From a tightly-knit community of artists in Brooklyn came Maximum Henry, a leather goods brand rooted in quality and traditional craftsmanship. Founded by the Upper-West-Side-native Maximum Henry Cohen in 2008, the brand initially served as an alternative to the surplus of overly-branded, low-quality leather products available at the time. Both daily wear and his bartending career were deteriorating Max’s belts; so after gaining experience in leatherwork through internships in the city, Max decided to create his own—putting design and durability at the forefront.

After belts, Max began to create additional leather goods—bracelets, keychains, chokers, and dog collars; and grew out his team, onboarding a few of his friends from upstate: Jesse Morsberger, Lucas Tromblee, and Giovanni Urgelles. Together in their Greenpoint apartment-studio, the Maximum Henry team hand makes every single item available for sale, sipping Champion Coffee, burning incense, and listening to oldies as they work.

But aside from their simplistic designs, what sets Maximum Henry apart is their detailed and classical production process. From mixing their own custom dyes to polishing and hand-stitching equestrian brass hardware into their leather goods, the brand serves almost as a subconscious refusal of the fast-fashion industry. Max and his team slow things way down, dedicating anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour to create a single piece. By implementing classic leathership practices (and plenty of patience), Maximum Henry creates accessories designed to last for decades. I spent a morning in studio with the Maximum Henry team, and spoke with Max about his design and production process.

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