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I think it is not fair to compare a $100-$200 wallets (Angelos) with $300+ wallets (IH, Kawatako, Red moon, Flat head, etc). They are obviously in different league, it is like comparing ferrari to hyundai. Having said that, i have been using angelos wallets for 8 months now and i don't see anything wrong with it. In fact, i find the leather to be decent especially for its price tags. i also own flat head mid and redmoon HR-01, and i dont think the angelos wallets are as bad as"Smear DoodDoo Fliies".

So to Kiya: Please buy an angelos wallet and use it for some time. It is not as bad as you said.

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I never brought price into the equation, i rarely do because arguing price on message boards never gets anywhere, just check the Visvim or Roy threads.

I merely compare quality and design without taking price into consideration, that's how i've always treated things. I'm speaking from a enthusiast's perspective not a business owner. I was into this stuff and on this forum for many years before my stores ever opened, in the end i'm still a hobbyist inside.

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i will have to go ahead and back up kiya on this one. i purchased a "cordovan" wallet from Angelos and have some negative experiences. While it looked fantastic from the start, it has really let me down over the past 6 months. Simple sweat caused the leather to breakdown and become disfigured... the nice dark shiny hard surface became mottled and developed little craters. Not only that, but the stitching is fraying a lot and most likely will only last for a few more months before it breaks and starts to unravel. Lastly, the "cordovan" is beginning to crack in areas and actually broke off on one edge exposing the raw second layer.

So my suggestion is that if you are the type of individual who babies your wallet i.e. does not sit on it, never gets it wet, is not hard on it, then I would say Angelos is an option. If you are the type of individual who expects their wallet to handle the rigors of normal day to day wear i.e. gets sat on, gets wet once in a while, does not get babied, then I would advise to look at other options.

I forgot to add, I also contacted Angelos after noticing the craters and mottling on the surface of my wallet after it got wet from sweat, and he said he is not responsible for any product malfunctions resulting from my specific use of the item - i guess his product is not guaranteed from use in sweaty conditions.

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i will have to go ahead and back up kiya on this one. i purchased a "cordovan" wallet from Angelos and have some negative experiences. While it looked fantastic from the start, it has really let me down over the past 6 months. Simple sweat caused the leather to breakdown and become disfigured... the nice dark shiny hard surface became mottled and developed little craters. Not only that, but the stitching is fraying a lot and most likely will only last for a few more months before it breaks and starts to unravel. Lastly, the "cordovan" is beginning to crack in areas and actually broke off on one edge exposing the raw second layer.

I rest my case.

For the guys that neg repped me, explain how this can possibly happen to something which was sold as "cordovan"?

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hmm for limited money people like me angelos seems good but i am not sure abt the rest. have not try them :)

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Kiya is that dude everyone loves to hate on.

Ya his comments come off as dickish but has anyone browsed through this site? Making dickish comments is standard operating procedure. People shouldn't be so set back because of comments JUST because it is from Kiya.

Anyways, it seems odd that you can get a cordovan wallet for 150 and re: Jackandjoke, I also think that it is foolish to say that these wallets are on a higher quality than Flat Head or Iron Heart. It is these ignorant comments that shit up a message board even more than a Shit Flies comment.

That comment about fucking with a dudes livelihood.. If the guy is selling shit, or saying something is cordovan and it isn't, he deserves to be called out. Same way that people feel the need to call out Kiya and throw sand in his face with some Blue in Green references. You probably really hurt his feelings. Every business impacts someones livelihood. I have owned and handled different wallets frequently mentioned on these threads as well as made my own leather goods. It is really apparent that quality takes time and attention to detail but material costs obviously come into play. Where/how is he getting cordovan so cheap that it only marginally changes the price in his product? I am not talking shit about angelos livelihood, just asking questions.

It is understandable to WANT kiya to justify his opinions, and he always does when asked. Most people keep their thoughts well articulated but some of you get your panties bunched up tight and need to fucking relax.

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Mike, you've owned a lot of leather and you've got experience with Angelos stuff, so I really trust your opinion. I've always thought the burnished edges on the Angelos pieces are awesome.

To be honest, I think the natural cattlehide that Angelos uses, whilst not as good as what TFH, Kawatako, etc use for their better pieces, is pretty damn good for the price that Angelos is charging. It is a very raw skirting/saddle leather, and not the hand-curried stuff used on some pieces by the Japanese brands - that's not saying it can't look good and the grain cannot evolve well with proper care (which is more difficult with skirting/saddle leathers.)

Would Samurai, TFH, Kawatako or Warehouse sell a billfold for $100 shipped? Or a cordovan wallet for $150? Apples and oranges mate...

I don't think your "the construction and his leather sources are Smear DoodDoo Fliies" comment is very fair.

You merely handled a couple of pieces with a few moments - if you want to be critical, why don't you purchase one, use it for a year, and report back?

You don't have to tell me it's hard to judge the quality of leathers from photos - I've handled lots of of different leathers, including the Angelos' products as well as products by the brands you mentioned above - I definitely do not think Angelos' products are Smear DoodDoo Fliies (whatever that is.)

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as i guy that works with leather everyday, (i work for a italian handbag maker) i just make handmade wallets as a hobby on the side.

i know my leather shit! i have delt with almost every big brand from around the world.

shell cordovan will get pock marks or "little craters" when used as a wallet. its just part of the character of the leather. i cant speak for japanese cordovan. but horween and the Suer french stuff will.

with that said, everyone is entitled to there opinion, this is FASHION.

CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK TO OUR NERDY LEATHER WORSHIP!

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I rest my case.

For the guys that neg repped me, explain how this can possibly happen to something which was sold as "cordovan"?

correct me if my knowledge is not up to par with your industry experience, but isn't cordovan the kind of leather made from the muscle under the behind of a horse? if that is what he has been using, shouldnt that be what he advertises it as? it might not be the top grade cordovan that you have delt with, but it is afterall still cordovan isn't it?

to give consumers more credit for our intelligence, prices are more often than not a reflection of the quality of products we purchase. i am sure most of us are obviously going to realise that there are certain differences and compromises that we have to make when paying for a $150 leather product and something else that is top grade $400 leather. i am not saying that angelos's items are faultless, but from the testimonials from most of us here, their products have met or even superceded the expectations.

sure, vesp did receive a product that did not meet his expectations or if i might put it bluntly, "defective". but i am sure that there is always going to be a kink somewhere. remember the flathead bracelets that were loose that we have heard complaints about? we all recognise it as a problem but are we going to think that flathead makes shitty products? obviously not.

what im getting at is that i dont think they have made up or put out some false advertising, pretending to sell a top quality cordovan wallet for real cheap. im sure most of us know what to expect for what we pay.

so with your statement about the construction and leather quality being Smear DoodDoo Fliies, assuming the latter half is correct, what is it about the construction that you find wanting?

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In regards to the pricing, just remember that Angelo's doesn't go through the markup chain. It's sold maker to customer.

Most goods are getting marked up from maker to client to stockist to customer.

I've been pretty wary of weighing in on this since the debate has gone a little poisonous on both sides. I've never handled Angelo's product, but I know with certainty that his work shows great technique and well-considered details.

The choice of leather could be influenced by a number of factors, including availability (he's in Taiwan, no idea what the tanneries there offer, he may be going with the best feasible choice), and the maker's intended end-price. I can understand not wanting to offer $300+ wallets. Operating at that price point excludes a lot of people.

It could also be that his taste includes imperfections, which I can also understand.

I certainly don't blame Kiya for his stance, his shop and his taste (based on what little I know of the man) tend towards what he sees as the best. That's what some people want, and Kiya is good at finding it. Options are good, because tastes vary.

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Hollows make a pretty fine wallet himself!!

When new

WP_000137.jpg

After 5 1/2 months

WP_000351.jpg

WP_000352.jpg

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Thanks smitty. That's an incredible amount of indigo! The halo effect around the detailing is neat. If you decide you want to take some of it off, Fiebing's saddle soap works well.

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Also working in a similar fashion, Lexol leather cleaner.

I agree with hollow's opinion regarding Angelo's technique. It's very clean and tight. Design is a subjective matter, so I can't really weigh on that, other than its not for me.

If a piece is made with cheap (I don't mean cost) materials, then a wallet will look like shit after some use. It doesn't matter how great your technique is.

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Tanner Workman 11 months. Nearly snapped some of my cards in half :(

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sorry for quoting something so many pages back, are those Hawaii's or Okinawas?

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lol @ Kiya for neg rep me... you need to grow those sideburns towards the baldspot

jackandcoke.....you are a cunt!

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^^^^ I think my pos rep of you offset the neg though.

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I can't comment on the leather used, but coming from a leathercrafter's perspective, the craftsmanship is definitely legit. No doubt im only inferring from pictures, but even from that I can at least assure you that. You don't see that kind of clean edges everywhere, even when looking at products from the likes of redmoon, kawatako, flat head etc. While the thread may be fraying at some parts, the saddle stitch will still keep the wallet together even if the thread has given way.

Maybe hes lacking in terms of the quality of materials used, but you got to give it to him for his craftsmanship and the effort put into crafting each of his product. Being a maker of leather goods myself, I know pretty well that that extra effort needed to polish up a wallet beyond the usual standards is widely underestimated.

I won't judge whether the angelos wallet or the kawatako wallet on SE is better, as I own neither of them. But I just wanted to point out the fact that more effort has probably been put into the angelos one, and I appreciate that. In comparison, its almost as if the kawatako wallet appears to have been hastily machine stitched and briefly burnished.

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lets just enjoy the leather shall we? despite of difference opinion and stuff its good because it can broaden our perspective and knowledge but lets not make it to seperate us :)

5867106168_e798f7cb47.jpg

my hip pouch [ Serbian Ammo Pouch style ]

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Thank you for the forum craftsmen who have put forward their professional opinion :)

Alrighty then, let's get back to talking leather...Angelos uses Suer cordovan from France - it is the same tissue as that which Horween tans for it's cordovan. Angelos doesn't use Horween because they run a little operation in Taiwan, and Horween sells most of their cordovan in bulk to you-know-whos.

Which is better??? Up to you to decide, but until you've used both cordovan for a long period of time using the same maintenance methods, you can't really arrive at a worthwhile conclusion.

All cordovan can dent or scratch or crack.

It seems easier to maintain because it is a grainless leather (think suede, but not) and has been heavily impregnated with oils & waxes post-tan - any imperfections or damage can be much more easily covered during maintenance, compared to say, veg. tanned horsehide.

Angelos' philosphy is pretty simple as far as I can tell: natural materials, entirely hand-made, considered crafting and design, wear n' tear & evolution with age. My wallet satisfies all this.

If you want a indestructible wallet, may I suggest getting something along the lines of my rider's wallet with an elephant outer, kangaroo inner, and double-loop braided kangaroo edges?

No cattlhide or horsehide or cordovan will survive as a work wallet without scratches or dents.

As I've said the first time I received my Angelos wallet: from my consumer's eye, the construct is better than RM and Kawatako's basic range wallets, and is on-par if not sometimes exceeding the top range products by both brands (which non-Japanese retailers are not yet stocking.)

This is my Angelos wallet, a bit more than 6 months daily use now - it is my work wallet, it gets sat on, sweated on, scratched, dumped in my workbag and squashed...

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No cracks, no noticeable denting, and the threads ain't fraying much at all (keep in mind it is hand-stitched with waxed linen, not machine stitched with polyester).

But you know what? In the hands of a person who does not know how to care for saddle leather (it is not easy), or has a maintenance method different from my own, the wallet may very well look entirely different.

I run a blog documenting the usage of my leathers, so anyone who is following this discussion please feel free to have a look at the various pictures and details I've put forward regarding Angelos' wallet.

Kiya, I understand what you mean when you compare absolute quality without regard to price.

It is very well to do so in our own minds, and I do it al the time.

But in a public forum like this I find it a bit irresponsible, hence I'm picking this discussion.

Nobody knocks on Buzz Rickson's sweats & Ts because it's uses a sinker-wheeled fabric and the lock-stitch ain't as good as Toy's McCoy's.

Nobody knocks on Kawatako's cheaper wallets because the leather ain't hand-processed and the stitching is machined.

Nobody knocks on the Americana boots we all love here at Superdenim because they ain't hand-welted & custom-lasted.

Nobody knocks on most of the leather goods on this forum because the veg. tan is not done using the traditional 12 month pit-tanned method and then secondary processed by a specialist currier company.

Why pick on Angelos specifically?

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It sums up what I have noticed here on Sufu. Groupthink, complemented by brand worshipers who will flag any criticism on sight.

Although Angelos vs Japanese leatherwork is indeed an apples vs oranges comparison, Kiya specifically addressed our gut feeling, that is: "Angelos looks impeccable and it's so much cheaper, why spend more?"

I appreciate Kiya's candid postings, I can only imagine how hard it can be as a seller and a enthusiast at the same time.

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groupthink? perhaps you would like to address our "groupthink" with some of your knowledge that you have? so far your comments has adressed nothing with regards to the product itself but limited to only the situation itself.

I am by no means a leather "expert", so i would love to know your comments about the product.

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My Tochigi Leather wallet, handmade by a Japanese craftsman

February

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Now

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R0014691.JPG

R0014695.JPG

R0014703.JPG

R0014705.JPG

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Oh man, I had nearly forgotten about that thing. Incredible. Thickness borders on pornographic.

Can't rep :(

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My take.... no offence to any other people and just from my point of view as a craftsman.

The objective of leather crafting is to turn a piece of ordinary hides, doesn't matter where they come from, how the tannery runs, dyed or process, make into a beautiful products that is usable, durable, and can age nicely with detail patina (the sign of good craftsmen-ship)

Of course using better mention leather will add more plus to it. (the sign of good craftsmen-ship with good leather)

A good leather product is only when it age nicely and not deforming from original state. If you look back to your old wallets, do you have a bulging bill fold that has expand 10 times it usual size? That is a lousy make and lousy owner.

No bias to any brand out there, all leather product needs tons of effort in creating. Respect.

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Oh man, I had nearly forgotten about that thing. Incredible. Thickness borders on pornographic.

Can't rep :(

S&M thickness.

My take.... no offence to any other people and just from my point of view as a craftsman.

The objective of leather crafting is to turn a piece of ordinary hides, doesn't matter where they come from, how the tannery runs, dyed or process, make into a beautiful products that is usable, durable, and can age nicely with detail patina (the sign of good craftsmen-ship)

Of course using better mention leather will add more plus to it. (the sign of good craftsmen-ship with good leather)

A good leather product is only when it age nicely and not deforming from original state. If you look back to your old wallets, do you have a bulging bill fold that has expand 10 times it usual size? That is a lousy make and lousy owner.

No bias to any brand out there, all leather product needs tons of effort in creating. Respect.

Building a house on a shaky foundation is never a good idea.

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