Review: Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

Almost exactly 6 months ago I probably did one of my largest ”investments” when it comes to my wardrobe. After lots of considering and looking at pictures on Instagram and other media, I decided to finally get a good quality briefcase. The one I bought was from an American leather bag manufacturer named “Frank Clegg Leatherworks” and I bought the it through Olof at Linnegatan No.2 in Gothenburg. Many of you have probably heard, seen or maybe even own a Frank Clegg bag. After 6 months of daily use, I thought it was time to write a review of the briefcase so far.  Before I do that I would like to write some short background about Frank Clegg and their products.

Once again, big thanks to Dennis Bärlund for the magnificent photos.

Disclaimer: The briefcase reviewed in this post was bought at full price from Frank Clegg. 

Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

My zip top briefcase paired with a pair of Vass Shoes, and suit from Pelote

HANDCRAFTED IN MASSACHUSETTS SINCE 1970
Frank Clegg is internationally recognized as one of the finest leather bag manufacturers today. Every product that leaves their Fall River, Massachusetts, workshop is designed and produced in the workshop and also touched by Frank himself or his sons.

THE LEATHERS
All Frank Clegg leather are hand-selected and custom tanned especially for Frank Clegg.  All the leathers are 100% vegetable tanned, the same type of process used for centuries to create the finest saddles and case goods. Frank and his two sons are personally involved in the selection and tanning process. They work with 4 different types of leathers for their products:

Harness-Belting-Leather2Tumbled-Grain-Leather_1Shrunken-Grain-LeatherExoics-and-luxury

  1. HARNESS BELTING LEATHER
    This leather has a firm, lightly glossy finish that softens with age and use. Extra fat liqueurs are added during the condition
    ing process, creating a smooth surface and appearance. These leathers do not have any surface finish.
  2. SMOOTH TUMBLED GRAIN LEATHER
    This leather is gently tumbled to give it a distinctively soft and rel
    axed hand while at the same time remaining durable and easily standing up to daily use. These natural leathers are treated with only a soft wax finish.
  3. SHRUNKEN GRAIN LEATHER
    This leather is heavily shrunken, producing a textured effect. Only skins with significant character are chosen for this special process.
  4. EXOTIC & LUXURY HIDES
    Frank Clegg also offers a limited selection of exotic leathers. These include alligator, crocodile, ostrich, lizard, python, and other unique options.

RETAILERS
Frank Clegg has several retailers around the globe, but I would like to highlight 3 of them that are located in Sweden.

Engelska-Herr-Sweden-Frank-Clegg
Engelska Herr in Malmö
Linnegatan No.2
Linnegatan No.2 in Gothenburg (also agent for Frank Clegg)
Gabucci
Gabucci Store in Stockholm

THE ZIP-TOP BRIEFCASE
The briefcase I bought myself is a Single Gusset Zip Top Briefcase in their signature Harness Belting leather and the color Chestnut. The same model Barack Obama chose when he needed a briefcase; however he went for the black double gusset model. In my opinion, I think Mr. Obama should consider bringing less paper and chose the single gusset next time =)

Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

OBAMA. HE WANTED A BAG, I GUESS, AND THEY CALLED ME ABOUT IT, AND WE MADE ONE. THEY BOUGHT IT. I DIDN’T GIVE IT TO THEM. – FRANK CLEGG

REVIEW
I have literally used my briefcase every working day since I’ve bought it. I’ve even used it during all my business trips, on airplanes, through security checks and in trains and my car. If I would summarize the briefcase in one word, it would be “fantastic”.

At first the leather was quite dull and didn’t have a lot of character, as all leather basically, regardless if it comes to shoes, bags, or other leather goods. I think that there is a bit of an inflation of using the word “patina”, but I must say that the patina on this briefcase is amazing. The briefcase is starting to get its own character and the chestnut color evolving nicely. Really glad I chose this color, as it works great both with my brown/dark brown shoes and also my tan/chestnut shoes. Having a bit hard time with my black and burgundy shoes, but you can’t have one bag that suits all colors. But almost!

Some of the details that I really love with the briefcase are the handles. As Mr. Clegg said in an interview I’ve read; “The handles are the first thing you come in contact with your briefcase”. They feel solid and the length is very well balanced giving the whole briefcase a solid feeling. Also the zipper has a real nice quality feeling. I think these once are brass plated in copper; easy to open and close and with a good feeling to it.

When it comes to the size, the single gusset, in my opinion looks the best and also is the perfect size. It forces you to think carefully about what you pack in your bag, but at the same time easily fits your laptop, charger, notebooks etc. A bigger briefcase is of course nice, but it gets heavy! So my recommendation is to go for single gusset and carefully consider what you pack.

To summarize my experience with my Frank Clegg briefcase; it’s not cheap but for sure it’s worth every penny. I think this briefcase will be my trusted companion for many years to more, and with proper care, maybe even for my children =) I’m already looking for my next commission from Frank Clegg, and I think that a weekend bag could be exactly what I’m looking for.

Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

Patina evolving nicely

Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

Quality Handles and zipper

Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

The patina is most distinguishing on the handles

Frank Clegg Zip Top Briefcase

The chestnut color goes great with both with my brown brown shoes and also my tan/chestnut shoes.

 

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