An American-made Weekender
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Chris and Kirk Bray are the founders of leather-goods purveyor Billykirk. Using domestic hardware, leather sourced from stateside tanneries and the help of Amish artisans, they craft classic American designs that only get better with age.
Tennessee-born brothers Chris
and Kirk started Billykirk while they were both living in Los Angeles. The
name Billykirk comes from Kirk’s full name: William Kirkland.
“Our father called me Billykirk,” he says. “Southerners have a thing for
melding together first and middle names.” The guys learned the art of leather
making by apprenticing with a third-generation craftsman named Arnold Arons for three years before moving to the East Coast. Now, their Jersey City
workshop is where much of the hand stitching and finishing is done. “We’ve always been intrigued by leather and how it changes
over time,” says Chris, who points out that often something as simple as a hook
or a buckle will inspire a design.