Of a Kind

Bridle Leather Bifold Wallet by M&U Co. for Of a Kind

BUY / 50 of a kind / $89

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Step Inside M&U Co.’s Pennsylvania Tannery

150 years of experience is nothing to sneeze at.

When it comes to sourcing leather for their wallets, M&U Co.’s Hunter Craighill and Nathan Gryszowka don’t mess around. “We like knowing where the leather comes from and how it’s produced,” says Hunter. And for them, that means working exclusively with Wickett & Craig, a tannery in Curwensville, Pennsylvania, that’s been at it since 1867. “They’re one of two vegetable tanneries in North America, and they produce the best quality that I’ve seen.” Hunter talks us through all that happens there below. —alisha prakash

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“We use a quality that’s called bridle leather. It’s the hardest-working and most flexible leather. When the cowhides come into the tannery, they still have hair on them, so they’re soaked in baths that de-hair them.”

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“Then the pieces go to the tan yard, which is a series of big baths. Here, you’re basically converting the animal skin into leather. I don’t think they change the water—the tanning liquid gets better with age.”

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“From the tan yard, our leather goes on to be dyed. They tumble the hides in big barrels with a lot of dye. They come out dripping in dye and have to be hung to dry.”

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“Then the hides are hot-stuffed. They’re put into these oak barrels—these things rotate and get heated up. The hides are soaked and tumbled in tallows and oils to create a nice, finished leather that won’t dry and crack over time.”

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“After the hides are hot-stuffed, they go on to be waxed. This is the leather after it has been waxed. The final waxing makes the leather tougher but also allows a patina to come out. It’s like nice denim: When you buy it, it’s pristine and stiff, but as it wears in, it gets a character of its own.”

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“This is the finished bridle leather, at its full thickness.”

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“Our leather gets split to make it thinner. Natural cowhides can be between 1/8 inch and ¼ inch thick, and we want it as thin as possible, closer to 1/32 inch thick. They keep the outside face of the leather and cut into the interior side.”

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“We like a darker inside to contrast slightly with the color of face of the leather, so we have the tannery spray a darker dye on the inside after it has been split and re-finished.”

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“This is M&U’s fall order packed up. We ordered a few different colors—it’s probably 24 sides of leather. A side is half of a full cow, which is typically how leather is sold.”

Wait ‘til you see what the guys made with this leather—come back tomorrow to get their edition!

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Of a Kind

Wayfaring Tote by The Stowe for Of a Kind

BUY / 50 of a kind / $245

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Make a Fly Leather Belt With Molly Spittal

It’s gonna be a cinch.

Are you ready to turn a strip of rawhide into a skinny belt? Huh? Because leather whiz Molly Spittal of the so-polished bag line The Stowe is here to show you the way, and she promises all the tools you need are available at your local leather and hardware stores. So let’s do this. —jackie varriano

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Materials:
+ A strap of leather in your desired color (½-inch wide for a skinny belt)
+ Center bar buckle in desired finish (½ inch)
+ One rivet
+ Leather punch
+ Long-hole punch (1-2 inches)
+ End cutter
+ Multi-bit hand punch
+ Mallet
+ Measuring tape
+ Hand beveler (optional)

Instructions:

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“Measure your waist, hips, or wherever you want to wear your nice, new, handcrafted belt and jot it down.”

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“Cut off one of the ends of the leather strap using the end cutter. Using a leather punch and mallet, tap 7 holes, each spaced one inch apart, starting four inches from your cut end.”

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“Starting from the middle hole—hole 4—measure toward the uncut end to the measurement you took earlier, and make a small mark in the leather.”

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“Using a long hole punch and a mallet, punch the backhole (the long hole that the buckle prong goes through) where you left the mark.”

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“Using the hand punch, create 2 holes (just big enough for the rivet to fit through) spaced ¾ inch from either end of the backhole. Essentially, the rivet post should fit easily through the hole without falling out. Cut off the other end of the leather strap approximately ½ inch from the last rivet hole you just created using the end cutter. You can now bevel all 4 edges with a hand beveler—an optional step that creates a subtle finish.”

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“Place the buckle prong through the backhole and wrap the end of the leather around the center bar of the buckle. Line up the rivet holes and tap the rivet in with the mallet.”

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“All finished! Now go show off what you did with your amazing new skills!”

Molly worked her magic on some MAJOR nubuck totes—check ‘em out.

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Of a Kind

Sapphire Sea Bag by AANDD for Of a Kind

BUY / 30 of a kind / $280

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Of a Kind

Spotted Palomino Clutch by Primecut for Of a Kind

BUY / 50 of a kind / $156

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Couple Up: Madonna and Sean Penn

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Oof, were these two trouble. Their nickname was S&M, for chrissake, and during their time married in the mid-eighties, his rap sheet was possibly as long as his list of IMDB credits. I mean, they look like they’re up to no good, right? Course that was also their appeal. —erica

Madonna: A blacker-than-black Wendy Nichol bag, a lace-up shirt c/o The Kooples, and striped shorts from Thakoon Addition. 

Sean Penn: A slim Todd Snyder polo, a leather jacket by Nudie Jeans, and charcoal Rag & Bone pants.

Dip into the “Couple Up” archives.

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Couple Up: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet

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These two never met a pattern they didn’t like. I mean, to get inside their closets…oh, wait: That’s exactly what it’s like to be Zoe Kravitz, that beautiful creature. Damn her. —erica

Lenny Kravitz: A loud Yarnz scarf, a leather jacket from Billy Reid, and striped pants by Neil Barrett.

Lisa Bonet: A colorful Growing Jewelry necklace, a floral patchwork shirt from Markus Lupfer, and Saturdays sunglasses.

For more old favorites, head this way.

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Of a Kind

Vela Bag by IMAGO-A for Of a Kind

BUY / 50 of a kind / $247

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In Character: Sloane Peterson

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Epitome of cool girlfriend, this one. And you know what else? She was working a man repeller look long before we even had a name for that—like, a whole 25 years before. Here’s a Sloane get-up appropriate for a day skippin’ school with Ferris and Cameron. —erica 

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Classic-as-they-come Alexander Wang x Linda Farrow sunglasses that look best in a 1961 Ferrari convertible.

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A white leather jacket by Acne that looks just right exploring the Art Institute.

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Long, loose 3.1 Phillip Lim shorts that would fly with Mr. Rooney’s dress-code policy, no prob.

Get more of this action right over here.

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