An Interview with Jin Yoong, Founder of Convoy Co
Words by Windup Watch Shop
Tell us about Convoy Co. What types of products do you make and what makes them special?
Convoy Co. is an industrial design studio based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, dedicated to designing and crafting timeless utilitarian objects.
Nina and I run the studio together where we specialize in high-quality handcrafted accessories like wallets, valet trays and watch rolls. Our designs are built out of carefully sourced natural materials such as leather and suede on the foundation of superb construction, functionality and minimal material wastage. We pride ourselves in creating original designs that are thoughtfully refined over time.
What inspires your unique designs?
We draw inspiration from modernist architecture and our tropical environment. We try to keep our designs as simple and minimal as possible, seeking the right balance between aesthetics and functionality.
How did you get involved in leatherwork? When did you first start making leather goods?
I discovered my passion for designing soft goods in 2012 after using an industrial sewing machine to prototype audio accessories out of leather for a personal project. At the time, I was working as an Art Director at a New York based advertising agency.
I quickly grew an appreciation for the design process involved in making products and later made the decision to leave the agency to study Industrial Design. Convoy Co. started in 2013 as a creative outlet to release a collection of leather goods and to collaborate with various companies.
Are you a watch collector? If so, what types of watches do you have in your collection
I have a couple of watches, although I idealize being a one-watch person someday.
I am fascinated by chronographs and how proportions, colors and textures of the watch are adjusted for the extra complication. I love the few that I have from Seiko’s line of 6139s along with a Speedmaster Moonwatch. Otherwise, the Casio G-Shock dw5600E-1 is my daily beater from working in the studio to swimming in the sea.
What other interests do you have? Do they influence your product designs?
I’m constantly looking to improve my workspace. During my spare time I mess around with Japanese Topre mechanical keyboards and modifying headphones. We also try to take any opportunity we have to travel, even if it’s just within the country. We find that the change of surroundings, whether it’s cultural or visual, positively influences our design process.
Can you share any information about what’s next for Convoy Co?
Back in 2015, I designed a technical camera strap made of Kevlar® webbing and leather. We have been taking what we have learnt from that strap and with the help of a photographer friend, applying it to a new collection of camera accessories. There are still plenty of details that need to be ironed out and we are excited to launch it in the near future.
Shop current styles from Convoy Co here.