Take a quick scan of cool people on Instagram and chances are you’ll spot a Maximum Henry belt. The brand, founded by Max Henry Cohen, has earned a cult status for its simple and unfettered leather goods — no easy task.
“It first started when I was a bartender for a while after I dropped out of film school,” Cohen explained to us over the phone. “I would have a thousand 15-second interactions a night. Part of that 15-second interaction was that I’d catch a glimpse of somebody’s wallet.” Swiping cards and taking cash, Cohen became an expert in the things people carried and the kinds of people carrying them.
With all that insight, Cohen told us he felt there weren’t any obvious options out there for people who wanted items that had character yet didn’t sacrifice simplicity. So he started creating them himself in his apartment. He began with wallets, all made from a single piece of leather, and then graduated to belts and small accessories. People caught on, and the company started popping up in magazines and newspaper style sections. Cohen has since quit his bartending gig (he’s been doing Maximum Henry full-time for five years now) and recruited some friends to help him run the show. They’re still working out of his house, in pursuit of their mission to bring ethically made leather goods to the mass market — and “all very much just finding our own way,” he says.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, look out for our collab with them, launching next month. They’re the ones they’re wearing in the photo to the right.