My Quest for the Perfect Wallet: From Disappointment to Creation

PEGAI Malcolm Wallet Review by Tanner Leatherstein

Have you ever dreamt of the perfect wallet? One that combines exquisite materials, flawless craftsmanship, and a design that reflects your unique style? I embarked on that very quest, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy. In fact, it led me on a surprising adventure that ultimately ended with a wallet, unlike anything I'd ever seen at a luxury brand store.

Hermes Calvi: The Simplicity Paradox

My first acquisition was the Hermes Calvi. The wallet boasted incredible leather, specifically chevre, which I absolutely loved. However, the design was too simplistic for my taste. It was essentially two pieces of leather folded into a shape and locked with a snap. I was looking for a wallet that showcased artisanal sophistication, but the Calvi fell short in this department.

Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer: Monogram Overload

Next, I tried the Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer. The leather quality and smart design initially impressed me, but the excessive LV monogram was a deal-breaker. It felt too tacky for my style, and given its price, I expected more subtlety and elegance.

Bottega Veneta: The Deceptive Craftsmanship

Finally, I turned to Bottega Veneta, hoping their reputation for intricate design and fine craftsmanship would meet my expectations. The wallet looked and felt great at first, but when I dissected it for a review video, I discovered the exterior was made from split leather covered with polyurethane (PU) instead of the advertised fine calfskin. This revelation was the most disappointing of all, shattering my trust in big luxury brands.

Taking Matters into My Own Hands

Frustrated by these experiences, I decided to create my dream wallet myself. My journey led me to the Tuscany region in Italy, where I selected the finest natural artisan vegetable-tanned leathers that are often avoided by large brands due to their preference for standardized materials suitable for mass production.

I chose 21 different leather articles to experiment with and designed a functional wallet with great leather inside and out. To ensure longevity, I opted for the English seam technique, known for its durability and resistance to edge paint failure. However, crafting this wallet consistently proved challenging for my team due to the complex process and required craftsmanship.

The Final Product: Unveiling a Masterpiece

To overcome these challenges, I traveled to Ubrique, Spain, renowned for its skilled leather craftsmen. After several months and multiple trips across Europe, I finally received my first batch of wallets.

Upon inspection, the workmanship was flawless. The RFID-blocking fabric was neatly placed, and the leather was beautifully skived and split. The vegetable-tanned bull hide showcases stunning full-grain leather beneath its removed semi-aniline finish. The leather itself is 100% vegetable-tanned, burning like wood and leaving a black charcoal residue.

For the inner lining, we've chosen a chrome-tanned cowhide with aniline finish. Interestingly, acetone doesn't reveal any finish on the pocket linings, suggesting they are completely natural, aniline-dyed naked calfskin. While the vegetable-tanned leather takes center stage, the black and orange linings are crafted from high-quality chrome-tanned leather.

The Result: A Wallet That Meets Every Expectation

After meticulous planning and execution, the initial cost estimate for this wallet has solidified now that all the final figures are in. The beautiful leather itself comes in at just over $22 per square foot for the entire wallet, and the expert craftsmanship in Ubrique adds about $38. In total, the materials and labor for this piece amount to around $60. We originally priced the wallet based on production costs in Turkey, where it's slightly cheaper. However, to give you a chance to experience this exceptional Spanish craftsmanship at a special price, I'm holding the price at $169 for now. This is a great opportunity to own a truly unique piece. The wallet is now available on my website in nine different color options.


I'm incredibly happy with the result. It took about a year and a half to get to this point, but I've been using the prototypes for over a year and couldn't be more satisfied with what we've created. If you're looking for a wallet that combines exquisite leather, masterful craftsmanship, and timeless design, check out our collection.

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