Abraham Woodhull Briefcase

Many of my briefcase designs have been shaped by feedback from lawyers, who approached me seeking the creation of their ideal custom briefcases. This collaborative approach led to the development of styles like the Habermas, Wallace, and Brahe. Similarly, the Abraham Woodhull style was conceived for a Beverly Hills doctor who traveled to New York specifically to collaborate on his ideal leather briefcase in my workshop.

He explained his requirements to me: “Joe, I’ve tried numerous briefcases throughout my career, but none have perfectly suited my needs. They tend to wear out quickly, and I find myself replacing them every few years. I need a robust briefcase that will endure for many years, possibly decades. The weight isn’t a concern for me, as I plan to use a trolley cart. It should be traditional, yet distinctive, and the handmade quality must be evident. The most critical aspect is its functionality at my desk. I need to place it on the floor beside me, open it, and have it stay open and wide, serving as a portable file cabinet. As I frequently retrieve files while consulting with patients, easy access without repeatedly opening and closing the briefcase is essential. I’m looking for a beautiful briefcase that I can carry daily, doubling as a file cabinet.”

After hearing his needs, I assured him confidently that I had the perfect idea in mind. However, I made it clear, maintaining eye contact to gauge his reaction, that this bespoke creation would be a significant investment. He responded with a smirk, “I can afford it.” We shared a laugh, and I then detailed my concept.

The briefcase would be crafted from traditional bridle leather, in a classic black color, suitable for a doctor. It would feature a high-end lock and additional latches to enhance its uniqueness. I proposed modifying the flap and adding a bar to ensure it stays open wide and is even removable. The design would include multiple compartments for easy file access. The construction would be hand-stitched and robust, akin to a tank.