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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Smitten But Needing Some More Love From Vianel - A Review Of A Purchase From Vianel New York

I really like Vianel . I found them on Instagram a while back and I have been meaning to try out their wares for some time. The eternal problem facing wallets for me is that credit cards and membership cards can vary between countries and so too can currency. The Australian dollar notes, as many of you who have ventured here would know, are made of polymer and are a unique size very different from the Euro, Sterling or Greenback. Accordingly the hunt for great wallets is a tiring pursuit since the brands that make the best products such as Hermes and Smythson often concentrate on wallets for currencies where they will most be used. The only place I have found for great Australian wallets is DiCroco in Darwin which used to hold a store in Sydney but no longer does.

For this reason I was attracted to Vianel because they seemed to understand that men want something sleek and made of a nice quality leather but finished in a manner which was more 2016 than for a man who was trying to fit all sorts of currencies in his wallet.

I purchased what was called their V1 wallet during their sample sale. The wallet is made very well and the quality of the leather is as good as that which is in my Hermes card holder. However, I don't wish to see Vianel go out of business so I offer them my constructive criticism.

Firstly, the box that it arrived in was a size overkill. After removing the stuffing I found the original box for the item. It was made of a reasonable but not exciting matte black cardboard with some embossed foil in gold which was not particularly well done. Inside the box in tissue paper was another plain white pouch, unbranded and relatively unexciting. The wallet itself, when I went to check my credit cards and place them in, was unable to sit the cards one on top of the other without making the wallet look awkward. When you use the rear pouch to then place say 2 credit cards and 1 drivers licence, the wallet looks altogether unbalance and so stuffed full that there is no room to add in any folded cash or a new contacts business card. It also makes it near impossible to retrieve your second or third card without having to use considerable force.

Finally, the gold foil embossing on the leather was not particularly clear. When it is a new or emerging brand you are always willing to forgive these sorts of details but in the long run, when you consider future purchases, these things become very important. It's the reason why I return to Smythson and to a lesser more infrequent respect, Hermes.

I hope that Vianel keeps refining their product because I think it's a great looking brand with a great future and I look forward to giving them more of my support and business when they do.

See their website:

Ignore the Tony Soprano styled driver's licence shot...

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