Lifestyle » Vol. 57

New wallets offer style and protection

By Merilee Kern

As recently as January 2016, the FTC announced the escalating incidence of identity theft, revealing that it had received nearly 500,000 consumer complaints about identity theft, “representing a 47 percent increase over the prior year.” The report also cited the ominous  Department of Justice estimate that “17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014” – with many experiencing “the misuse of an existing credit card or bank account,” according to BJS.gov. Given its inconceivable ease, one huge area of concern is “electronic pick-pocketing,” whereby thieves use RFID and NFC wireless communication to stealthily pirate credit card numbers and other personal data. And everyone is seemingly at risk. One particularly enlightening news report exposed just how easily hackers can steal credit card numbers in mere seconds while you’re still holding them in your hand.

Amid this unfortunate sign of the times, designers and technologists are aptly joining forces to bring to market functional fashion accessories that not only uphold stringent style standards, but that also effectively mitigate – if not entirely eliminate – identity theft risk to the extent possible. One newly-emerging brand of note is The Pagalli Project, which recently introduced a new line of handcrafted fine leather accessories – two wallet styles and a passport holder – that offer leading-edge security in fashion-forward form.

So secure is the Pagalli collection, it’s reportedly one of the few brands in the world (as certified by an independent body) to block 100 percent of all known RFID/NFC frequencies, thanks to its built-in application of “Cryptalloy,” the industry’s leading tech security defense against data theft. This ensures your information – and, thus, your identity – will be protected in any country, anywhere in the world.

“There are 10 current frequencies that consumers need to be shielded from in order to have peace of mind that personal identification and financial information will not be lifted by high-tech thieves,” said Pagalli founder Mauro Beck.

“Conventional RFID blockers only address a portion of these frequencies.

For instance, some examples of items in different frequencies include access key cards at 125 kHZ, electronic passports or credit cards at 13.56 MHz, and personnel ID cards at 2.54 GHz. However, ours is one of the few brands in the world independently certified to provide the most expansive frequency blocking for data theft protection on the market.”

Beyond the impressive security features, Pagalli wallets are a marvel of old-world craftsmanship.  Inspired by Vincente Pagalli – an entrepreneur and leather artisan who, 50 years ago, upheld the strictest quality standards – the entrepreneur-driven line seeks to prove that it is entirely possible to proffer a handcrafted quality product at a fair price.

“Our wallets are distinguished by their soft, yet tough, texture with a characteristic leather grain and distinctive fragrance that exudes luxury,” noted Beck. “The finishing touch is the upcycled packaging that is closed with a wax seal to protect the wallets through delivery. And unlike other wallets that fail to stand the test of time, ours also come with a lifetime warranty.”

The three flagship Pagalli designs – the Leonardo and Moderno wallets and the Vincente passport holder – range in price from $49-$79, with name imprint personalization available for an additional $10. But, given the extent to which these wallets can help you avoid a slight identity breach at best and complete financial devastation at worst, I would assert they are pretty well priceless.

The Luxe List Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter @LuxeListEditor and Facebook at TheLuxeList.

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