HONG KONG — Linjer is not yet four years old but a devoted fan base has already formed around the brand, which has staked its name on making premium quality, yet affordable, modern accessories — a Mansur Gavriel meets Everlane for leather goods and watches.
Its most high-profile product has been the Tulip bag — which this past year rose to somewhat of a coveted It-bag status after being seen on the likes of Jessica Alba and Selma Blair. The unique silhouette of the Tulip provided a new alternative for people interested in unfussy but sophisticated styles who were oversaturated by the ubiquity of the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag.
“Our customers are discerning,” said Roman Khan, who cofounded the brand with Jennifer Chong. Although the two are now Hong Kong-based, the Norwegian aesthetic that lies at the heart of the brand derives from Khan’s upbringing there. “For them, quality is more important than toting around a recognized logo.”
Sustainability and “a certain humility” are at the forefront of brand values, he said, adding that “carrying a Linjer bag says something different about you versus if you’re carrying a $1,200 canvas tote emblazoned with ‘LV’ all over it.”
The brand declined to share specific numbers, but said that it has been growing 200 percent every year since its founding in 2014. The U.S. is the biggest market, something Khan put down to the country’s size, but otherwise sales are split quite evenly across its other regions.
As of November last year, the duo relocated to Hong Kong, where the brand carries out fulfillment.
“We like that a lot of the suppliers here are commercially minded and willing to adapt to our needs,” Khan explained. “In Europe, people are a lot more inflexible and want to keep doing things the way they’ve been doing them for the last 30 years. It is difficult, however, to find creative talent to help with brand identity and marketing work. There aren’t many people here who have those skills and who intuitively understand our brand, relative to if we were in say, Norway, where a lot more people instantly identify with our brand values.”
Next up, the company is going to release a new iteration of the brand’s Doctor’s Bag. To be launched on Sept. 17, the purse is a mini version of a bag that Linjer created in late 2016, with some material changes.
Although there will be new styles coming soon in both bags and watches, Khan said they plan to stock fewer watch styles overall as they realized that customers were getting stuck with decision paralysis on their timepieces.
“Over the years, we were continually launching new colors and size variants without paring down…we decided to pull back and discontinue a lot of the variants,” he said.