Getting Out & About with
STUART & LAUEditorial and photos provided by Stuart & Lau Model: John Kim, Mint Management
Stuart and Lau is a men’s briefcase and luggage brand, based out of Hong Kong and New York. Co-founded by two long-time friends, Matthew Stuart Janney and Jimmy Lau, over a shared appreciation for men’s products characterized by smart, purpose-driven design and timeless style, they launched their eponymous brand this year.
The road from inception to release began in Shanghai, where both experienced the lives of peripatetic expatriates, traveling across cities in Asia for work and exploration. After parting ways for Hong Kong and New York, they discovered that the rhythm of their lives remained unchanged, despite the differences in setting (Matt lives in Hong Kong, while Jimmy is in New York): busy days were still spent on the move, dashing from one place to another, working from cafés, and carrying a day’s worth of items in tow. Invariably, their attention turned towards the need for a smarter briefcase when musing over how their daily journeys were unnecessarily impinged by poorly designed bags – often too light on function, too heavy on fashion, or just plain too heavy.
Recounting their original motivation for creating Stuart and Lau, “we were constantly moving around the city for meetings and social activities, which meant our daily carry items increased, as well. But most bags we used did more to weigh or slow us down” explained Jimmy.
Matthew provided a broader context for the brand’s creation, “we recognized there’s this new normality for men, whereby busy lives are led in cities defined by motion and facilitated by mobility. We wanted to address these needs, while equally delivering on style.”
Asking themselves what features would enable their movements through the day to be more efficient, they focused on a number of functions in response to their urban settings. The result is an inaugural collection of briefcases and weekenders constructed from ultra-lightweight, weatherproof fabrics, while injected with thoughtful features for the man on the move.
Directly addressing their desire for greater economy of movement, both briefcases and weekenders feature dedicated external umbrella holders; hence, smartly eliminating the need to hold an umbrella throughout the day. And perhaps their most clever bit of design features a luggage tag with its own concealed pen and stylus attached–added in response to countless trips through customs, when pens conveniently disappear. Finally, incorporating rich vegetable-tanned leather–sourced directly from Chicago-based tannery, The Horween Leather Company–in all the right touchpoints completes the collection’s timeless style, regardless of geography or moment.
Asked where they see the brand in three to five years, Matt responds “we’d like to see our briefcases and luggage equally at home in the hands of a customer in Hong Kong, New York and any city in between, where frenzied motion is a part of daily life but a man’s daily carry ought to be the least of his concerns.” In the meantime, Stuart and Lau’s first collection is available online and includes free global shipping.
Please visit us at http://stuartandlau.com