Momortaro with Wallet

Last week the Trunk Club creative team toured the Horween Leather Factory. Our photographer said he’s never seen me as happy as the two hours we spent with Nick Horween, walking through the factory from hide house to front office, past untold thousands of cordovan shells. (Although cordovan accounts for a relatively small percentage of Horween’s overall product offering, the factory was filled with the stuff during our tour, as workers processed heavy shipments of French horse hides.)

As we wrapped up our visit, I met one of the gents behind Ashland Leather. Our conversation ended with me taking home the ultimate keepsake: a Fat Herbie shell cordovan wallet.

From what I understand, Ashland originally hoped that the Herbie would work as a collaboration with Momotaro, since Momotaro had previously used Horween shell cordovan for a jeans patch—like this collab with Context. When the Ashland x Momotaro prospect didn’t pan out, the Fat Herbie went out into the world on its own.

As it happens, I recently became the proud owner of a pair of Momotaro jeans. Since getting them hemmed by Luke at Mildblend this past weekend, I haven’t worn any other jeans. These Momotaros are incredibly dark, and there’s been a good bit of crocking. Basically, I’ve left indigo in my wake throughout the entire house, from breakfast bar to couch. (Monica isn’t pleased.) The dye transfer has also accelerated the transformation of the Herbie’s appearance.

I took these photos after three days of my new jeans and wallet getting to know one another:

It brings me no end of joy knowing that, in my own small, way I was able to finally bring Ashland and Momotaro quite literally together.

To be sure, the Herbie can give just as well as it takes. When I took out my business cards the other day, I noticed that the Horween stamp on the interior of the wallet had left a mark of its own.

My previous wallet was made from Tyvek, and while novel, I’d known for a long time that I wanted an upgrade. I’d actually seen the Fat Herbie at Independence, but held off on the purchase. I’m happy that I did, as things fell together perfectly, with me able to get it directly from Ashland Leather at Horween, as a souvenir on the best field trip I’ve ever had in my life (no offense to my third-grade teacher Mrs. Strausbaugh; I mean, the Bob Evans farm was nice and all, but c’mon).

Here’s to great things that go great together, whether peanut butter and chocolate, or insanely dark Japanese indigo and leather from a horse’s ass.

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