Skip to main content

Get Great Leather Goods without the Luxury Markup with Linjer

Linjer Watch
Roman Khan and his business and life partner Jennifer Chong launched their leather line Linjer on Indiegogo three years ago and racked up $140,000 worth of pre-orders for their Soft Briefcase (retail price: $489) in about 40 days. Still following their initial tagline of “Fine leather goods without the luxury markup,” the pair have found great success–2,000 men are currently waiting for the briefcase to be restocked–in their direct to consumer online shop. In addition to bags and small leather goods, the brand, which is named after the Norwegian word for “lines” in honor of its minimalistic design aesthetic, now also makes some very handsome watches.

The recently told me all about Linjer while visiting New York from their home base in Italy.

Related Videos
Linjer bag leather

What’s the story behind Linjer?

Chong: Roman is from Olso and we spend a lot of time there. I would say that the spirit of our brand is very Norwegian. We got our start a few years ago and it came of a personal need of Roman. He was working at an office job and he needed a leather briefcase for work. We was looking for a very high quality one made with vegetable tanned leather that didn’t have a big logo on the front and wasn’t like $2,000. And it was impossible to find. I had quit my job a few months prior and wanted to start a shoe company so I had learned a lot about leather and the supply chain and how luxury brands mark up their leather goods ten or twenty times. We decided to try to make that briefcase ourselves.

What makes the bag so special?

Khan: The retail price is $489. It has a padded laptop sleeve and various compartments. It’s really simple and it ages with time to a nice patina. The leather doesn’t need piping so it is really sleek. It’s extremely hard to stitch versus piping where you almost glue it together. And our bags come with a lifetime warranty.

The pivotal moment for us with the men’s collection was that we got picked up by some Finnish and Japanese blogs and we won the Best Leather Briefcase by Wirecutter.

Linjer bag leather

Tell me about the other bag options.

Chong: For men the Soft Briefcase is front and center but we also have a Portfolio and both of them come in four different colors. We also have small goods – about four different types of wallets.

And now you’re selling watches too?

Khan: Last summer we launched our watches. We have three sizes. They retail for $249. We did preorders for them and we got a million dollars in preorders for them! We’ve made a watch that is inspired by the Oslo Opera House. There is a fjord that goes into the city and in that Fjord they built the Opera House. It goes into the water and the ceiling is made of Italian marble and it has this really gentle 45-degree slope and you can walk on the rooftop. We took that design and incorporated it into the dial. There’s a slope there.

It took off with the design community and architects and it has been a mega success. The watches are made from Italian vegetable tanned leather, crystal sapphire glass, Swiss movements and a steel case. And they come with interchangeable straps.

What can we expect from you next?

Chong: We are launching five new watch models because right now we only have two. We’re going to have two automatics and one of them is going to be really cool with a power reserve. Then we have an Ultraslim series that is going to be five or six millimeters thick that’s also quite cool. Then there’s a chronograph and another ladies’ watch. We’ll launch them in mid October. They will be around the same price, $249, as the ones we already have but the automatics will obviously be more expensive. But we are hoping to retail one for less than $500. And the power reserve one want to keep under $1,000.

Linjer watch

How often do you release new merchandise?

Khan: We don’t release a lot of new styles. We’re more of a design studio that anything else. We like making beautiful objects and we wait until they are perfect until they launch.

Who is the Linjer customer?

Khan: We’re very big outside of the U.S. Only a third of our sales are here. A lot of our sales in are markets like Japan, Korea, Australia, and Europe where men are more comfortable walking around with something that is less military looking. I feel like the guy who buys our bags actually takes in an tapers his leg opening when he buys a pant or buys a tie from Drake’s and follows The Armoury on Instagram.

Chong: A think a common thread with everybody is an appreciation for quality.

Editors' Recommendations

How to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day — style tips you need to look your best
Your St. Patrick's Day style guide
style tips for holiday party outfits green and tan

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, kidnapped and brought to the island as an enslaved person at 16. He eventually escaped but returned later and is believed to have brought Christianity with him. One thousand years later, he is still celebrated on St. Patrick's Day, the accepted date of his death, March 17. And how do we celebrate it? By wearing the color green on St. Patrick's Day, of course. Wearing the color symbolizes the patriotism of the entire island.

Now, whether you are Irish or not, you can show your support for the island by donning green on St. Patty's Day. However, that doesn't mean you have to go all out and look like you jumped right off the box of Lucky Charms. Here are a few tips to help you celebrate the patron saint of Ireland without sacrificing looking fantastic.

Read more
Freezing jeans shouldn’t really be a thing — here’s why
Why you should stop putting your jeans in the freezer

Recently, I reached into a friend’s freezer for an ice sphere and came across a pair of neatly folded jeans. This sight took me by surprise not because it was unusual, but because the practice felt so dated. For those that might not have heard of the practice, the idea behind freezing your best jeans is that freezing denim kills bacteria from well-worn jeans without actually having to wash them and affect the fade or overall integrity of the denim.

When did freezing jeans become a thing?
Jeans have been around since 1871. These popular pants were invented by Jacob W. Davis and patented by Davis and Levi Strauss. Though people have anecdotally frozen their denim for years, more as an odor-removing process than anything else, Levi Strauss actually pushed this practice into the mainstream in 2011. In 2014, Levi Strauss' CEO Chip Bergh repeated longstanding advice from the jean company; don't wash your jeans, freeze them instead. Bergh's reminder was more of a conservation effort to get people to freeze their jeans to stretch out the time between washes.

Read more
These 4 men made the Oscars more stylish with the best looks of the night
Here are the best looks from the 2023 Academy Awards
Harry Shum Jr. standing with James Hong wearing an eastern inspired tuxedo

Just like the Super Bowl has the halftime show, anticipated commercials, and other events to add to the event, the Oscars has the red carpet and the after-party. While we look forward to seeing the winners of the year's best in film and listening to their speeches, we first watch them arrive and walk the red carpet to show off some of the year's best looks from the biggest stars and most prominent designers.

From the casual look of Pharrell Williams in his 2019 camo jacket and shorts to the classic, clean-cut looks of stars like Michael Caine and George Clooney, you can find some of the most influential people showcasing the best looks of the year. The 95th Academy Awards were no different. Here are the best looks from the red carpet that made the men the talk of the night.

Read more