Style / May 2018

Craftsman Co: Proudly Made in Hong Kong

Founded in 2015, Craftsman Clothing was established in a bid to offer well-made and affordable leather-based outerwear that’s inspired by classical styles.
Richard Biedul wearing the McQueen A-2 Bomber jacket. Styled by Jo Grzeszczuk, photographed by Olivier Barjolle.

We can say with some confidence that in the last few years we’ve garnered a loyal following on social media, particularly on Instagram. Each day we’re tagged in countless posts which, more often than not, are irrelevant and questionable. But, every now and then, a personality or brand grabs our attention for all the right reasons. One such brand is Craftsman Clothing, which is the latest addition to The Rake Atelier.

Founded in 2015 in Hong Kong by two young men who came together through a shared passion for menswear via an online forum, Craftsman Clothing specialises in leather-based sartorial outerwear. “Craftsman Clothing was started from an idea I had in college,” explains co-founder Tobe Fong. “In California, we had the luxury of wearing leather jackets year round, but the budget I had of being a student was limited. In a world where fast fashion dominates, it may be easy to find stylish leather jackets yet the quality is always far from sublime. Going for quality ones from designer brands would mean costing a fortune.” This prompted the young entrepreneur to join forces with his partner, Tsz, and create a brand that offers affordable and well-made outerwear that’s inspired by the classics, such as aviation, naval and safari jackets.

What makes Craftsman Clothing interesting is that it’s based in Hong Kong, which isn’t exactly a renowned haven for sartorial goods. “Hong Kong had a booming garment industry in the 1980s,” Fong tells me. "The important factor that determines a quality garment is less about where it’s made, but the team behind each brand, the craft and the materials used.” Its geographical position, as such, allowed the two “to leverage on the free tariffs and cheaper labour costs compared to most European countries. We were able to keep our costs lower thus providing our end-consumers a good price point for a high-quality garment,” explains Fong. Overall, the brand’s core philosophy has always been accessible luxury, which The Rake certainly adheres to.

Contributor

Benedict Browne

Benedict is The Rake's Associate Style Editor.

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