The concept behind Singapore-based luxury leather goods company Faire Leather Co. was born out of necessity. “My friend Joseph Lor’s family had been in the leather business for over 30 years,” recalls Chief Brand Officer Ryan Choy. “So I asked him why he couldn’t make a bag that had separate compartments for all the small items, like earphones, chargers, cables and keys – all the wires that get tangled up. We weren’t sure if this was a solid idea, so we decided the best way to find out was to start a new company and put it on Kickstarter.”
The rest, as they say, is history. The Bond Travel Briefcase, inspired by 007 and his easily accessible gadgets, was launched in November 2017. It was an instant sell-out. “People appreciated having something aesthetically pleasing that they could use to organize their essentials,” says Joseph Lor, Chief Executive Officer. The attention to detail, the integrity of materials used, along with the elevated aesthetics of the Bond Travel Briefcase catapulted the brand to an aspirational niche in a sophisticated online market.
When the crowdfunding period ended in January, Faire had raised 407,000 Singapore dollars (S$), well over its target. The company, which is co-owned by Tocco Toscano and the Y Ventures Group, also hit S$1,000,000 in sales in under 10 months. With its briefcases retailing at under £350, Faire fulfils its motto of providing “Functional Luxury At A Fair Price”. Every product comes with a box and a dust-bag, a personal note from the founders, a warranty card and an authenticity card.
“These extra details make the consumer feel like the product is an experience, not just a bag purchase,” explains Ryan. As part of the Kickstarter launch, Faire Leather Co. had other offerings like the Card Wallet and The Bond Everyday Padfolio. The response to the first wave of products proved to be fuel for Joseph and Ryan’s passion to create other high-quality products in the form of belts, wallets, lanyard holders and more.
“Going into 2019,” says Joseph, “we plan to launch a backpack for Faire, new designs for Tocco Toscano which are focused on functional fashion for women, as well as a new bespoke leather goods business to meet the demands of personalization. As we grow, the brand is consciously nurturing its core values to maintain the brand ethos through the chaos that comes with expansion.”
By leveraging Faire’s strong online presence, Toscano’s robust offline strengths and more than 30 years of experience, Faire has already ventured into Japan and Taiwan. The successful crowdfunding launches in these markets have put the brand on a busy growth trajectory. Currently available online and at stores in Singapore, Vietnam and New York, Faire is also available in key cities including London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin and Copenhagen.
“We’re feedback-aware and customer-driven,” says Ryan. “On our website we have a chat bot and, when customers are chatting, they’re talking directly to either me or Joseph. We always actively ask for suggestions and criticism. And when we run through a prototype, we organize focus groups and get customer approval on samples by putting them up on our site with the target of achieving a minimum order before going into production. All of this ensures we’re making what people want. The key to our success so far has been a constant dialogue with our customers.”