Rules of Accessories: Jon Passavant and Benj Lee on Choosing and Caring For Leather Goods

"An accessory is just that: an add-on, an item that provides the means to express your individuality."

Image courtesy of Passavant and Lee.

Former models Jon Passavant and Benj Lee learned to love accessories when they were working on shoots for Ralph Lauren, Levi's, and Armani, even as they realized there was what Passavant calls a "rather large gap in the market" for them. So they did what any passionate duo would do: they started their own company.

They launched their accessories brand, Passavant and Lee in November 2013 with the No 25 briefcase, which is made by hand from aircraft grade aluminum and covered in Horween leather.

"We wanted to create a product for men looking to stand out from the crowd whilst maintaining the practicality of everyday use," Lee said.

Herein, Passavant and Lee share their tips for selecting and maintaining great leather accessories.

  1. Look for something that will get better with age. "You want something that's only going to improve over time" says Lee. "If you're investing time and money into an accessory, then you want it to keep its quality."

  2. Don't try to cover all your bases with one accessory. "An accessory is just that: an add-on, an item that provides the means to express your individuality. If you want luggage for work items and papers, use a briefcase. If you want something to carry your gym kit or clothing, use a holdall," Lee says. .

  3. Be as picky about buying a bag as you would a watch. "The watch is something nearly every man owns," Passavant says. "Put thought into what you want, the functionality, the shape, the colour, the strap. Do your research and invest as it is something that when chosen correctly will last a lifetime."

  4. Take care of your accessories. Lee even has protective accessory for one of his favorite accessories: a fountain pen. "Storing it in a leather case will prolong its life and ensure it looks and performs just as well as it did the first day you brought it," he says.

—'Edward Lumley

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