Hello everyone! In this listicle, I’ll be covering homegrown brands where you can get quality formal bags for your work needs. All the places mentioned below are Singaporean-owned and led – if you’re looking for a new briefcase, consider supporting a local business instead of going to Picard/Braun Buffel/Filson/etc!
The following Singaporean brands offers quality work bags at affordable prices – all prices start from below $500 SGD! If you are looking for a well-made, bang-for-buck work bag, do check out the various value proposition below.
Known for their literary infused bags, Gnome & Bow offers bags that are sure to separate you from the crowd.
Who they are: “Gnome & Bow was founded on that very notion that bags can go beyond functionality to become a new medium for storytelling, evoking the same emotions as our favorite stories…Drawing inspiration from the classics to tales of fancy, we develop story elements that are imbued seamlessly into our goods….Timeless as the stories that inspire us, we believe that our bags should be too. Our collection of bags, wallets and small leather accessories are designed to be the perfect companion for the discerning individual.”
My opinion: Gnome & Bow is definitely one of my personal favorites here. I love how they seamlessly weave literary elements of iconic fables into the design of their bags. Being an avid reader (as well an appreciator of classic literature), I was really mind-blown by several of their bags, especially the Milton Briefcase (pictured above). The Milton Briefcase encapsulates the ethos of the tale Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde through its reversible nature, with a formal looking polished navy side, as well as a more casual mosiac-printed canvas side. The build quality of their products are superb too, especially considering the price point. If you love literature, or are simply looking for an unique bag, be sure to check out Gnome & Bow. For more information about the brand and their products, do read my reviews of the Strand Briefcase and Kale Backpack, as well as their new Milton Briefcases! I also reviewed their wallets and accessories here.
International shipping: Yes, for orders above $250 SGD.
Price: Gnome & Bow bags currently start from $128.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy their bags off Gnome & Bow’s web-store, here. As Gnome & Bow is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products store-wide! Alternatively, readers can also visit Gnome & Bow’s flagship retail outlet at Millenia Walk, #01-78, Singapore 039596. And yes – you can still quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst there to enjoy 10% off store-wide!
While Oxhide Leather predominantly focuses on female products, they do carry a small collection of affordable men briefcases as well!
Who they are: Oxhide’s mission statement is to “provide premium quality leather products to the world…. products that are trendy, fashionable and useful. [Oxhide] constantly strive to improve our designs in terms of their appearance, usefulness, and quality.”
My opinion: If you’re looking for affordable briefcases with classic designs, Oxhide Leather would be a good option! In my opinion, Oxhide offers probably the best bang-for-buck leather products in the Singaporean market currently. A full top-grain leather briefcase from Oxhide starts from only $229 SGD – at this price point, you would mostly be getting canvas briefcases from the other brands mentioned here! If you’re a fan of leather products, but don’t want to break the bank, Oxhide Leather is perfect for you. For those interested, I previously reviewed the Oxhide “Wall Street” briefcase here. I also reviewed some of their leather accessories here.
International shipping: No.
Price: Oxhide’s briefcases starts from $229 SGD. As Oxhide leather is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all online orders!
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here, or visit them at #01-73 HabourFront Centre, Singapore 099253.
Faire Leather Co’s co-founder, Joseph Lor, is actually the son of Tocco Toscano’s founder, James Lor! For those of you who don’t know, Tocco Toscano is one of the first homegrown bag brands to achieve widespread success – today their bags are stocked in numerous departmental stores. In addition, Faire Leather Co is co-owned by Tocco Toscano, so it’s safe to assume that share the same supply chain/materials.
Who they are: Faire Leather Co. describes themselves as “a men’s leather goods online label that redefines true value as Functional Luxury at a Fair Price. Founded in Singapore by Joseph Lor and Ryan Choy, Faire Leather Co. taps traditional know-how from decades of heritage and experience with real-time feedback and data to create stylish products designed for maximum function.”
My opinion: Unlike other young bag startups, Faire Leather Co is able to tap upon the decades worth of manufacturing capability of Tocco Toscano – ensuring that you get a quality product (likely crafted by the same craftsmen who have been making Tocco Toscano products for decades) at an affordable price. There’s a reason why they managed to raise over $400K on their debut Kickstarter project – making them one of the most funded Singaporean crowdfunded project till date! I love the ability of Faire to combine sleek, minimalist looks with ultra-functional utility. Definitely a top recommendation of mine for those looking for an everyday briefcase! Those interested can check out my review of the Bond Slim Briefcase here, as well as my review of the Hunt Utility Backpack here.
International shipping: Yes, free.
Price: Starts at $239.
Where to buy: Interested readers can order from their web-store here. As Faire Leather is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products store-wide!
LAVNG is a relatively young brand, which recently just successfully completed their maiden Kickstarter campaign.
Who they are: LAVNG was started with “purpose of making high-quality leather goods which are ‘made to last’ while preserving the environment.” They pride themselves in being an environmentally conscious startup, with their usage of natural vegetable tanned leather in all their goods.
My opinion: I personally think that LAVNG has a lot going for them. Their briefcases are minimalist, crafted out of vegetable tanned, full-grain leather which will develop a beautiful patina as time passes. My personal favourite is the Midnight Green variant – it’s a unique, striking colourway that I have not seen offered by any bag brands elsewhere! Both visually and in their use of natural materials, LAVNG reminds me a lot of Linjer – who also pride themselves in minimalist, vegetable tanned full grain leather briefcases – but at a significantly lower price. If you’re into minimalist designs, leather, or are simply environmentally conscious, I believe that LAVNG briefcases are great value propositions! Those interested can read my review of the LAVNG soft leather briefcase (and their slim wallet) here.
International shipping: Yes, free.
Price: Starts at $429 for briefcases.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. As LAVNG is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products store-wide!
I hope you guys enjoyed this list of homegrown labels, all of whom carry some fantastic work bags for men! In my own personal experience, I see most of my peers turning to brands like Picard/Braun Buffel for their formal bag needs. Hopefully, this shows that there are certainly several local bag labels that you can consider supporting if you’re out on the prowl for a new briefcase! Several of the brands mentioned on this list are still relatively young – I can’t wait to see what innovative designs they bring to the table next.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!