Yoojeong Chae is a Korean leather Artisan based in Beijing. She initially started as a fashion designer with a degree from Tsinghua University of Design. She started her career at Escada in Germany, which is where she found her passion for leather work. She then decided to do her leather work training at the renowned Scuola di Cuoio in Florence, Italy.
Throughout her career, she developed a sense and dedication for high-quality materials. She uses highest-grade leather from Italian & French tanneries and extra durable yarn from France. She makes all of her products at her studio, which is located in the art district Cao Chang Di in Beijing.
We teamed up with Yoojeong and designed a passport case that she made. We chose a vegetable tanned leather from the Badalassi Carlo Tannery in Italy. It is a milled grain leather—Milling is a process that allows individual hides to produce its own unique grain. It’s a whiskey color that will get darker and more beautiful over time as it gets a natural patina from sunlight and human touch. The lining is also a vegetable tanned leather from Italy that has a natural eggshell color and “cracked eggshell“ appearance. There is a contrast stitch that matches the inner lining closely that gives it a nice detailed look. All of the stitching is ’saddle stitched’ by hand which is superior to lock stitching by machines. If a thread breaks the saddle stitching will keep it together where the lockstitch will unravel and come apart.
The process of making a passport case by hand requires time and effort. Add on top of that quality leather and tasteful design that will look better over the years and you have a beautiful product that is timeless for the frequent world-traveler.