I've been pretty busy getting ready for my move to China so sorry for the lack of updates. Spending time with my close ones is really all I want to do with my remaining time in the States, but that doesn't simply mean I can just ignore this blog! Just this morning, I was admiring how much my A.P.C. New Standards had faded even more since my post on Raw Denim. (I'll make another denim evolution post on them in the future). Seeing how they completely change its look and become more aesthetically pleasing over time depending on your lifestyle is something I find pretty cool. As I was about to fold them up and place them in my drawer, I removed my leather belt that has been with the A.P.C.'s since the beginning and noticed how well the leather on it aged over the past two or so years. I actually purchased this thick leather belt in somewhat of a "raw" state as well; it was freshly made of horsehide and stiff as a rock when I first received it. I remember I couldn't even get the buckle to fasten to the middle hole without using a little extra strength to do it. What began as a very inflexible and light brown piece of horsehide slowly evolved into a much softer, and a beautiful golden-brown colored belt that has been through just as much beating as any pair of jeans I own.
I was looking for a relatively thick and sturdy leather belt to use for at least a year or so and had heard of an individual by the forum name "Unlucky" who produced leather pieces by hand. I came upon a thread on Styleforum.net (A forum I frequent) titled "Horshide Wallets and Belt's" and clicked it and that's when I first saw some pictures of what amazing leather products this guy was making. I messaged him asking if he could make me a belt that was over 2 inches in width out of the thickest leather he owned. He replied the same day with several options of thickness, a cowhide or horsehide option, as well as four unique buckles that I was allowed to choose from. I told him what I wanted and within a week the belt was ready! He sent pictures of the final product to me before accepting payment and by the following week this is what I received:
First Thoughts: WOW. The sturdiness and quality of the product was exactly what I had hoped for. I was a little intimidated with how stiff and ungiving it was at first but after a few weeks of wear it became very manageable. I was considering dropping almost $145 on a similar belt by Sugar Cane but thank God I didn't because this belt cost me only $40! I've been using it for so long and it's characteristics have only gotten more interesting since. Here are some detailed shots:
Excuse the dust.
The edges are are beginning to rough up a bit to give it a bit of character. It kind of reminds me of how some RRL leather goods look except my belt aged like this over time naturally rather than having these characteristics when you first buy it like some RRL goodies. I don't know what it is about me aging my own denim or leather belt that I enjoy so much, I guess it's the fact that nobody else in the world has exactly the same pair or same belt as I do. It's probably just that feeling of exclusivity that I like so much. Here are some other examples of his work:
1.) Amazing Small Messenger - Black Oil Tan w/ Brand 2.) Leather Wallet w/ Leather Braid
1.) Awesome leather Belt 2.) Leather Messenger (Not oiled)
Closing Words: I just really like having things of great quality (Particularly leather, denim, and suede products). Leather goods will surely last you for a while, I'm already on almost my 3rd year with my belt and I still feel like I can use it for another 3 years without a problem. It's also just nice to support an individually owned business very much like buying from your local athletic's store instead of a Modell's, or you're favorite pizzeria instead of the Dominoes, etc. In many cases it also turns out that the equipment or food is actually better than the big chain stores and I really believe that's the case with Unlucky's(His name is Scott by the way) products. If you're interested to see some of his customers reviews/testimonies you can check them out in the original thread I mentioned above here. If you have any questions you can also contact him at: S_Willis@rocketmail.com He's gotten pretty popular and very busy since then so if he doesn't answer you right away, give him some time. Or you can email me with any questions and I can Private Message him directly!