- Buyer's Guide
5 Minutes with Linjer
It’s easy to assume Linjer have been in the carry game for a long time. Just take a look at the brand’s history – several successful crowdfunding campaigns under their belt (and one just launched), and a collection of refined pieces that stand out for their premium materials, meticulous craftsmanship and understated designs. But founded in 2014, Linjer is a young brand proving that passion and belief in an idea coupled with hard work and dedication can achieve big things. To discover some first-hand insights into the brand, we caught up with co-founder Jennifer Chong…
What key insights drive your brand?
Well-made leather products shouldn’t have to cost a fortune.
Luxury brands put crazy-high price tags on their leather bags, in part to cover their enormous costs (think fancy Fifth Ave real estate, elaborate ad campaigns, unprofitable apparel lines), and in part because many consumers are willing to pay for status and exclusivity. 10x and 20x markups are not uncommon in an industry where 4-5x is the norm.
But a lot of people want to buy for design and quality rather than for a feeling of exclusivity. And they don’t want to overpay for it. Those are the people who we are serving.
“Well-made leather products shouldn’t have to cost a fortune.”
We’re trying to upend the traditional luxury model by selling products with the finest materials and craftsmanship, directly to our customers. That allows us to cut out a lot of unnecessary cost, allowing us to sell our products at much more reasonable prices. And we don’t mark up our products just because.
At the end of the day, Linjer is about making fine leather goods more accessible. It’s nearly impossible to find a finely crafted, full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather briefcase for less than $500 anywhere else.
Who else is doing great things in the world of carry and why do you think they’re important?
I love Rimowa, the German suitcase manufacturer. Rimowa suitcases were actually my first big investment as a working adult. I think they’ve found a really nice balance of form and function. The design is distinctive and the suitcases are just a pleasure to use. My Rimowa carry-on (I have a Salsa Deluxe) gets me excited to travel even if I’m dreading whatever awaits me on the other side of the flight. It’s like this raincoat that I have that gets me excited whenever it rains (and I hate the rain!). That feeling is really powerful, and I hope that our products have this effect on others.
Are there any things other brands do that you think are great or could be improved?
This is somewhat cliché, but I really admire Hermès. They’ve managed to maintain their cachet and exclusivity over the decades, while also maintaining a very high standard of quality. It takes strong vision and commitment to do that.
“We’re trying to upend the traditional luxury model by selling products with the finest materials and craftsmanship, directly to our customers. That allows us to cut out a lot of unnecessary cost…”
Once you have an established brand it’s easy to take shortcuts – you know, quietly substitute your full-grain leather for cheap splits with sprayed-on paint, and rely on the myth of the brand to sell your products rather than on quality. A lot of other so-called luxury brands have gone that route, and I think over time customers will start to realize how much they’re being ripped off. With the Internet, consumers have more access to information than ever before, and brands like ours, who are trying to disrupt that industry, are more empowered than ever to do so.
What single product are you most proud of and why?
I love our Soft Briefcase. It was the first product that we designed and the most time-consuming, because we made so many decisions that would dictate the aesthetic of all other products to come. Getting the hardware right was particularly challenging. Hardware is very under-appreciated; the shape, thickness, and finish have such a huge impact on the personality of the product. It took so many rounds with the factory to get the right look and feel.
“Hardware is very under-appreciated; the shape, thickness, and finish have such a huge impact on the personality of the product.”
I’ll always have an emotional connection to the Soft Briefcase because it was our pioneer product and it helped us find our voice. It seems our customers love it as well – it’s our best seller!
What’s next for Linjer?
We have a lot in store! We are launching a new collection in the next couple of weeks, including a highly-requested holdall and bags for women. We’re also preparing to expand into other categories. You’ll have to sign up for our newsletter to learn more. 😉
What do you personally carry daily and how?
I’mpretty low-maintenance. I carry what I need to get through a day of work (every day is a work day as an entrepreneur 🙂 ) and not much more.
- Linjer tote – bright navy milled
- Linjer name card holder
- Linjer vertical wallet
- Baron Fig notebook
- Uniball pen
- Laptop sleeve handmade by me
- MacBook Air
- Sketch book