Clichés, however corny they may be, usually encapsulate at least a hint of truth or have become universal truths in their own right. The one that states “accessories are a necessity” is one of the latter. Even with the outstanding evolution menswear has experienced in recent years, one of the core aspects of individuality, charisma and personal style, still remains the perfect use of accessories. From ties and pocket squares, to boutonnières and lapel pins, belts, bags, briefcases, suspenders, scarves or hats, all these intricate elements are at core essence of a gentlemanly wardrobe. The interesting aspect for the most part, is that nowadays, it seams “wearable” accessories have their purpose less focused on functionality and much more on pure aesthetic. Apart from a few exceptions such as braces or hats, many of the accessories that are ever visible on one’s attire are there to add further depth and complexity to the whole look. With such a heavy obsession about appearances, it comes to no surprise that the remaining array of essential accessories are often overlook… unless by season gentlemen who truly value and understand their importance. On this list we could include anything from lighters, cigar cutters, flasks, wallets, keychains and the likes. On this occasion I would like to focus on your trustworthy daily companion, and present you Chester Mox: a recent label whose passion and know-how of high-grade leather goods will turn them into one of the finest purveyors out there.
Another example of how shared passions can move from personal to professional fields, Chester Mox is run by couple in arms Bellanie Salcedo and her husband Brandon. After years of working as an apprentice with a world-renowned leather artisan (whose skills were once at the service of some of the world’s most luxurious labels), Bellanie decided to put her know-how to good use and create something truly unique. Besides the sheer quality of the leathers, originating from some of the best tanneries such as Horween or Ilcea (provider of John Lobb), the true differential comes from the craftsmanship and techniques Bellanie applies in each product. Each piece is 100% handmade - leathers are individually handcut, handsewn, hand burnished and painted, making each piece exclusive, unique and with a wide potential for customisation. Some of the highlights include saddle stitching, a slightly angled stitch that portrays a more artisanal feel and increased resistance, and a unique edge painting technique that seamlessly eliminates the shade difference between the two leathers.
With a growing tendency for exclusivity, most of you will be pleased to know that each product is highly customisable, with Bellanie herself taking care of your special requests (engravings, contrast stitching or special patinas). Full bespoke is also a service provided by Chester Mox, allowing customers to work closely with her to create unique, exclusive designs. As you’re dealing directly with the designer and craftswoman, the result is a wide range of leather goods at a great value for money, especially for this level of detail and craftsmanship. I recently had the chance of reviewing one of their wallets, one of the the accessories I’ve been wanting to upgrade for a couple of years now. The reason why I haven’t done so earlier, is because I’m quite picky regarding my everyday carry, trying to avoid anything bulky from going in my pockets: as such, a wallet able to carry my documents and cash without becoming massive is quite a challenging find. Within the wide offering of models and customisations, I finally went with their #53 Compact Bi-Fold Wallet, made in Saffron french calf leather and featuring on-tone linen thread and Beyond Fabric engraved on the front. Despite its size, the wallet provides 3 card compartments and 2 additional folded compartments for more cards or cash, making it perfect to slip on the inner jacket pocket or simply on the back pocket of your jeans or trousers.
You can find Chester Mox online or at their store / workshop at Monterey Park California - 617 S. Atlantic Blvd, Unit B; Monterey Park, Ca 91754.