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Passavant and Lee No. 25 Briefcase

A luxurious, modern take on a traditional British accessory

by David Graver in Style on 10 December 2013

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Working with craftsmen across the US and the UK, friends Jon Passavant and Benj Lee have designed a stunning new men's accessory that harkens back to British heritage pieces, while being forward—and a tad eccentric. The No. 25 briefcase features a lock from the oldest foundry in England, an aircraft-grade aluminum hardshell and Horween leather. The sum is greater than all the individual high-end components; blending vintage inspiration with a modern authenticity that garnered the design duo a multinational design patent.

It took three years for the team—working under the atelier name Passavant and Lee—to find the materials that matched their vision and to refine the design. The aluminum has been hydroformed in California, slowly pressed and then cut, lending to its unique shape. All the aluminum then undergoes an anti-aging process which, in fact, does the opposite: It ages the briefcase 50 years, causing the thin metal to harden rock-solid. After being hand-polished, the entirety of the briefcase is assembled in Manhattan.

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"The design process and formation almost felt like archaeological discovery," Passavant explained to CH. Lee wanted to create a product loyal to his Central London roots, while Passavant wanted to incorporate his own American upbringing. From the initial sketches, all the way through the briefcase's completion they ran into many obstacles that fueled further ingenuity. Ultimately, they've created a luxury item that is as functional as it is beautiful. While this briefcase is the company's launch product, the pair has a view in mind to develop many more. The No. 25 is available online for $2,850.

Images courtesy of Passavant and Lee

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