How Uppdoo makes luxury leather bags (that won’t break the bank)
Ricky Shi spent almost a decade designing shower organizers and towel stands for Walmart and Costco before finding his true passion: bags. Four years ago, he started working on a line of purses that blended luxe materials with modern silhouettes—mod backpacks, boho satchels and compact clutches.
Shi launched his Uppdoo label at the spring 2015 One of a Kind Show, where he sold out quickly. Last summer, he opened a studio and storefront at Bloor and Bathurst, where visitors can shop for totes while watching Shi and his team handcraft the bags from scratch:
Uppdoo’s four-person production team cut their patterns and straps from Brazilian or Italian leather, and sew their seams with heavy wax thread for a rustic finish. The brand’s Wonder satchel has a hinged opening ($285):
We love the Mingle design ($240), a boxy leather satchel made from vegetable-tanned Italian leather with a customizable fabric insert that can hold a surprising amount of stuff. It’s the perfect springtime accessory—and the rare investment piece that doesn’t cost a month’s rent: