Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing a leather briefcase and wallet from local leather goods label LAVNG.
I first covered LAVNG when they were running their maiden Kickstarter campaign. I’m glad to report that their Kickstarter campaign was successful, and they now have their own web-store with products ready to ship! They kindly sent me two of their best sellers (the Soft Leather Briefcase and the Slim Wallet) – let’s see if they are any good!
LAVNG – the Brand
I’ve previously covered LAVNG as a brand in detail in my previous article about their Kickstarter campaign. If you are interested to learn more about their brand story and values, as well as the various products they have to offer, you can read the article here.
LAVNG’s flagship item is their Soft Leather Briefcase. It comes in black, tan, as well as a rather unique Midnight Green colourway (pictured below)!
First, let’s talk about the aesthetics of the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase. It’s clean, it’s minimalist, and it just looks pretty sleek overall. In terms of looks, it reminds me of the Linjer Soft Briefcase – nothing especially unique or eye-catching, but pleasant on the eyes nonetheless.
The main draw of the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase (aside from the modern appearance) has to be the stellar leather quality. Now, it’s hard enough to find a full leather briefcase for under S$400, but to find one made using full-grain leather? That’s near impossible. For those uninitiated, leather generally comes in three quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality. Unlike the genuine leather on briefcases that one often finds in this price range (from brands like Braun Buffel or Picard), the full-grain leather on the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase will patina beautifully, gradually darkening over time. In fact, one can see that that my briefcase has already darkened slightly due to prolonged usage in the photo above! Furthermore, the full-grain leather that LAVNG uses comes vegetable (or what LAVNG calls “organic”) tanned, which lends a more natural tone to the leather and should be less abrasive to the skin as compared to regular chrome tanned leather (which are tanned by chemicals). Lastly, the leathers LAVNG uses are premium hides tanned under gold-rated Leather Working Group environmental protocols, so if you’re environmentally conscious, you don’t have to worry!
On the Soft Leather Briefcase, the handles are bolted on, instead of being stitched on as you may see in lower quality briefcases. This should result in greater durability, which is a great boon given that the handles of the briefcase are the ones that gives way the quickest.
In addition, the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase also comes with a sling! I certainly appreciated this feature, as I’m often a heavy duty user who packs a lot of things into the briefcase when I go out. In such cases, the briefcase often becomes too heavy to hand carry, and thus the sling comes handy! Furthermore, the side hardware of the briefcase (which the sling hooks onto) are bolted on as well, again enhancing the overall durability of the briefcase.
The stitching on the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase is done very nicely too, with no loose threads or fraying visible. Job well done!
In terms of interior compartments, the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase is quite spacious despite its svelte form factor. It has a laptop sleeve, various pockets for cards, power banks, pens and the like, as well as a string with a key loop for your keys. In general, I’ve always felt that the capacity of the Soft Leather Briefcase was more than adequate for my everyday use. For those interested, I tend to carry out a laptop, some documents, a book, a water bottle, some pens, a power bank, and various cards out with me in the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase, and I’ve never felt a lack of space.
As aforementioned, the briefcase comes with a removable laptop sleeve, which can easily fit a modern Macbook. As it is also removable, you can actually also use it by itself on days where you just need your laptop out! The laptop sleeve feels pretty nice to the touch too, and comes in a retro quilted pattern.
Lastly, there’s also a quick access pocket at the back of the briefcase which I found to be a nice touch. I often find myself storing my earphone case and/or wallet there – it comes in very handy, and is the compartment I probably use the most on this briefcase.
Overall, I would say that the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase is a great value proposition. Not only is it a naturally tanned full grain leather briefcase at under S$400, it also comes with a more than adequate storage capacity. The design of the briefcase may not be as striking as say, the briefcases I reviewed previously from Gnome & Bow, but the minimalist look should suit those looking for an understated briefcase for work. The build quality is stellar overall, and it should make for the perfect everyday companion to the office!
Next up, I’ll be giving my take on the LAVNG Slim Wallet.
Like the Soft Leather Briefcase, the LAVNG Slim Wallet is designed to look clean and minimalist. There’s no unnecessary patterning or design elements on the wallet, except for the LAVNG logo at the bottom right. It’s a look that really lets the quality of leather used in this wallet shine.
The LAVNG Slim Wallet uses the same vegetable tanned full grain leather that is used on the Soft Leather Briefcase, and the result is simply stunning. Look at it! One can clearly see the natural pores and patterning of the leather wallet. As aforementioned, full grain leather will patina over time and age beautifully into a darker tone. The more you use the wallet, the more striking it will look – the same can’t be said for most affordable (sub S$100) wallets!
Elsewhere, the embossing of the brand logo is sharply done, with the stitching along the sides executed well without any loose threads or fraying present.
The LAVNG Slim Wallet comes with 6 cards slots, 2 receipt compartments, and 1 currency compartment to hold all your bills. In addition, there’s even RFID protection on the wallet! Furthermore, the interior of the wallet is crafted from full grain leather too resulting in some really beautiful grain patterning.
All in all, the LAVNG Slim Wallet is another bang-for-buck product. Despite its affordable sub S$100 price, the wallet uses quality full grain leather (that patinas beautifully), and has enough compartments for your everyday carry. Its minimalist and slim form factor is rather appealing as well! For those of you who are looking for affordable slim wallets, the LAVNG Slim Wallet should be at the top of your list.
Comparison – LAVNG Slim Wallet vs Faire Leather Spectre Wallet
I previously compared the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase to the similarly priced Faire Leather Bond Slim Briefcase in my review of the Bond Slim Briefcase here. If you’re interested in my comparison of the briefcases, do read the above article! In the meantime, I will be comparing the slim wallets from both brands as they are also similarly priced.
In terms of leather quality, the LAVNG Slim Wallet has a slight edge over the Faire Leather Spectre Wallet. The LAVNG Slim Wallet is crafted from full grain leather, whilst the Faire Leather Spectre Wallet uses top-grain leather. Whilst both will still develop lovely patina over time, one won’t see the lovely grains of the leather on the Spectre wallet, but instead a homogeneous, polished texture.
From an utility perspective, I would say that the Faire Leather Spectre Wallet is easier to use. There’s more innovation in the design, a few handy features that’s uncommon in other brands. For example, there’s a pull tab for easy access to frequently used cards, a hidden card slot for important cards that one would like to conceal, and my favourite, a hidden coin slot that remains flat when empty! There’s definitely greater functionality in the Faire Leather Spectre Wallet, and for those of you that needs a coin pouch, the Spectre Wallet will definitely be the better option.
Being priced identically, which slim wallet is better for you largely depends on what kind of user you are. If you need a coin pouch, and use your various cards often, the Faire Leather Spectre Wallet would suit your needs better. On the other hand, if you’re more into leather, the full grain leather quality of the LAVNG Slim Wallet (with its individual grains visible) is for you. Nevertheless, both wallets are definitely great options at under S$100!
Conclusion – so the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase and Slim Wallet “shiok” or not?
Both the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase and the Slim Wallet are certainly great value propositions. It’s near impossible to find full-grain leather briefcases and wallets for under S$400 and S$100 respectively. If you’re looking for some quality leather goods at affordable prices, I think LAVNG’s products are great options.
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant readers a 10% discount off all products! After this discount, the Soft Leather Briefcase can be had for just S$386, while the Slim Wallet would cost a mere S$89. Coupled with a 2 years warranty on all items, that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me!
View LAVNG’s full range of products here.
Specifications for the LAVNG Soft Leather Briefcase:
Removable Fabric Organizer:
- Along with your laptop now you can carry your document and stationary in style without worrying about dropping them
Front Inside Pockets: :
- 1 Slip pocket,
- 1 Gusset pocket,
- 2 card pockets,
- 1 ID card Pocket,
- String with Key loop,
- 2 Pen pockets
Back Inside Pockets: :
- 1 Full-width zip pocket
- Hidden ‘sim card’ and ‘Sim Eject Pin’ pocket
- RFID Protection on selected pockets
Specifications for the LAVNG Slim Wallet
- 4.3”W X 3.9”H
- 1 currency compartment
- 6 card slots
- 2 receipt compartments
- RFID Protection
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
Wong Li Heng