All About Wallets

BY Taylor Rebhan

Everyone uses a wallet, but no one uses it the same way. John Truex and Richard Lambertson, Shinola’s co-design directors of leather, had that notion top of mind when they designed our core collection of Shinola wallets.

“There are so many things to consider about the way someone lives that will dictate the pieces we design.” John says. “Different people have different needs when it comes to the wallet they carry. Do they travel often? Do they save receipts? Do they carry cash? Do they keep them in their pockets or throw them in a bag?”

Wallets have to be functional and because they aren’t changed or rotated as much as other accessories, they are an important investment. Creating something durable and with a timeless aesthetic are important considerations.

John and Richard make a point of carrying each and every wallet they design before it is manufactured. “I like to see how the size feels. How it stretches over time. How easy it is to get the cards in and out,” John says. If a wallet does not meet the duo’s standards, it returns to the studio for development.

“There’s not a wallet in the collection that we haven’t redesigned a few times.” Richard says.

Shinola’s current collection is composed of five core styles that cater to a variety of lifestyles and individual preferences. “Once you get the right billfold, you don’t mess with it.” John says. “You play with materials and color at that point. Texture is where we can get more creative.”

John and Richard were accessory enthusiasts long before they designed them for a living. “I’m obsessed with wallets,” John says. “I have a whole dresser drawer dedicated to them, and I like to switch them weekly, sometimes daily, to match my bag. I’ll go from the Slim Bifold to the Gusset Card Case to the Hipster Wallet to the Medium Zip Wallet to the 5-Pocket Card Case and back again. I have certain wallets I’ll carry when I am wearing a suit and others I carry when I travel.”

The wallet is the unsung hero of the accessory world. It holds your whole life together — it better be well made.







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