October 13, 2015

#SupportLokalPH: KiN Leather Collection

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

KiN Leather Collection

KiN products are made of genuine leather, locally handcrafted by the best Filipino artisans. (MNL,PH)

(Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kinleather)

After extensively using my Exonomad backpack, even as an office bag, I finally decided to invest in a proper leather shoulder bag. I've been seeing a lot of local makers showcasing their own leather collection, and the following considerations come to mind while trying to choose which one to support:
  1. Budget. Leather bags aren't cheap, and handmade leather bags are of no exception. Most of the bags I see online range from 3,000 PhP to 5,000 PhP. The only branded bag I own is a medium-sized Longchamp Le Pliage, which I bought some five years ago at 4,000 PhP (I think). To have a real leather bag at the same price? Not bad.
  2. Leather type. There are four basic types of leather used in making accessories: Full grain, Top grain, Genuine leather, and Bonded leather. In a nutshell, the difference between these types is the layer of hide used to produce leather. Full grain leather comes from the topmost hide (closest to the hair) and is the sturdiest, rawest, and most expensive type of leather. Top grain leather comes from a layer slightly below, further processed to make it smoother and more uniform-looking. Top grain leather is less sturdy than full grain leather, but is less blemished. Genuine leather comes from further lower layers, while Bonded leather are made from leather scraps pressed together. Both may have the look and feel of real leather, but the quality is significantly inferior.
  3. Lining. I've noticed that makers using high-quality leather rarely line their creations, as they want to showcase the characteristics of their high-grade leather. However, leather stretches and sags over time, thus unlined leather has the tendency to succumb to the weight and gravity due to overpacking.
  4. Silhouette. In general, I was searching for a bag with shoulder straps. Considerations would include if the bag is structured or slouchy, how tall, how wide, and how long would the straps be.

Then, I came across KiN Leather Collection while browsing in Instagram.


During that time (even until now), KiN Leather Collection is having a bundle sale on two of its tote bags, the Colorblock Tote and the Medusa Tote. Their's is buy a Colorblock Tote and get 50% off on the Medusa Tote. Budget consideration, check.

Each KiN bag comes with its own drawstring case,
made of breathable fabric.

I was looking for a bag that can be used both casually and in the office. KiN Leather Collection sells mostly tote bags, which I think is classy enough to use in the office, and laid-back enough to use during the weekends. Silhouette consideration, check. 

The Colorblock Tote is a slouchy tote bag,
fabric-lined with detachable base.

This tote bag is made of soft, slouchy leather with sturdy handles.


KiN Leather Collection can only be contacted through email, so there is some waiting time between inquiries.  Furthermore, payment transactions are done via bank deposit. Because of the way they do business, I had the impression that the online shop is still on its crude stages, which is weird for me because as I was back-reading the posts, their oldest post was already two years ago. In fairness, response time is pretty fast.

I was able to retrieve my order a few days after my payment, and the first thing I noticed as I unboxed my purchase is that the bags were larger than I expected. Which is a good thing, as I was able to transfer almost all of my everyday essentials to this bag. There were a few items that I decided to take out, for fear that my bag will wear down quickly. Still, I was happy that the bags were lined (the Colorblock Tote is lined with fabric while the Medusa Tote is lined with leather) for extra support. Lining consideration, check.

The Medusa Tote is larger than the Coloblock Tote,
and made with more structured leather.

It has a magnetic closure and tie-in straps,
and can easily carry up to 5kgs.

Their site does not say what time of leather they used for the bags, but I think that these bags are at least Genuine leather. I just need to learn how to care for these bags, so they would last more than my Longchamp, haha. Hopefully, leather bags aren't high maintenance accessories. Leather type consideration, check (with consideration that this is my first experience in buying a leather bag).

KiN Leather Collection's clearance sale has been going on for quite some time, so I'm not sure if they're closing shop or clearing stock in preparation for new ones. There are still a few pieces up for grabs, so if you're interested in purchasing a locally-made leather bag, you might want to check them out.

3 comments:

  1. Does the Medusa Green bag have pockets inside for keys or mobile? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Yes, there are two inside pockets for the Medusa Green bag, one for each side. The inside pocket fits keys and mobile phones.

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