You’ve got to hand it to Bynd Artisan. They’ve made friends in the right places.

Modernising a business rooted in the art of traditional book binding is no easy task, but co-founders (also husband and wife) James Quan and Winnie Chan have managed, with a little help of some friends.

Artist Olivia Lee is the latest to join Bynd Artisan’s growing list of collaborators, fresh from Milan’s International Salone Satellite where she was hailed by Dezeen as one of the top eight emerging designers.

As with all previous collabs (Larry Peh, Gentle Bones, Ong Shunmugam, etc.), Bynd Artisan’s leather and bookbinding craftmanship remains at the forefront. With Lee’s Books of Life, retailing exclusively at the Raffles City atelier, the series of book-like objects – a magnifying glass, a jewellery box, a coin bank, a letter writing set, a unisex clutch – have been crafted to reflect Bynd Artisan’s minimalist DNA but with a touch of Lee’s poetic leanings, some with a clever twist to mask its true nature.

The Book of Life

Our favourite, The Book of Dreams ($130) is a leather covered “book” hiding a perspex coin bank with a sleek opening at the top and a removable panel flushed at the bottom – so there’s easy access to the stash. The Book of Adventures, a unisex split-skin leather-and-seude box clutch with a sturdy metal clasp in burgundy ($600) and limited edition black ($800), that’ll look equally at home on a man or a woman. 

Once again, Bynd Artisan strenghtens its reputation for creating a series of sophisticated, design-led products that’s meant to be used daily – we think Marie Kondo would approve.

03-24 Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road, tel: 6873 2317,

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