7 Top Shops For Leather Goods In Chicago

 In Feature, Style

It’s time to step up your style game with a few new leather goods that will last not only the season, but for years to come. We’re sharing seven leather-goods shops we love in Chicago, each with its own unique history and legacy in the city.

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Photo credit: Shinola

Shinola Wicker Park: Although its roots are tied to Detroit, Shinola Wicker Park has already impacted the city’s leather-goods scene. The brand’s values are entrenched in crafting products that are well made and built to last, a philosophy that radiates through every artisan product. Pop into Shinola for men’s and women’s accessories, ranging from slim and sleek bifold wallets to trendy carry-on bags made of supple, rugged leather. Shinola’s line of women’s handbags is robust, featuring all styles from small crossbody to shoulder totes in shades of leather such as bourbon, deep brown, black and aubergine.

Horween Leather Co.: Founded in 1905, Horween Leather Co. is one of the oldest and most respected leather goods companies in Chicago. Look to Horween for custom and one-of-a-kind leather creations like wallets and bags, along with other leather-care accessories. In addition to its products, Horween also sells its array of leathers to be bought for future use.

best chicago leather goods alive magazine st louis

Photo credit: DEFY

DEFY Bags: DEFY was launched in 2011, when its founder, Chris Tag, was exhausted by the corporate world and decided to strike out on his own. Since its launch, the brand has designed and manufactured distinctive goods that have extended far beyond Chicago. Look to DEFY for its line of tailored leather work bags, accessories and apparel that are all handcrafted in the heart of Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.

Allegory Handcrafted Goods: Founded in 2012, Allegory Handcrafted Goods began with a pen—but not just any pen. One that was made of wood, with a story behind it. Five years and several Kickstarter campaigns later, Allegory has now expanded its product line to include leather wallets, bags, notebooks and passport covers. These talented artisans can also craft a custom product just for you, using their top-notch craftsmanship techniques.

best leather goods chicago alive magazine st louis

Photo credit: Kaehler

Kaehler 1920: Look to Kaehler 1920 for gorgeous luggage and bags that stand the test of time. Kaehler’s story began at 1421 Sherman Street in Chicago, where Walter Kaehler began crafting high-quality travel trunks and bags. In addition to now selling other travel brands, Kaehler still crafts quality leather goods to this day. Pick up a genuine leather briefcase, a stylish duffel bag or a handy wallet.

STITCH: If you’re in the mood for high-end furniture browsing with a side of leather, look no further than STITCH, located in North Wicker Park. STITCH carries a well-rounded selection of men’s leather wallets, ranging in color, style and size. If you’re looking for a statement piece, don’t miss the Bellroy note sleeve wallet in an eye-catching shade of arctic-blue leather.

best leather goods chicago alive magazine st louis

Photo credit: The Frye Company

The Frye Company: Located in North Chicago is The Frye Company, founded in 1863 as a purveyor of high-quality leather goods, but since has grown to encompass men’s and women’s apparel and handcrafted goods. If you’re seeking a pair of the perfect leather boots to wear this winter, Frye is your answer. Don’t miss the brand’s iconic women’s Melissa Boot, the perfect slip-on for cooler seasons. For men, the Bowery Boot radiates style and utility and can be worn year-round.

Cover image by Harsh Jadav.

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