Works page to get started on your unique creation today! Need help, or have questions? Feel free to contact a member of our team to walk you through the process and help you design the perfect case, wallet, or leather good for you.






    This post was posted in Fashion, Style Watch, Personal Style, The Weekly Story and was tagged with leather, leather phone case, leather phone cases, leather cases, Custom Leather, genuine leather, leather goods, custom cases, genuine leather wallets, customizable leather, genuine leather cases, leather purses, quality leather wallets

  • More Than Artisans: Qind Design

    Posted on March 16, 2017 by Krystal Contreras

    How do you achieve a sophisticated style without sacrificing character? You take inspiration from Qind Design creative director and founder Victor Nartey. As a hardworking entrepreneur, we were thrilled to welcome him to be part of our More Than Artisans initiative. The Story Leather team interviewed Mr. Nartey to learn more about his brand, products, style, and story in hopes of inspiring other artists and entrepreneurs to find what is unique about themselves and to follow their dreams.

    Qind Design (pronounced “Kind Design”) is a curated collection of polished apparel and accessories with a touch of traditional African design patterns. Reaching this unique style, “was the result of an evolutionary process,” Nartey described about the establishment of his brand; adding that after starting off as Qind Online- a lifestyle magazine- he and his team, “decided to launch an art merchandising brand which included scarves and accessories… in order to generate supplementary revenue.” After launching the online store, the Qind design team found that the best selling items were those that included African print, thus, motivating the team to focus more on integrating those patterns into the brand’s style.

    However, Qind Design is about more than just about selling clothing and popular items. Nartey expressed that the word kind “has always been at the heart of the brand’s ethos, being kind to yourself and the world around you. Through Qind Design we offer our clients opportunities to be kind to themselves through elegant beautifully crafted apparel and accessories.” This is also a part of what makes Qind Design so unique. Nartey explained how sophisticated menswear often comprises of dull and boring colors such as blue, black, and grey. However, Nartey contended that “Qind Design is all about breaking that mould, that men can indeed wear colour and carry it off well.”

    It takes a creative eye to fabricate designs that differ from the norm. That is why Nartey constantly observes those around him to keep a, “look out for trends running through the mainstream and those who stand out and are different.” Taking inspiration from the world around him, Nartey typically spends most of his days either working on designs himself, or with his design team. This is the reason why Qind Design has such a wide variety of apparel, shoes, and accessories ranging from scarves to sunglasses.

    Nartey and his team are busy creating fresh, inspiring designs every day, aiming to one day build Qind Design into an iconic menswear brand known for its elegance, timelessness, and vibrancy.

    “I love what I do and it fits with my strengths. I am thoroughly creative, constantly bombarded by ideas that I want to bring to life. I love people and making them feel good about themselves. These two elements come together in my business.”

    - Victor Nartey, founder of Qind Design


    This post was posted in Fashion, Style Stories, Personal Style, The Weekly Story and was tagged with leather, mens fashion and style, leather phone cases, custom leather cases, leather cases, leather goods, mens style, mens fashion, lux style, unique style, mens fashion inspiration, fashion inspo, mens style inspo, qind design

  • Case of the Week: Golden Montecito

    Posted on March 14, 2017 by Krystal Contreras

    In light of St. Patrick's day coming up later this month, this week's featured case is straight from a pot-o'-gold! This golden Montecito case was customized with this gorgeous metallic color and smooth texture. Additionally, it has been personalized with a stamping along the edge of the magnetic closure.

    This style case, as well as all our other cases, is handcrafted with genuine leather. This particular case, however, is unique because it includes a vertical leather holster case, and a customizable belt clip or belt loop. Plus, the Montecito case is tailor made to order for all smartphone devices and is carefully sized to fit your phone.

    Browse though our selection of customizable cases to design your own golden masterpiece! Not sure if gold matches your style? No worries, we have plenty of colors and textures to choose from! Visit our How It Works page to start customizing your case or small leather good today. Also, feel free to contact a friendly member of our team to help you push the limits as to what you can create!





    This post was posted in Fashion, Personal Style, The Weekly Story and was tagged with leather, leather case, custom made cases, leather phone cases, leather cases, leather fashion, custom cases, custom phone cases, customized cases, gold cases, golden cases, genuine leather cases

  • More Than Artisans: Eleet Fashion

    Posted on March 9, 2017 by Krystal Contreras

    With the abundance of social media sites, magazines, blogs, and influencers, it’s easy to find style inspiration from all over. However, what happens when you just don’t connect with anything out there? You take it upon yourself to create your own style, that’s what! And, that is exactly what one stylish young man had to courage and creativity to do.

    Our More Than Artisans initiative strives to support local artists and entrepreneurs by sharing their stories. This week, we focus on Lucas, the founder of the men’s fashion and style brand, Eleet Fashion.

    We interviewed Lucas to learn more about the origins of Eleet Fashion, as well as his inspirations, journey, and goals.

    Story Leather: What influenced you to start your brand? / What is the story behind the establishment of Eleet Fashion?

    Lucas: When I started our page, I was sitting in my anatomy class during senior year in High School, bored, and not sure what I wanted to do with my life. I remember trying to get into the "street style" world and trying to learn about it, but I always struggled to find a page that could help me with that, and whenever I found something, they would be posting things so unaffordable, that it wasn't even worth following. And so I started Eleet Fashion, I wanted to help real people to better themselves, while staying realistic in what most people are able to afford. I always wanted to have my own brand and as time went on I realized, I was already building a brand with Eleet Fashion, but I was building it the other way around, and we are still on the way.


    Story Leather: Where do you derive your style inspiration from?

    Lucas: My mom always tells me that since I was a kid, I would always prefer receiving clothes and shoes as gifts rather than toys. Of course, all of us are influenced by our experiences in life, and the cultures we grow up around and the people we grow up listening to, and me being a drummer, always involved with music, made me open to all kinds of arts. But, like everyone else during the time we started the page, I was mainly inspired by Kanye West, Pharrell Williams. Those guys that were around making awesome sneakers at the time. Shoes were always a big passion of mine, ever since I was a kid. Some of the Air Yeezys are still my grails (sneakerhead term), and with the sneakers, came the clothes and the details put together on every outfit.


    Story Leather: What makes Eleet Fashion unique?

    Lucas: I believe the attention to details, and just how serious we take every photo we post, the content we produce for brands, and that attention to detail and professionalism goes into every single aspect of our work, be it our captions, photos, giveaways, anything we do. And my unique ideas, as far as clothes go, are very different, I'm very into the futuristic and unique clothes and shoes, the laceless, zippered, glow in the dark, strapped sneakers, the strangely cut, with unique fabrics and textures clothing, that kind of stuff. I try to slowly implement that into our page, I say slowly because people need to get used to that kind of thing, and be able to wrap their minds around the idea, step by step. My goal is to become a brand that does unique things for unique people.


    Story Leather: What are your short term and/or long term goals for Eleet Fashion?

    Lucas: Short term, I'd say keep bringing things that our followers enjoy, continue producing the content for brands that we enjoy doing so much, and eventually in a not-so-long term, I want to keep producing content for brands, but in a larger scale and I want to make Eleet Clothing line and sneakers, things people will be able enjoy, and afford.


    Story Leather: What motivates you to continue building this brand?

    Lucas: We've come a long way since we started with our 0 followers, but we are not where we want to be yet. We started the other way around of what brands typically do, we are building the brand, and its following,  before we have our physical products available for everyone to buy. Also, the fact that many brands are loving the content we produce for them, motivates me a lot to keep going. Small achievements like, one of the photos we produced for Coca Cola during their Christmas campaign last year, being labeled brand favorite, one of the photos we took for Amazon Video being used by them on a future campaign, True Religion using our photo on their social media, those kinds of achievements rekindle the flame and keeps us going.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 9.46.59 AM.png

    Story Leather: What does a typical work day look like for you at Eleet Fashion?

    Lucas: What we are doing the most now is producing content for brands. We are always connecting with brands and doing collaborations with our page, and because of all that attention to detail, and the creative eye I developed with time, after seeing so many photos and videos, and reading articles, brands have been enjoying our work, and really appreciating the photos we take with their products, it makes me very happy. In our daily work, we are typically connecting and closing content deals with brands, taking and editing the photos for the brands, curating the best outfits we see and reposting some of the best to instagram, we are always engaging with our followers on our snapchat too, giving them a behind the scenes look, and exclusive information and photos. My mom is my major daily help with the page, she helps on everything we do.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.00.39 AM.png

    Story Leather: Where do you see yourself and your business/ brand is 10 years? 20years?

    Lucas:  I see ourselves producing content for brands on a larger scale, something I have found to enjoy doing very much, and I see our Eleet Clothing as a well established clothing brand, that has its solid fan base, and that people enjoy owning and wearing very much. And the money, as Roman Atwood says, "Money is a byproduct of what you love". If you'd like to join us on that journey, and be part of it, add us on snapchat and follow us on instagram, both @eleetfashion.

    This post was posted in Fashion, Showcase, Promotion, Style Stories, Style Watch, Personal Style, The Weekly Story and was tagged with leather, custom leather cases, leather cases, Custom Leather, leather fashion, mens style, mens fashion, custom cases, street style, mens street style, lux style, mens fashion page, leather style, mens fashion blog

  • Case Of The Week: Anselm Coin Purse

    Posted on March 7, 2017 by Krystal Contreras

    Free yourself from the mess of carrying chunks of change around with an Anselm Coin Purse! As with many of your leather goods, our Anselm Coin Purse comes with a pre-made standard design, but also has the option to be customized. This week, we take a look at one customized Anselm Coin Purse that stands out from all the others.

    On the outside, the coin purse looks as stunning as our pre-made Anselm Coin Purse; with a fine-grain burgundy exterior leather made using only premium genuine cowhide and lambskin, woven design, and golden zipper.

    However, it is what is on the inside that makes this coin purse so unique. In place of the matching burgundy interior the pre-made purse has, this customer designed the purse to have a pop of color. Upon opening the coin purse an illuminating shot of orange jumps up to greet you. Despite the color change, the interior of the coin purse is made with the same care, craftsmanship, and quality leather as the pre-made cases. This purse was custom-made to reflect the personality and preferences of the customer. Whether orange was the customer’s favorite color, or they simply wanted to brighten up the inside to see the coins better, our leather artisans were able to accommodate the unique design without delay.

    Although the change to the Anselm Coin Purse may be small, when choosing a leather good, especially one that you are likely to use every day, you want it to look as good as you can imagine. If a small pop of color represents your bright personality, feel free to add that pop! However, changing the color of the leather good is just one option you have when it comes to customizing your Story Leather case, wallet, or purse. Contact our team and work with us to push the limits as to what you can customize and create.

    This post was posted in Fashion, Personal Style, The Weekly Story and was tagged with custom leather cases, genuine leather, leather goods, custom leather goods, custom leather wallets, customizable leather, premium leather, quality leather

  • Story Leather Phone Case Review: UAG Rouge Folio!

    Posted on April 15, 2015 by Jonathan Ly

    As you know there are a plethora of phone cases out there with even more companies that make them. However there are always a few household names when it comes to top notch protective cases: OtterBox, LifeProof, and UAG. UAG stands for Urban Armor Gear, and rightfully so as their protective cases are made to match or exceed military specs, which is pretty neat in my opinion.  So let’s get started with this review of the UAG Rouge Folio!



    Overall Design

    The design of the Rouge Folio is a dual combination of a wallet and protective case.  At a glance you can see their FrogSkin tech at work. This is a neat piece of tech that allows for a surface grip even if the case is slightly wet. Even if the case isn’t wet, a bit of grip is great for the iPhone 6 because we all know how slippery that phone is. Moving on, we see the classic honeycomb design that’s implemented into all their cases along with the soft gel/rubber padding in case of a sudden drop or spill.

    A new addition to their protective cover is the addition of the cover. This cover has a nice little cutout to allow us to talk without having to fold the cover around. On the other side of the cover we have a convenient insert for up to 3 cards. Unlike other cases, UAG leaves a space so you’re not guessing as to how much it can stretch. I usually guess wrong and bad stuff happens when you overstuff an insert.




    What can I say, it’s a UAG case. They tough as nails and to be honest, I’ve dropped the case a few times on accident while reviewing the case and my phone is fine (at least I think so); although I don’t recommend you going around and tossing the phone.  Another plus for the Folio design is that the screen has a cover. I don’t know how many times I’ve assumed that because I have a protective cover that my phone is protected. As many of you know we may have all the corners and the back covered, but what happens when it drops on accident? You guessed it, it falls flat on the screen, but wait I have a protective lip that extends past the screen, well here’s a rock on the floor that renders that useless.

    With that being said, a cover is not new or innovative, but essential sometimes. In my case, I play sports and sometimes I don’t have pockets, so an all in one case like the Rouge Folio is great.

    *Disclaimer: Another note worth mentioning is that I took it out for a test run as I like to hike and such, sure enough I dropped it and the result is nothing happened.




    Not many cons here, I mean the case is built solidly. The only point I would bring up is the stitching used on the card insert area. It’s a bit thin and although it hasn't happened, I can guess that it might wear away after a while. It’s a good thing that it’s on the inside so it shouldn't happen quickly if at all. So maybe it's not a Con at all.


    The Takeaway

    My overall thoughts are that this is a solid case. It offers the 360 protection by adding the front cover so you’re not worried about it falling screen first into a rock, it has the same UAG tech that is offered with all UAG cases, and it’s fairly priced. So I’d say it’s a pretty good buy for those looking for extra protection or for the active lifestyle.

    On a rating of 10 I'd give it a 9/10.

    Price: $39.95



    If you're interested in other UAG products then visit them at They also have the new Samsung Galaxy 6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and the HTC One M9 so don't forget to check those out as well.


    For more of our stories you can visit or visit our Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for all of any updates on new styles, leathers, or promo codes.

    Don't forget to check out our recent works section to see past creations, link right HERE to take a look at all the custom designs that others have made. Who knows, maybe there's a design that speaks to you.

    Find Jonathan on

    This post was posted in Fashion, Technology, News, The Weekly Story

  • Style Stories with Country Singer Josey Milner!

    Posted on April 4, 2015 by Jonathan Ly

    We've always had super amazing guests for our Style Stories: Bloggers, Stylists, and even a Fashion Psychologist, but this is the first time we've had the pleasure of getting to know a singer. So a little bit on Josey as we think she's awesome for a #feelgoodfriday style story:

    Josey started her career at 17, professionally, but she's been singing her heart out for much longer. So you could safely say that her heart is truly in her song. Her debut single "Not Pretty Enough" took the charts by storm which earned her a 2013 Independent Country Music Award nomination for Promising Young Artist, a Top 10 Hottest New Artist designation, and a Number One single on the world’s first independent country music chart. She didn't stop there as "Cowgirls" his #1 in New Music Weekly and earned a spot on Music Row in the top 75 list!

    There's so much more about Josey that we can't possibly write down. If you want to know more then visit her website at, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for all her updates and travels.



    Story Leather: As a performer, what you wear can really define who you are. How does your clothing define you and do you use it to create a message to your audience?

    Josey: My clothing honestly represents who I am. I am never consistent with how I look. I don’t have just one specific style that I tend to wear. If I like it, then I wear it. I don’t need name brands or really expensive clothes, just what I like at that moment. I typically get several uses out of one article of clothing, especially within the past couple of years. I’ve been getting really creative with how I pair different things. I try to always look nice. When I do this, I find that I have more self esteem or feel better about the day. I try to create a positive message with my clothing. I wear clothing that shows I am a ladylike teenager, but can still show a little bit of skin or more of a rebel side without over doing it.

    Story Leather: Do you have role models that you draw your fashion and musical inspiration from?

    Josey: Not necessarily. Like I said, if I like it, then I wear it. I don’t really care what other people think about my outfits. If I feel comfortable in it and like how it looks, than that is all that matters. I don’t look at magazines and wish to look like them girls because that is so unrealistic. I know what I like and what I think is “cute”. I’m me and that’s all I ever want to be. As far as music inspiration, I just kind of draw it from real life experiences. If I think people can relate to it, then I think it is a great song. Country music is all about telling stories and relating to people. That’s why I love it so much.



    Story Leather: We know performers often have a ritual or a lucky item they carry with them, do you have something like that?

    Josey: I don’t necessarily have a ritual, but I have noticed that right before I get on stage, I get really antsy and tend to dance around a lot. I used to carry a little horseshoe pendant with me in my pocket, but forgot it one time, and the show was still great.

    Story Leather: Cellphones, is there anything you do to make yours stand out and do you have ways to match it to your look?

    Josey: I don’t know if I necessarily make it stand out, but I have a lot of family photos on my phone. My lock screen saver is of Cinderella and Prince Charming and the home screen saver is of my dog, Opry, and me. My case actually has Cinderella and Prince Charming on it as well. I love Cinderella and Disney in general, so I tend to incorporate it a lot in my everyday things. It’s kind of an addiction I guess you could say . . .

    Story Leather: Lastly we wanted to ask about this Facebook game you were featured in, could you tell us about it?

    Josey: This game is a game where you can go on and pretty much create your own little world. They chose me to be like a little avatar on the game by recreating some of my favorite outfits I’ve worn and my signature blue guitar. On this game, you can go and talk to people and pretty much create a world that is not necessarily real, but can create real friendships. It is aimed to actually make a better world by sharing kindness and being there for others.




    (Photos are Courtesy of Josey Milner and MTS Managament Group)

    We wanted to thank Josey for taking some time out of her busy schedule to chat and tell us a bit about her style. We also wanted mention that she has a few shows coming up in May, so be sure to see if you can make it!

    For more of our stories you can visit or visit our Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for all of any updates on new styles, leathers, or promo codes.

    Don't forget to check out our recent works section to see past creations, link right HERE to take a look at all the custom designs that others have made. Who knows, maybe there's a design that speaks to you.

    Find Jonathan on

    This post was posted in Fashion, Showcase, Promotion, Style Stories, Style Watch, Personal Style, The Weekly Story

  • Story Leather: A Night at the Oscars! The Oscars Coolest Red Carpet Clutches and Prettiest Purses

    Posted on February 23, 2015 by Staci Wilson

    Oscars Coolest Red Carpet Clutches and Prettiest Purses
    By Staci Layne Wilson

    As much as the movies, Hollywood’s Academy Awards have always been about fashion. But actresses have taken umbrage – many were in support of the recent #AskHerMore Twitter campaign which had social media pundits asking why men get more in-depth questions on the carpet, without an emphasis on dresses and accessories.

    Samantha Skey of said she thinks there is a practical reason for this: “Men's fashion is just far less interesting, and they don’t carry clutches.”

    This year’s prettiest purses were carried by mother and daughter pair, Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson (who didn’t wear one, let alone fifty, shades of gray on the red carpet – she opted for scarlet Saint Laurent).



    While bags tend to take a backseat to the glorious gowns, there are a few memorable moments which still stand out in Oscar history. In 2001, when nominated for Dancer in the Dark, Icelandic songbird Bjork accessorized her tulle tutu with a sheer sparkly cat-suit, and an egg-shaped purse. At the 2007 Awards ceremony, when Dame Helen Mirren won for her performance in The Queen, she quipped, “Here I am with my purse...” as she took the stage to accept her golden statue.



    The egg purse was designed by Macedonian maven Marjan Pejoski, and is probably priceless. But we do know the value of Mirren’s Lana J. Marks’ Cleopatra Clutch: an eye-opening $250,000. The unique Art Nouveau creation has 776 individually cut and set diamonds on an 18k yellow gold frame and was inspired by a royal tiara, incorporating scrolls, garlands, and collets with a coronation inspired crown (clearly a good luck charm for Mirren, who channeled QE2 in the movie), all strategically placed on a cream alligator handbag.



    We love the lavish lifestyles of these clutch-carrying celebs, but our leather is less expensive (though just as luxurious). Our $199.00 woven leather and lambskin Chelsea catch-all can be customized to fit your needs.

    For more of our stories you can visit or visit our Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for all of any updates on new styles, leathers, or promo codes.

    Don't forget to check out our recent works section to see past creations, link right HERE to take a look at all the custom designs that others have made. Who knows, maybe there's a design that speaks to you.

    Find Staci Layne Wilson on and on Twitter at @StaciWilson

    This post was posted in Fashion, Showcase, Style Stories, Style Watch, Personal Style, The Weekly Story

  • Style Stories: Sabina Vajraca the Fashionable Filmaker!

    Posted on August 20, 2014 by Jonathan Ly

    Summer is coming to a close and fall is quickly making an appearance, I hope. This week we had the pleasure of speaking to Sabina Vajraca. As wonderfully put on her website, she’s a “filmmaker by day and fashion lover by night”; film and fashion, two words that sound too perfect for each other. At a glance Sabina is a New Yorker with a bit of the classic touch; she posts pictures of everyday attire mixed with a bit of her grandmother’s closet. I personally think that in a word so keen on the future should look to the past a bit to see the finer points in fashion. This is why coming across Sabina is such a treat!



    Story Leather: I have to ask, what inspired you to look through the old fashion lady attire?

    Sabina: My grandma Azemina was a product of old European aristocracy, and a lady in full sense of that word. I spent most of my early childhood with her, listening to stories of life before WWII and glamour of old money that her family lost when the Communists came. She never left the house without her lipstick on, and wore only furs in winter. To an impressionable young girl with wild imagination she might as well have been a movie star stepping right out of those old Hollywood films I was already devouring at that point.

    It wasn’t until many years later, however, that I realized that those years with her had a profound influence on me, most deeply in my fashion sense. I love coming up with outfits that grandma Azemina would approve of, and try my best to never leave my house without my lipstick on, even when rushing to a film set at 4 o’clock in the morning.


    Story Leather: How did you come up with your fashion philosophy?

    Sabina: I have to credit my mom on this one. She always had a very unique style and taught me not to be afraid to try things even if no one else is doing it. It took me years to get as confident as she is, though. But at one point I started thinking “what would mom wear” and dared to push my fashion to the realm of my own.

    I’ve been told many times “only you can pull that off” to which I always reply “I am nothing special. Anyone can pull anything off. You just have to dare to do it.” Besides most of the time I am not really doing anything that unusual. I’m just putting things together in a perhaps a more unique or unseen-before way. Anyone can do that!



    Story Leather:  If you had to pick two outfits, new and old, and represent you the best what would you pick and why? I know two is tough.

    Sabina: Oh man. That’s really a tough one. But if I think about it, I’d say these two fit the bill very well:

    The first one is a beautiful vintage gown I wore to a friend’s premiere at the Toronto Film Festival a few years back. It’s glamorous and ladylike in that old Hollywood sense that I deeply appreciate, and channel whenever I can.

    For a whole decade before settling into my grandmaesque style I was very much into punk and still love finding ways to add that dash of rebellion to my style. The second dress is a good example of this, allowing me to pair up a dainty dirty pink color and simple pumps with a leather wristband and a cool oval purse that looks like it just might hold a Tommy gun. After all, as much as I love the 1920s for their fashion, music and a general sense of etiquette, had I been alive then, I would have probably been a suffragette.


    Story Leather: On your blog I saw a wonderful outfit that’s in your profile picture, the sailor outfit with white parasol, could you tell us about that one?

    Sabina: Oh thank you for the compliment! It’s one of my favorites! J

    Whenever I visit my parents in Florida, my mom and I hit all the local thrift stores. I love shopping in thrift stores. You always find only 1 of everything so you’re guaranteed to walk away with something unique, like this fabulous sailor dress.

    I wore it many times since then, in various combinations, but this particular photo was snapped at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island. This annual summer shindig has been going on for many years and used to be quite underground. The whole 1920s scene was. I stumbled into it on my search for ladylike things to do some 4 years ago and have been in love with it ever since.

    The idea is that for two weekends in the summer a lawn on Governor’s Island in NYC is sectioned off and turned into something straight out of The Great Gatsby. There is a big band that plays tunes from that time, dance lessons, period cocktails, and dozens of people all dressed in the period attire mingling, dancing and picnicking together. It’s really lovely!

    I always create my outfits for these events from what I already have, turning modern dresses into period outfits with accessories and hair/make-up. I find this to be more authentic in a way and it fits with my fashion philosophy of creating something unique vs buying straight off of a manikin.

    For this occasion I paired it with a white parasol I bought 10 years ago in Chinatown for those painfully hot and sunny NYC summer days. I added a pair of white knitted gloves I got on a whim once because I thought they were pretty (I buy a lot of things with this idea – if you love it, and can afford it, get it - you’ll find a way to wear it, at some point, guaranteed!), put a hair in a bun, donned some pearls and finished it off with my standard white flat shoes for the comfort of walking around on the grass all day.



    Story Leather: What helpful tips could you give to someone trying to find that right mix of style, comfort, and budget?

    Sabina: I say start with what you have. Look through your closet and dare yourself to combine things in a completely new way. You’ll be surprised how many gems are already there, waiting for you to notice them. Just because you wore that white shirt (for example) so many times you can’t imagine it fitting with anything but the pants/skirt/jeans you always put it with, does not mean that it’s old and boring. Put it with something else, something you’d never think goes with it, and see if it makes you smile.

    Also, take the time to get to know your body and your comfort level and be honest with yourself. In my experience if you don’t feel comfortable wearing something, no matter how cool/beautiful/sexy/trendy that something is, you yourself won’t be. I’ve seen plenty of people look stunning in jeans and sneakers and miserable in skin-tight dresses even if the jeans were old and the dress was the hottest new trend. Know yourself and trust your gut.



    Story Leather: Lastly I read that you’re a filmmaker, does your love of fashion influence the types of films you make or vice versa?

    Sabina: That is a very interesting question and one I never really thought about before. I’d say that my love of pushing boundaries and thinking outside the box definitely spans across both mediums, but I have to admit the characters in my films are much less adventurous in their clothing choices than I. J That said, I do believe the clothes we wear can tell a lot about what we’re going through internally, and try to convey that in the films I create. As my costume designers will attest, I am definitely one of those directors who will take the time to work out the entire character arc through their costume choices. Nothing is accidental. Even if all she wears is gray or black, you can believe I thought long and hard why she’s in that particular shade of gray at that point and how that informs us of her journey. Maybe no one else will get it, but I firmly believe that greatness is in details, and I aim for greatness, always, be it in the films I make or in the outfits I wear.



    Story Leather: Are there any last tips or words or worldly wisdom you’d like to add?

    Sabina: Oh, that’s an invitation to open up a Pandora’s box! J Just kidding. Honestly, I think we all tend to overcomplicate everything, fashion included. So I say don’t take it, or yourself too seriously. Laugh as much as you can, learn to recognize what’s important and what really truly isn’t, and do your best to eliminate hate from your life. It serves no one, least of all you.


    I wanted to thank Sabina to finding time in her busy schedule to give us a glimpse at her style and for showing us that items from any era are and will always be in style! Don't forget to check out her fashion blog at: for all her style tips and if you want some extra help you can contact her there.

    For more of our stories you can visit or visit our FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest for all of any updates on new styles, leathers, or promo codes.

    Don't forget to check out our recent works section to see past creations, link right HERE to take a look at all the custom designs that others have made. Who knows, maybe there's a design that speaks to you.

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    This post was posted in Fashion, Showcase, How To:, Style Stories, Style Watch, Personal Style, The Weekly Story

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