Tag Archives: Lincoln Heller

Style-Diet Shot – Lincoln

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Lincoln Heller of 5 Left, wearing all Vintage. http://fiveleft.ca/ Some great finds – like the floor swept rabbit fur fedora, the suit Made in Ireland “Dubtex”. Admire at the Irish stitch work!  Love how his hand-made soapstone necklace peeks out from the underneath the scarf – it’s his signature piece.


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The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.


Fiveleft refers to Lincoln Heller’s 5 fingers on his left hand. He is left handed, like a disproportionate number of US presidents. (How’s that for a random fact?)


Lincoln has been making leather bags for about 6 years. Right away, I could see that he has a Style worthy of the Style-Diet Shot. His necklace carved by himself out of sandstone about 18 years ago.  He has to keep replenishing the stones as they systematically wear away.




Lincoln was on the runway at EcoFashion week 2013, theatrically sewing bags with an antique machine and giving them away.  I wish I had been.  (Note to self: attend EcoFashion week 2014. Note to friends: join me!)  Below you can see some funky patterns inspired by bicycle gears and spokes.  The leather comes from a small family-run tannery in the UK.


Not using harsh dyes and chemicals to soften the leather, Lincoln instead uses vegetable dyes and tannins.  The leather bags are quite stiff initially.  But then they mold and soften to the user over time.  Thus becoming truly individual and unique pieces.


A dad, Lincoln was always fumbling for keys with babes in arms.  So he invented the following key chain. It keeps keys within easy reach.  Deceptively simple, it has bevelled edges.  Note the maps below that Lincoln picked up from a cartography company that was going out of business.  Cycling, recycling, innovating….


Lincoln said that he bought the hat because it looked like a tie that exploded into a hat.  Shorts are Vintage Rei and Lincoln’s shirt is Thrift Store Chic.


I will think twice before buying my next bag.  Where is it made?  What is it supporting?  Who is benefiting by it?  How have the hands making it been treated?