We've been lucky to have longtime classic leather goods company J.W. Hulme based right here in St. Paul (I just wrote about them in the most recent issue of the magazine)—but in recent years, their company has really taken off in the fashion world with the American Heritage trend, landing shelf space at the legendary Barneys, creating a haute hot pink (or orange) mini-Legacy bag for Anthropologie (Dear Fashion Fairy Godmother, I really, really want one of these!)—even scoring product placements in the movie Jason Segel-Emily Blunt movie"The Five-Year Engagement" and Lena Dunham's much-buzzed- about HBO TV show "Girls."
"It is a little bit of risk for us to go bright," marketing manager Jamie Kuechenmeister told me. "We tend to stick more with heritage leathers and colors. But we wanted to introduce brights into our leathers, kind of like we did for Anthropologie. Laura Smith, our product manager, has a great eye for color and understanding trends, while making them true to our brand."
The result is three products: the mini Legacy bag, an iPad case, and a set of bracelets, decked out in navy blue, orange, and bone calico (cream) leather. "We can pull the orange out, and the navy and the bone calico fit our customer and our brand," she says. Yes, a way of sneaking it in there. I like it. (That's an understatement. I'm kind of head over heels for these.) The mini Legacy and the iPad are two of the top-selling products for the company, so it also expands the brand in areas that customers are already buying. Smart.
You can only get the new Pop Color Block collection at the store in St. Paul or in their online shop—sorry, Barneys. Maybe next time.
J.W. Hulme, 678 W. Seventh St., St. Paul, 651-222-7359