That's a nice looking bag @Austin Tremblay. Is the leather they use full grain? Great colorway.
I have mentioned it before in this thread, but the "need" for an optional shoulder strap is something I fight with. I feel like I could get by without it, but there are instances I can think of that would make me regret not having out. Travel being the big one. If I ever invested in a leather briefcase that didn't have a strap I think it would have to be perfect in every other regard.
Agreed that slip pockets are nice. My current Billy Kirk doesn't have one and I find myself wishing it was there.
Anyone in this thread have experience with LA PORTEGNA? No Man Walk's Alone is carrying the brand right now and seems to be one of the few US retailers doing so. The "Fat Carter" looks very nice to me with a lot of the details I have been wanting. Shoulder strap, slip pocket, organization, etc. Pricing seems reasonable too.
The Stephen Kenn is really, really nice. I think you nailed it; the reason I can overlook some of those simple "needs" I typically think of with a briefcase is that it is, absolutely, like someone ripped my own design aesthetic out of my head and crafted it for me. The comfort of the handles, the leather color, the contrast of the olive on the handles, the Riri zip, the olive, unlined interior. It's all just immaculate for me. I'm thinking about taking it to a local leather worker and seeing if he can sew a couple small D-rings onto it, right at the top of the back. That way, I could add a shoulder strap, if I wanted.
I know their leather is veg tanned, but that's about it. Unfortunately, they don't specify, and I'd seen a sample of the leather and was already happy with it. I imagine it's 2–3 oz., "naked" cowhide, judging by the already broken in feel and the grain. Competition weight leather for bike riding is 3–4 oz. That's certainly thinner than Saddleback and Bexar Goods, but I just got to a point where I didn't feel like I needed a bag that was bombproof so much as useful and still tough.
I have stared longingly at those LA PORTENGA bags often. They're quite beautiful. Hope someone can speak to their usage.