Each of the items in Chieh Ting Huang’s Nothing Fancy series of wallets is composed of a strategically folded, single piece of leather with a custom rubber band to hold it all together.

He was inspired by iconic images of bank notes bound together with a rubber band, “like in the Hollywood movies” he says.

The collection includes a wallet, coin case, iPhone holder, and passport holder.

Huang experimented with foam sheets that had a thickness like leather to get the folds just right.

Who needs stitches when you’ve got clever creases and a cool elastic loop?

“The question I’ve been asked the most is ‘why can’t I just go home and make one myself?’” he says. “I actually encourage people to do so. What I’m doing is offering an idea and a way of seeing your everyday objects. I’d love to see if it inspires people to make one with the materials they find or come up with other solutions.”

"I wanted to use a bold color scheme with the combination of the leather and rubber bands," Huang says.

It’s so much nicer to imagine putting a completely pared-down wallet in your back pocket than some massive brick of a thing overflowing with unnecessary bits and bobs.

Super simple, simply lovely.

Co.Design

Slender Wallets That Won't Uglify Your Skinny Jeans

Chieh Ting Huang wanted a durable, stylish, super-slim wallet—so he designed one himself.

“To be honest, I’ve not been using a 'real wallet’ for a long time,” Chieh Ting Huang tells Co.Design. In order to circumvent the unwieldy—and largely unnecessary—bulk of traditional billfolds, the London-based designer took to toting around a thin, plastic travel-card holder stuffed with bills and credit cards, but the flimsy thing couldn’t handle the strain (and as I’ve actually done the exact same thing, I can vouch for the fact he’s not alone, and those cheapies split at the slightest give). Huang needed a stylish solution—so he developed one himself.

Using leather was a no-brainer—it’s durable, with a familiar look and feel in the world of male accessories—but construction required in-depth consideration. “When I looked into the making of leather wallets, I noticed that it requires a lot of man hours cutting and stitching a lot of materials, which sometimes results in a lot of waste,” he says. The project was then an exercise in strategic simplification, eliminating all clasps, closures, and superfluous sewing until he was just working with the hide itself.

During the R&D period, Huang substituted comparably thick and durable foam sheets to try the various patterns, continually refining the folds until he found the right template. Then, inspired by iconic images of bank notes bound together with a rubber band—“like they do in the Hollywood movies”—he decided to incorporate a custom elastic loop to pull the whole concept together. “Some heavy shaking and throwing tests were carried out,” he says of the rigorous trials to make sure everything stayed perfectly put, while (lucky!) friends were given prototypes for some real-world action.

If the result looks effortless, you can thank Huang for doing all the beautiful back-end refinement. “The question I’ve been asked the most is ‘Why can’t I just go home and make one myself?’” he says. “I actually encourage people to do so. What I’m doing is offering an idea and a way of seeing your everyday objects. I’d love to see if it inspires people to make one with the materials they find or come up with other solutions.”

The Nothing Fancy series features a coin case, an iPhone holder, and a passport holder, and Huang is hoping to find a manufacturer to help out with the future of the collection: “I almost feel that the possibilities can go on and on.”

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