US manufacturing isn’t dead. Sure, many factories are shuttered. Many never to return. But what about the American spirit that built these companies? Is the same country that gave us flight, cars, & Levi Strauss done? Not even close. And anyone who steps up to say it is better think twice. Take a listen. It’s the sound of resurgence. A reckoning. A “Watch out what you predict, pundits. We’re on our way back” lyric sung to the tune of sleeves being rolled up and people getting back to it.
“Defy or Die.” That’s not just a motto. It’s our mantra. Defy was founded in 2008 by Chicago art director Chris Tag. Compelled to leave the comforts of an established advertising career to build something truly unique, Chris set out to create a new American classic. At first Defy was a one man show with Chris designing bags till the early morning hours while still holding down his day job. Then one fateful morning on his commute to the city, he was approached by a stranger asking him where he got the bag he was carrying. A quick stop to the nearest ATM later, Chris sold his first bag. Call that moment a turning point.
Love where you work. Love what you do. Creating a community that will thrive and stand the test of time is no small task. We’re up for the challenge. Everything we’ve learned has brought us to this place — a place now staffed with world-class craftspeople, seamstresses, designers, leather experts and more. At most jobs people can’t wait for Friday. At Defy, we can’t wait to make our next bag. When you miss your workshop on the weekend, you know there’s something magical happening.