By: Elle Eichinger
When Sofia Adawy and Mobolaji Akintunde first created the StacheBook more than two years ago, it was purely out of necessity: Akintunde was looking for a way to discreetly use his iPad while commuting on the train. “I said [he should] hide it in a book,” says Adawy, his business partner and fiancé. “He thought I was just being funny.” The idea eventually resulted in their forming Stache & Hyde—and landing the Bali Stingray StacheBook ($275) on our must-have list.
The buttery-soft case is made of gray stingray vegan leather, and features a red grosgrain bookmark. “We name our cases after various places we ourselves are interested in traveling to, or have already been,” Akintunde explains. “Bali is a destination that is on our list.” Another case, the Hyde Park Heritage Tweed StacheBook ($225) has an Ivy League look that pays homage to the Chicago neighborhood where Adawy and Akintunde met while attending the University of Chicago.
Additional destinations are Marrakesh (a cool, Gucci-inspired chevron), Zanzibar, Berlin, and Havana. But despite their worldly appeal, the StacheBooks are all-American. “We [source] fabrics and materials from all different places, but try to stay as local as possible,” Adawy says, adding that the products are hand-bound in Chicago.
This year, the duo is expanding the Stache & Hyde brand into the larger realm of luxury travel goods. They’ll release the StacheBook for the iPad mini in the very near future, and have almost completed the S&H Luxury Journals, complete with 200 blank pages “for those in the analog phase, who like to write,” Akintunde says. On top of all that, they’ve got a wedding to plan: come September, the business partners will also be newlyweds. The Bali Stingray StacheBook is available at Haberdash, 607/611 N. State St., 312-624-8551