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What is cool? When this author was a child, the aforementioned utterance was more commonly used, such as when one discovered a great white in his lunch’s Shark Bites or after seeing Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

“The Art of Cool”
Brian Hart

Introspection into this illusive quality, cool seems analogous to a feeling that stems from surprise and novelty. Yet, over time, one’s habituation to stimuli leaves him less likely to utilize such a designation. Moreover, with maturity comes a shift in one’s tastes away from the standard faire of gummy fruit snacks or pop music sensations.

However, regardless of era, some items were cool and possibly will always be - like the music of Miles Davis, James Dean’s films, and 60‘s Jaguar E-Type. Thus, this author postulates that quality items never lose their cool.

After searching the web for new and different items, this author discovered PARABELLUM and their collection of bags, belts, and accessories (e.g., sunglass case, arrow keychain, iPhone case, key and legionnaire straps).

Also, PARABELLUM has at least 6 different types of wallets in black, brown, grey, navy, pumpkin, violet, and a vibrant (appears to be an amazing shade of blue) with fasteners in black, white, and copper (where applicable).

After much studying of the collection, the author decided to review the 10 CARD WALLET ($375) in black with a black clasp. The previously mentioned product is the first pictured in the wallet’s section of the website and the photography utilized for this item was particularly alluring.

In vivo, the 10 CARD WALLET looks as good as the images online in both its dimensions and proportions (~10.5 cm wide by ~12 cm long). Furthermore, PARABELLUM’s emblematic coat of arms is featured on both the circular ceramic clasp and interior flap.

Additionally, in person, this product’s use of textured black leather on the exterior and inner flaps is reminiscent of a fingerprint with idiosyncratic grooves and ridges. Contrastingly, the billfold compartment is lined with milk chocolate brown calfskin leather that is, without exaggeration, the softest and smoothest material in the world.

In a few unprecedented moves, PARABELLUM completely differentiates themselves from other manufacturers.

First, American bison’s hides are used for these leather goods. The days of bison being numbered are over with current estimations for North America being approximately 500,000. Moreover, PARABELLUM is greatly concerned with responsible and humane treatment of these majestic animals, thereby, utilizing ranches that allow them to freely range.

Second, PARABELLUM’s goods are American-made. The leather is tanned in a stateside micro-tannery and then the items are assembled in Los Angeles.

Third, these products are truly craftsmen constructed - laboriously cutting of the hides and turning the corners of the leather by hand. (Seriously, this author was aware of the resurgence of American bison, but thought that craftsmen had gone extinct.)

Stunningly, PARABELLUM actually takes pride in their work and strives to master a enduring product to last the ages. This author believes that PARABELLUM has surpassed their aims: with their design, use of materials, and quality of implementation.

This 10 CARD WALLET is a functional art piece (even individually numbered) that includes card slots lined with Kevlar, two interior pockets, and a billfold substantial enough to hold a passport or large foreign currency.

Perhaps, like beauty, cool is in the eye of beholder. My 9 and 6-year-old nieces whisper “cool” when watching the rebooted Ninja Turtles cartoon. Yet, for this author, such demarcation has evolved to become a label applied to an artwork of substance and meaning; the author still likes the Turtles, but knows that PARABELLUM with its coat of arms is cool now and forever.

Rating: 5+ out of 5

Links for brick-and-mortar stores or for PARABELLUM’S online collection

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