The next time your son or daughter tells you they’re majoring in Philosophy in college, take heart. They may just turn out to become artisanal leather goods makers. Take Edwin Schemerhorn and Charles Nathan, the founders of D’Alembert, a line of handcrafted wallets which launches its first full collection online this month. (The pair, who met as philosophy majors at Carleton College, named their company after the French philosopher Jean le Rond D’Alenbert.) “We saw lot of black and brown leather goods out in the market, and thought there was a need for something more colorful,” says Nathan.
For fall and holiday ‘16, D’Alembert is producing four different styles, The Diderot Wallet, the Aubertine Wallet, the Monte Reville Billfold, and the Saint Maurice Cardholder, each of which will be available in six colorways, including aubergine, lapis, Aegean, absinthe, and vermillion (as well as classic brown).
Each piece is made from unfinished French calfskin and then shaped in Spain before being hand-dyed, waxed and finished in Brooklyn. Since each piece is labor-intensive, and no two are completely identical, the higher-than-average price tag is far from unreasonable, notes Schemerhorn. (Retails are $165-$345).
These two ambitious young men have bigger plans for the company, including creating some larger pieces such as a laptop cover (Charles already carries the first one personally), introducing limited-edition colorways, and partnering with boutiques and specialty stores. “We can’t wait to find the right retail partner for our goods,” says Schemerhorn.