(AUTHOR’S NOTE: The product featured here was paid for by yours truly, and as such – this post will be written from a customer’s point of view. All opinions are solely that of my own, and I did not receive any form of compensation in the process of writing this blog entry. The pictures of the finished product taken on the grass are from Mikey Quijano.)
I wasn’t much into accessories back then, but I started to stock up on them now that I stepped up my wardrobe. As with any other man, I can’t leave home without wearing a proper belt—leather, canvas, braided, or otherwise—to keep my pants up. A belt is something you will use on almost a daily basis, so it’s important to find one that will last long. However, I wanted something different as most belts sold in malls come in brown and black with limited designs; other colors are rare. Legitimate bespoke belts definitely last long with a wide range of colors and designs suited to your liking, but they will definitely burn a hole in your pocket.
Enter WOLFE+HUNTR, a new Filipino brand that makes hand-crafted leather accessories like harnesses, bow ties, bracelets, and more. They offer trendy pieces perfect for the millennial man, describing their style as “clean and classic, with the right amount of wild.” I first heard of the brand during a bazaar at UP Town Center last March. Seeing their booth, I got one of their business cards as I wanted to have something custom-made. Good thing I did, as I chanced upon them again during the April Saturday X Future Market in Escolta. This time, I took the chance to inquire about their custom work.
I talked to Mikey, WOLFE+HUNTR’s co-founder and one-half of the tandem behind the brand. Turns out, they also accept custom leather work—belts included. I then arranged a meeting with him the next Saturday at Starbucks Katipunan for the custom project’s details. The meeting pushed through, and I gave him a belt buckle plus a sample belt to base the new one on. See, I have an old belt at home that has cracked with everyday use – but the buckle can still be used, only needing some metal polish. It would be a waste to throw the entire thing away, so I saved the buckle.
I chose a charcoal black leather with a matte finish. Mikey explained the process and how long it will take for the belt to be made. Their rates for custom work are variable, and subject to the availability of their leather stocks. Plus, client specifications and requests are put into consideration—even for this one. It’s unlike the regular belts in department stores since it’s a hand-crafted piece. There’s a certain charm to customized products that makes it stand out from the mass-produced ones; you can’t find that elsewhere. Plus, WOLFE+HUNTR is a proudly home-grown brand; every purchase supports local talent.
Admittedly, I wasn’t able to follow it up regularly due to being busy with life. In addition, Mikey and I only chatted on Facebook so I wasn’t able to view the product in person. However, he sent me three pictures of the finished product last June and asked me when will I be claiming it. I was only able to get the finished belt last month, during the July Saturday X Future Market.
Okay, on to my thoughts about this. I loved how the old buckle got a new lease on life. It previously looked hopeless, but was revived this time—thanks to their skilled hands. The charcoal black leather looked dark gray with some white specks under white light, owing to the dull matte finish. This finish gave a certain “grip” to the belt that made it difficult to wear at first, but ensured a snug fit all throughout the day. Regular belts have a glossy finish, and you can easily see the crease lines; not on this belt by WOLFE+HUNTR.
Since the top-grain leather material was rather thin and had a chance to get ripped with everyday use, Mikey suggested using two pieces bonded back-to-back and sewn for extra strength. They did an exceptional job on this area—including the edges to prevent it from splitting. They followed the length and end design of the sample belt I gave, though I would have a preferred a tapered end. But I didn’t mind; it was already exceptional that way. All in all, I’ll give them a 10/10 with emphasis on craftsmanship, design, and price point.
If you want leather accessories to make you stand out in the urban jungle, WOLFE+HUNTR is for you. Prim and proper like a hunter, but with a dash of wild. Do check out their Facebook page, Twitter profile, and Instagram profile, while you’re at it. For custom work, orders, and other inquiries – you may contact them at (0917) 591-30-76 or (0998) 571-32-85. Alternatively, you can send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until the next post.