Maker: Truen Jaimes, House Of 5th

This artist doesn’t look at leather the same way you do.

Truen Jaimes, co-owner of House of 5th accessories, spent a full year in fashion school solely studying leather. Now, with everything from stitching techniques to heat imprinting in his repertoire, he’s the rare artisan well-versed in both hand and machine methods in leathercraft. His 42-piece collection sells online, and he makes custom pieces for loyal customers—like the woman who wanted a better version of her favorite, worn-out Topshop tote.
To make shoulder bags, travelers, and keychains, Jaimes works with a raw Italian leather called vachetta, the same premium material Louis Vuitton and Coach use. He dyes all of it by hand with 18 original House of 5th hues. There’s no shortcut dip-dyeing here—a trusty sponge, a healthy number of latex gloves, and some serious buffing skills give the material its rugged, long-lasting, and deeply rich sheen that only gets better with age. That level of bespoke craftsmanship helps explain why some House of 5th bags break the $2,000 mark. The most expensive and prized totes in the line are entirely handmade, in the company’s near-eastside studio.
The St. Elle, the most popular style, requires 42 feet of handstitching on top of the cutting and dyeing. The production clocks in at around 40 hours. “I am the only one who touches the leather construction on the St. Elle,” says Jaimes. “It’s my signature piece.” As a part-time airline analyst who travels constantly, Jaimes values functionality. “We designed the travelers specifically so they can slide under most airplane seats,” he says. “Everything is driven by technology and travel.”
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St. Elle traveler, $5,600. 317-410-7786,