Hello everyone! In this listicle, I’ll be covering homegrown brands where you can get quality bags for your everyday needs. All the places mentioned below are Singaporean-owned and led – if you’re looking for a new briefcase or simply a going-out bag, I urge you to consider supporting a local business instead of going to Picard/Braun Buffel/Filson/etc.
The following brands offer quality men’s bags at affordable prices – all prices start from below S$300. If you are looking for a well-made, bang-for-buck bag, do check out the various value propositions below.
1) Faire Leather Co.
One of my personal favourites, Faire Leather offers bags that are packed with functionality.
Who they are: Faire Leather Co. describes itself 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 projects to date. I love the ability of Faire to combine sleek, minimalist looks with ultra-functional utility, with my favourite being the Hunt Laptop Sleeve, which I reviewed here. I also reviewed the Bond Slim Briefcase here, the Hunt Utility Backpack here, and their small leather accessories here.
Price: Starts at S$199.
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!
2) Gnome & Bow
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 favourites here. I love how they seamlessly weave literary elements of iconic fables into the design of their bags. Being an avid reader (as well as an appreciator of classic literature), I was really mind-blown by several of their bags, including the Hitchhiker backpack (pictured above). The Hitchhiker backpack encapsulates the ethos of the classic novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, while remaining eminently affordable at under $200. The build quality of their products is superb too, especially considering the price point. If you love literature or are simply looking for a unique bag, check out Gnome & Bow. For more information about the brand and their products, do read my numerous reviews of their products – I reviewed the Kale Backpack here, the Strand Briefcase here, their wallets and accessories here, the Milton bags here, and the Porthos Briefcase and Balsa Duffel here, and the aforementioned Hitchhiker backpack here.
Price: Gnome & Bow bags currently start from S$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!
3) Oxhide Leather
While Oxhide Leather predominantly focuses on female products, they do carry a small collection of affordable men’s 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 (like the abovepictured bag) 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 Brown Pebble Leather Bag here. I also reviewed some of their leather accessories here.
Price: Oxhide’s briefcases start from S$229. As Oxhide leather is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK-SHIOK” 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.
4) Arden Teal
While Arden Teal is better known for its dress shoes, the homegrown brand actually has a selection of leather bags available as well.
Who they are: “We (team at Arden Teal) were growing weary of the traditional retail experience for buying a good pair of men’s shoes. We searched for options that delivered aesthetics at a price we could relate to, but grew needlessly impatient with our encounters. We started this company at the heel of a problem we knew wasn’t unique to us. We wanted to curate products we were proud of. Impressively designed, high-quality shoes that could be conveniently accessed at an easy price..”
My opinion: I’ve always been a fan of Arden Teal’s shoes – I think the brand offers some of the most bang-for-buck dress shoes on the market due to the quality of leather used in their shoes. The brand applies the same philosophy to its bags, which feature stunning leather for the price point. For instance, the Santiago Patina II Vintage Leather Messenger Bag (pictured above) uses full-grain leather, and even has a lovely artisanal patina effect. The bag features a spacious interior as well, with plenty of nifty compartments, including a dedicated laptop compartment. For more information, do check out my review of the Santiago Patina II Vintage Leather Messenger Bag here, and the Arden Teal Sevilla backpack and Bogota duffel here.
Price: Starts at S$299 for leather bags.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy their bags online here. As Arden Teal is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK25” upon checkout to enjoy 25% off all bags!
5) Obbi Good Label
A team of local leather artisans, Obbi Good Label specialises in offering rugged, sturdy products.
Who they are: Obbi Good Label describes itself as “a leather product company that produce handmade leather pieces that are unique as well as useful,” making products that will “last a lifetime”. Founded in 2008, all of Obbi Good Label’s leather products are made in-house in their Geylang workshop by their team of artisans, all of whom have at least 10 years of experience.
My opinion: I like the brand’s commitment to delivering rugged, durable products that will stand the test of time. The brand’s latest OriGinaLe Outdoor series encapsulates this ethos. It looks great, is fashioned out of sturdy materials, and is quite spacious. I love its rugged and vintage aesthetics – I think it’s a stark departure from the “polished” office bags mentioned above. It’s also a lot of value for a sub-S$200 bag. If you’re a heavy-duty user who tends to abuse your bags, OGL is the perfect brand for you. I reviewed the OriGinaLe Outdoor Utility series here. I also did a review of their tote bag and military watch strap here, as well as their aviator bag, leather belt and leather Zulu strap here.
Price: Starts at US$155/ ~S$215 for bags.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. As Obbi Good Label is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all non-promotional products store-wide!
6) The Man Bag
As its name suggests, The Man Bag offers a variety of everyday carry bags catered to men.
Who they are: The Man Bag was launched in 2020, with a mission to “help guys all over the world carry their stuff in a safe, secure manner (while lookin’ fresh AF at the same time), instead of stuffing the pockets of your skinny jeans”. In fact, the brand’s slogan is “Free Your Pockets”, as its bags are meant to help men organise their daily essentials.
My opinion: I enjoyed using the City Sling. Be it on a trip to the gym (and dinner in town afterwards), or holidaying overseas, I really appreciated the functionality of the City Sling. There are plenty of compartments and pockets to organise my items, and for the most part, the bag feels well-built. At $76 (after the promo code below), the City Sling is relatively affordable as well for a crossbody sling bag. For more details, do read my review of the City Sling here. The brand has even come up with an update, which is aptly named the Sling V2. I also reviewed the Day Sling here.
Price: Starts at S$85.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. As The Man Bag is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all non-promotional products store-wide!
If you found this tailoring listicle helpful, do check out some of my other listicles below:
- 6 Affordable Wallets in Singapore
- 12 places to get Watch Straps in Singapore
- 6 Perfume Brands in Singapore to check out
- 9 Affordable Tailors in Singapore (Complete Guide!)
- 10 Underrated Singaporean Watch Brands that won’t break the bank
- 4 Affordable Dress shoes in Singapore
I hope you guys enjoyed this list of homegrown labels, all of whom carry some fantastic bags for men. In my personal experience, I see most of my peers turning to brands like Picard/Braun Buffel for their bag needs. Hopefully, this shows that there are undoubtedly several local bag labels that you can consider supporting if you’re out on the prowl for a new bag. 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: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
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P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.