TKC Profile: Rae & David Liu

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TKC Profile: Rae & David Liu

After having spent time at Alexander Wang and Google, Rae and David Liu, the sister-and-brother duo behind the direct-to-consumer luxury leather brand Leatherology, joined forces to create a collection of luxury leather goods in a variety of colors and with endless ways to personalize. With high quality leather at a fraction of the traditional price, their personalized bags (hello hand-painted monograms!) are a must-have of the fashion set and can be seen on the arms of just about anyone in the know. Needless to say, Leatherology is having a moment.

TKC:  Our favorite thing about Leatherology is the price point. The leather and construction of each of the pieces is luxury but the price point is approachable. How are you able to achieve this seemingly perfect balance?
David: We love the price point too! It’s really a combination of factors. Our direct-to-consumer business model bypasses the traditional wholesale structure that typically requires an additional 50% markup, therefore allowing us to pass these savings onto our customers. Additionally, many traditional brands put a significant premium on their brand name and place a large additional markup on their products to account for this, but Leatherology isn’t about this. Our first and last thought is instead customer satisfaction and making products for every person, not just the 1%.

TKC:  Why leather? Where did the idea for the company come from?
Rae: High-quality leather epitomizes our design ethos of “Simple Everyday Luxury”. It’s a beautiful material to work with yet also very durable and long-lasting. Coming from a background in high fashion, I was eager to build a brand that focused on longevity and timelessness. We believe luxury shouldn’t have to be cost prohibitive or revolve solely around “of the moment” fashion. We don’t chase fads and trends. Instead, we want our products to be as relevant in 20 years as they are today.

TKC:  We know if we had to work with our family members, we would probably end up spending more time in the therapists chair than at work. How do you work together to create such a harmonious collection?
David: Who says we don’t spend time in therapist chairs? It takes a lot of disharmony to create harmony! Like any siblings, Rae and I don’t see eye to eye on everything. However, we’re both extremely passionate about our business and love what we do. We challenge one another yet at the same time, we’re always there to support one another.

TKC:  Do you have a favorite piece?
Rae: I’ve been using our new Meadow Mini Crossbody every day for about 6 months straight. It fits my phone, passport, 5-8 credit cards, cash, car keys, and even a food pouch for my toddler. Basically, it fits everything I need in a super lightweight package and lets me walk around hands free. Plus, it’s got my hand-painted monogram!
David: The Parker Backpack. It’s the perfect travel companion, and I take it with me everywhere I go. The leather is super soft and lightweight, making it comfortable to wear all day.

TKC:  Did you consider calling the brand anything else and/or how did you arrive at the name?
Rae: We batted around lots of names, but we ultimately felt that Leatherology hit at the core of what we have always strived to be accomplish as a brand. “Ology” means “study of” and aligns with how we created and continue to manage the business. We’re always iterating, studying and researching ways to improve our products. Because we focus on leather, it allows us to innately know the articles and make better assortment and product decisions.

TKC:  How would you describe your personal style?
Rae: Easy, comfortable and unfussy. If I could wear the same thing every day without looking as obvious about it as Steve Jobs, I would.
David: What she said. I like to wear clothes that can easily be dressed up and down for any situation, whether I’m in a meeting, at a bar or on an overnight flight.

TKC:  Day to day, what are you wearing?  Do you have a work uniform of sorts?
Rae: Jeans, a chambray shirt or white Everlane tee, and a pair of white Vans.
David: Black jeans, grey t-shirt and a pair of Nike Roshe One’s.

TKC:  Is there a particular designer or look that you tend to favor?
Rae: I will always have a soft spot for Alexander Wang given my background. His designs are effortlessly chic with just the right amount of edge. I also love classic, minimalist brands like The Row and Céline.
David: My everyday style is pretty casual and pared down. I prefer brands like Acne, COS, Wooyoungmi, Saturday Surf and Uniqlo.

TKC:  On the flipside, are there any trends that you absolutely loathe?
Rae: Big logos and lots of hardware. Anything I look at, I ask myself, would I still want to be wearing that 2 years from now? If the answer is no, I avoid it.
David: I’m not a big fan of flashy and expensive designer sneakers.

TKC:  If you could only buy one item this Fall, what would it be?
Rae: A nice pair of mid-heel suede slip-ons. That or a Japanese maple tree for my backyard!
David: I’m wrapping up new home renovations and would love a mattress from Japanese brand, Airweave.

TKC:  What is one accessory that is safe to buy on a budget?
Rae: Baby clothes! My one year old daughter grows out of everything I buy her so quickly.
David: Sunglasses, because I’ve lost every pair I’ve ever owned.

TKC:  One worth splurging on?
Rae: A cashmere coat in a timeless silhouette that can be worn year after year.
David: A classic watch.

TKC:  Name one beauty product you couldn’t live without.
Rae: Facial Moisturizing Lotion from Hokoroku Susui, a small Japanese skincare brand I discovered on my last trip to Tokyo.
David: Āesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol. It helps me get through red-eye and long-haul flights.

TKC:  What is the last song you had playing on your iPod/iPhone?
Rae: River by Leon Bridges.
David: I Dare You by The xx.

TKC:  Coffee or tea?
Rae: Coffee.
David: Definitely coffee…and at least 3 cups a day.

TKC:  Instagram or Snapchat?
Rae: Instagram.
David: Instagram.

TKC:  In high school you would have been voted most likely to…
Rae: …not move back to Dallas.
David: …not move back to Dallas.

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Our first and last thought is instead customer satisfaction and making products for every person, not just the 1%.

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all products are by Leatherology

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