Benchmark Bags was founded with the philosophy that leather luggage should be stylish, functional, and reasonably priced.

A few years ago I wanted a good-looking, well-made leather briefcase. I needed something that was appropriate for work but casual enough for off-hours. Luxury bags were close to what I wanted, but tended to have too much bulk and I couldn't justify spending over $500. I looked at bags made of other materials—nylon, canvas, and synthetics—but there is something unique about a leather briefcase that they couldn't match: the variation in the grain, the rich color, and the way it ages. I wanted to find out why I couldn't get the bag I had in mind.

I discovered—without any surprise—that leather is more expensive than most other materials, but digging deeper I found that demand for leather goods has grown dramatically, while the supply hasn't caught up, resulting in price increases. On top of that, the traditional manufacturer-wholesale-retail model inflates  prices even further.

The first step I took was to design and prototype to find the right balance of look and features. Quality materials: full grain leather, brushed chrome hardware. Modern style: clean design that complements today’s business look, but casual enough to go to happy hour.

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