Back once again with the Yuketen Sandals. The Semi Chukkas to be precise. Walking a fine line somewhere between Maximus Meridius, The Dude, and Forest Gump, these good time sandals are my choice for summertime meandering. This pair were purchased from the very helpful folks at Denmark’s Støy Munkholm who are the only European retailer carrying these Yuketen models (the rest having all gone to the Asian market). They have both styles available on their online store. You should also check this beautifully presented video giving a tour of Støy Munkholm’s store in Aarhus. I’m going to be sure to check it out if I ever find myself in that part of the world.
Back to the sandals and I went for the Semi Chukka in the end as they looked a little more robust than the Braided style. Interestingly Yuketen are very clear to point out that these styles are made by artisans in Mexico. I know they produce a few styles in Mexico including their very premium Cordovan Longwings Brogues (Goodyear welted leather sole with stunning allover brogue patterning) and it resonates with me as a customer that they are so proud and transparent about their places of production despite a consumer stigma aimed toward various countries. They would not produce anything there unless it absolutely met their exacting standards. Yet another reason I really believe in Yuketen as a brand. All I need now is for Summer to turn up so I can finally break them out proper.
A new bag landed on my doorstep the other week direct from Hermosa Beach’s finest. I posted about this bag a few weeks ago as it’s currently available from Oi Polloi in the Palomino colourway, but I’ve been holding out to get my hands on the Brown version myself.
Words really cannot describe how ridiculously soft the deerskin leather is. Those familiar with Yuketen or Quoddy Boots and the deerskin used for the tongues will have some idea. However, with such a luxuriously soft hand comes some negative aspects…
The leather is totally naked with no protective finish which means it’s open day for any dirt, stains and scratches that might be lying around the corner. I’ve already experienced the devastation of finding a black smudge on one side, hoping it was just water, but it never drying away (incidentally water also marks it as I found trying to sponge the smudge away!). I’ve sprayed mine with a protective leather spray, but it’s had little to no effect.
As Yuketen have informed me, there are two approaches as to how one might handle this: Approach 1). Obsessively guard and protect your bag so that it never comes in to contact with ANYTHING – or – Approach 2). Do not give a fuck and embrace whatever is coming it’s way until it has enough marks so that they appear uniform.
I’ve decided to adopt Approach 2. Otherwise I might as well be using a Faberge Egg for my daily carry. I can tell you the black smudge has already soaked into the leather and looks a part of it’s normal patina.
Which brings me on to the general appearance of the leather as indicated in the note above that comes with the bag. One of the most beautiful things about this bag is all the markings in the material from the animal’s existence. I’ve included some leather marking identifiers below I originally came across on Die Workwear! from the Lotuff and Clegg website (worth clicking). The two featured here I can certainly see traces of on my own bag.
The danger of marks and stains aside this bag is a stunning piece of luggage, packed with loads of useful features (large tote handles, an adjustable carry strap, brass buckles and clasps, brass key holder, internal lining with useful internal pockets, and press studs to make the bag smaller) and it can carry A LOT. It could certainly be used as a weekend bag for the lighter traveller. For those with a care free attitude looking for a high quality tote with a point of difference look no further than this.