In The Beginning
In 1968 both my grandfather and father, John F. Shirinian and John J. Shirinian started a belt business, "Lejon Inc." also known today as "Vintage Bison USA." Lejon quickly became the premier belt supplier on the west coast. Some of our first significant customers established in the 1970s were Bullocks, Robinsons, Fred Seal, Hang Ten, OP, Stetson, and Eddie Bauer. Over the course of 55 years, we have produced well over 32 millions belts, primarily private label for major dept stores like Nordstroms, Saks, 5th Neiman's, and shoe companies like Allen Edmonds, Johnston Murphy, and many others.
Meet John W. Shirinian
I was born in 1963, a 3rd generation leather crafter. I was intrigued by leather at a very young age and quickly jumped into the family business. At the young age of 10, my father taught me how to braid leather into belts. By the time I reached the 7th grade, during the summer, I had started working full-time at the factory, learning the techniques needed to make all types of small leather goods. At 19, I began to travel in search of the best leather hides. Although tanneries exist worldwide, I quickly learned that the finest leathers come from Italy, England, France, and America. American hides and European hides are indeed the cleanest leathers to work with.