Though the inspiration to start First & Company was born from the custom camera trunk that founders Charles Truong & Chris Thompson created for photographer Quang Le, the inspiration for that trunk was quite clearly the vintage luggage that one might find on a hulking ocean liner as it crossed the Pacific, destined for some Far East port.
From the custom camera case — which the nascent brand will still make to order — the Voyager Collection was developed. Handsewn in California from premium hand-colored leathers, the three-profile line harks back to travel’s Golden Age, when the trip wasn’t some hassle in an airplane’s business class, but rather a bold adventure in a Union-Pacific coach.
But enough romance. The bags speak for themselves. Aside from the camera case (a hefty, structured Gatsby-style trunk with heavily reinforced leather corners), there’s a beautiful metal-framed weekender ($640), with a body of chocolate-hued nubuck strapped into thirds by contrast, vegetable-tanned leather thongs. The duffle is fully lined in burgundy micro-suede, and boasts burnished antique brass hardware for an amazing patina right off the shelf.
Or, dip your toe in the vintage water with the Voyager Explorer Messenger ($580) a handsome rucksack done from the same beautifully contrasting leathers. This piece is business-ready thanks to an internal tech sleeve and a quick-access magnetic flap.