In his quest to create the finest exotic-skin travel bags, the entrepreneur Jason Stalvey tirelessly searches for big, single cuts of alligator skins to create his seamless signature Stalvey carryalls and duffels from a sole gator; other companies are more likely to piece skins together to make a large bag. Found only on large, wild animals—because once farm-raised animals become a certain size, they become too expensive for the farmer to maintain—unblemished skins are a constant challenge to locate, as the alligators typically acquire wrinkles and scars as they age. But that did not deter Stalvey, who, before launching his business two years ago, conducted extensive research on how he could improve on the exotic-skin men’s bags already on the market. The result is a unique collection of vegetable-tanned bags and accessories, each hand stitched from start to finish by a single artisan in New York, lined with smooth lambskin, and trimmed with hardware plated in 18-karat gold. Among the most popular bags, the Wong Duffel ($17,800) and Canovas gym bag ($16,000), are made from single cuts of alligator skin, like all Stalvey bags, and durably built for daily use.
Stalvey’s tenacious research paid off: Barneys New York is launching the collection for fall, and Stalvey has expanded with small accessories and home items including baseball caps ($3,810), camera straps, clutches, and cashmere-lined, leather-trimmed throw blankets. Most designs are completely customizable and are also available in ostrich, python, or lizard.