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Behind the Design
Founded in 2016, Pioneer is the brainchild of Henry Lefens. Exposed to advanced materials and manufacturing early on as a designer of mountaineering equipment, he started to tinker with advanced materials and processes, imagining ways to build sewn goods with the same strength and precision as the hot-forged metal tools used by mountain athletes. He began by making dozens of early Pioneer wallet prototypes and gave them to climbers, bikers, boarders, and fashionistas alike. Years went by and the initial prototypes weren’t breaking down or showing signs of wear. And when testers wouldn’t give them back, he knew he had something. Henry continued his career designing for Brooks England, Nike, Black Diamond Equipment and Levi’s Commuter, all the while validating and refining the initial concept until the drive to start Pioneer became all-encompassing. He quit his job, formed a small team of experts, reopened the lab, and launched Pioneer.
While I was being exposed to advanced materials and high precision manufacturing, I would tinker around at night with all the new materials and started making wallets. I gave them to friends and athletes and when years went by without any signs of wear, and friends wouldn't give them back, I felt like I was on to something.Henry Lefens
behind the scenes
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2628 Martha Street, Philadelphia PA