Tucked behind a lush residential street in West Hollywood are the offices of leather goods maker Parabellum. "It has been a busy year," Head Designer Jason Jones tells CH, as he welcomes us with his very old but faithful dog Charlie in tow. He has just returned from yet another trip to New York City. "Growth has been good. It's been about what we expected. We've had a dream roster of our favorite boutiques carrying our product for some time, but the past year has seen some interesting developments for us on a broader scale."
Parabellum first started making wallets and belts out of heavily textured free range American Bison leather and technical ceramic hardware (as in: weapons grade). The business has exploded into a full-blown leather goods company selling at stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's, Colette and Tomorrowland. They have done exclusive collaborations with Oliver Peoples, Blackman Cruz and ICON, which helped them solidify their identity of quality form and function. "We have piqued the interest of the major department stores, which bring new challenges. The department stores definitely bring an interesting juxtaposition of growth potential as well as growing pains. Overall though, we're growing and we're maintaining the pace, so we're happy."
In addition to the retail side of things, Parabellum also caught the eye of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), earning them a finalist consideration for the 2013 CFDA VOGUE Fashion Fund Award. As a part of the nomination, Jones was featured in the new show of the same title, "The Fashion Fund" which followed and challenged the nominees. Between taping the show and managing Parabellum's production, he found himself in a whirlwind, "It's the most wonderful, horrible experience ever. I haven't found any time to relax yet. Quite the opposite unfortunately."
Although Jones and Parabellum were the crowd favorite, they didn't score the award this year, but their future it still bright. "We just got the online store up and running. Working with lots of new material, new products, some interesting new partnerships and collaborations we have on deck. We're starting to look at implementing some really tech features into existing and new products. We see wearable tech starting to emerge in the luxury segment, so we're exploring that. We also just produced a beautiful dressage saddle. For the most part, we're just carrying the momentum we have and navigating the market on our own terms. We're excited," Jones says.
Parabellum's collection is available online.
Images by Parabellum