Remember when Indian Jones packs his trusty suitcase in Raiders with nothing but his pistol, leather jacket and whip (you know, the essentials)? That pretty much sums up exactly what Los Angeles-based leather luggage company Clark and Madison is: everything you need for an adventure and nothing more.

A seasoned traveler herself, designer and founder Dina Epstein created the entire Clark and Madison line with a sense of harmony; all the products (totes, passport cases, Dopp kits) are made to accompany The Weekender, a basic and perfectly sized leather duffel. The philosophy being truly less is more, with the goal of elegant, streamlined travel.

All bags are handmade locally in small batches from high quality, garment grade leathers, whose softness and suppleness will only get better with age—ultimately becoming an heirloom much like the bag Epstein inherited from her grandmother that inspired her to launch the company. Timelessness is a central theme, with leathers sticking to black and classic earth tones, but Epstein still likes to have a little fun with the linings and a few limited edition/one-of-a-kind pieces made with textiles sourced from her travels.

“Shapes are important to me, I like (our designs) to be clean and practical, but also (experimental) with the linings to give the pieces a pop and keep things from getting boring.”


In fact, every textile used in all the bag’s linings have been collected on personal travels and are limited edition—like scarves picked up in Turkey and Native American rugs and blankets discovered on a road trip—infusing the very fabric of each bag with genuine adventure. Whip not included.

Check out our favorites like the Ulysses Weekender, made from vintage WWII army tents! Mademan readers get 20% off all goods now through December 31, 2013! Use code: MADEMAN20