Forestbound Men’s Bags 2011

Forestbound Men's Bags 2011
Forestbound Men's Bags 2011
I hope Forestbound doesn’t mind me sharing these photographs. It’s been awhile since I visited their collection and I wanted to introduce some of their new cotton canvas work but this series is hard to miss. Gorgeous. The bags definitely define the idea of meant for use not show — so much so that they attract instead of detract. It’s hard to put into words as I’m not a writer and I only have 90 seconds to write this post.
Forestbound Men’s Bags 2011

Carryology’s – A Carryology Guide

Carryology's - A Carryology Guide
I linked to this earlier on twitter but it’s worth re-mentioning… A must read, the Carryology Guide is a “mix of awesomeness, radness and amazingness all rolled into one for your reading pleasure”. And a definitive document to aid in your bag using understanding. I wish I could put together something as good as this.
Read it here

The not so brief history of Deuter backpacks

Deuter of Augsburg, Germany, has been in the backpack business since 1898 – longer than any other backpack brand in the world – and is represented in over 45 countries!
There is one thing that all Deuter products have in common… They are designed with a wealth of experience and innovative creativity, always keeping our consumers’ comfort and satisfaction in mind. The Deuter team consists of outdoor enthusiasts who share in the love of nature and the pursuit of outdoor adventure.

Interesting coverage of their decision to shift manufacturing to Vietnam. Take a look at the footage at 12:00 for a look of how almost all mass market bags are made today. Via Bag Blog

In China, alpha males carry designer purses

In China, alpha males carry designer purses
Men represent 45% of the $1.2-billion market for all luxury handbags in China, according to the president of Coach Retail International. That figure is just 7% in the U.S.
The LA Times reports on how China’s often gruff, male-dominated business culture developed a taste for purses.

Wang Zhongzhu, a 42-year-old insurance executive, wouldn’t dream of networking without his $1,000 leather Dunhill slung over his shoulder. He said the creamy brown mini-messenger bag sends a message that he appreciates — and can afford — fine accessories.
“It’s a way of representing where you stand,” Wang said. “It makes people think you could potentially work for a big company.”
Designed for men, many of these guy purses often known as shou bao in Mandarin would be right at home in the women’s handbag section of an upscale department store. Popular styles include the oversize wallet with wraparound zippers like Zhang’s and the embossed leather Coach handbag with the slinky shoulder strap and handles. Colors trend toward solid brown, black and gray. But some fashion-forward gents don’t mind showing a little flash: Burberry plaid, Gucci’s interlocking GG pattern or Louis Vuitton’s distinct LV monogram.
Luxury leather goods makers can’t believe their luck: Both sexes in the world’s most populous country adore purses.

In China, alpha males carry designer purses

Mobile devices and their ugly rubber cases

In one of David Pogues latest columns he writes about something that I have been thinking about lately:

I’ve always been just a little baffled at the whole concept of app-phone cases. I mean, people go out of their way to buy these thin, gorgeous iPhones and Android phones, and then wrap them in 3/4 inches of ugly black rubber!

A month ago I wrote:

Why do we continuously carry our iPhones in cases that make them look like cheap plastic or rubber toys? A device with a design this good shouldn’t be carried in a cheap rubber bumper but should be protected by something that accentuates its design. Or at least allows you to easily use naked.

I recommended at the time the The Little Black Book iPhone Case as a possible alternative if you use your phone more for apps than calls like I do. Sleeves are aplenty as well and hybrids like Hardgraft’s fold wallet for iPhone are a favourite of mine.
But there is this underlying fear:

I know, I know: all I need to do is drop and break my phone once, and my attitude will change completely. But for now, I still carry my phone around naked all the time, and there’s not a scratch on it. (To be clear: only the phone is naked all the time.)

I haven’t found an answer yet and while I wait for a case from Hardgraft I can’t see my phone for the ugly black rubber and plastic case that surrounds it.
Does anyone use the iPhone sans case?

Behind the scenes: Billykirk

“After you feel one of our bags you just know it’s made right and made well…”
Wonderful behind the scenes video of Billykirk where they talk about the quality and timelessness of their work. You have to have a better understanding good craft after watching this.

A Manlier Man Bag?

A Manlier Man Bag

When it comes to compact bags for men, it’s best to go with the original compact bags for men: the map bag and the musette.
The map bag has a military heritage. In the olden days before GPS, maps were made out of these huge pieces of paper (crazy, right?), and map bags gave people quick and easy access to them–simple as that. These days, map bags give you quick and easy access to Super Monkey Ball on your iPad.
You can find common canvas ones at Army surplus stores, but I like the more structured leather variety sometimes referred to as map cases or document cases. These are super-minimal, and usually don’t have room for anything but maps, a notebook and pens.

From the Wallstreet Journal of all places: Put Your iPad in a Map Bag or a Musette, Manlier Man Bags

Farm Tactics Bags

farm tactics cape code bag
Farm Tactics Cape Code bag
I love the aesthetic of these handmade bags from California based Farm Tactics. Unfortunately my knowledge of the brand is limited but luckily Limitedhype has a great introduction via an interview with the founder Kyle Ng.

While repurposed materials are anything but new, Ng’s choices of materials for Farm Tactics certainly are. Among our favorites are bags made from materials such as 1960’s Dutch military bags, 1940’s gas masks and Oil Filson Tin cloth and other military webbing. On the clothing side of things, you can expect to find a similar aesthetic with pieces inspired by Ng’s grandfather who was an industrial designer in the 50’s and 60’s, but with a self-described “neoclassical” twist.

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Moncler Transformable Messenger Bag

Moncler Transformable Messenger Bag
You have the best of both worlds but the material feels dated and best left to jackets. Since the size of this bag lends itself well to being a purse perhaps the Clotilde would be a better choice. It maintains the pattern but without the “puff” (i can’t link to their catalogue as it’s buried in a hideous flash site).
Via @highsnobiety: “From the Moncler presents an interesting new mens messenger bag as part of their Fall/Winter 2010 Collection. The bag is constructed of the same material as their iconic jackets and comes in a dark brown colorway. It can be transformed into a large size tote bag, making it a practical accessory for the season”.

Pan Am as bag brand

Pan Am as bag brand

Since its creation, the brand has stood for the best of the best, the true attitude of modern air travel. It was the cool, hip way to fly. For passengers, the visceral experience of traveling on Pan Am began long before the flight. Let’s face it, who doesn’t wax poetic at the idea of sitting in first class next to Sophia or Cary on a trans-Atlantic trip, dressed to the nines. It was a beautiful time for beautiful people. So when you see the globe logo today, you can still hear Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” or Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” in the back of your mind.
This is true for most of these Lazarus brands. The emotional connection consumers have for them has transcended time. There is something of meaning and value in the brand which, when re-introduced through the right category and product that can reflect that meaning and value, immediately has new leverage and cache. And this is the lesson for new brands out there. Creating something that is timeless and grounded in its compelling truths is critical to building equity and longevity. If a brand has meaning and value to your core constituents, and if you live up to those truths, you can build preference.

Pan Am Brands is carrying the distinctive mark on newly produced product.
I love the mark and the vintage bags I have seen are cool but surely this is one of the most hijacked travel brands out there. I see Pan Am in every bag alley I’ve walked through selling for far less than what you see online.
Via Fastcodesign

Camille Poirier Strap Pack

rucksack history
Sometimes I love the web. While looking for further images to support an excellent history of the U.S. Army rucksack during World War II, I found the above photo of one of Camille Poirier’s early rucksacks. This in turn led to the discovery of one of his early bags on sale on EBay and an excellent introduction to Camille Poirier and his “Poirier Pack Sack”. In 1911, Camille sold off the pack business to the new Duluth Tent and Awning Company, the forbearer of todays Duluth Pack.
From the EBay auction:
Duluth Pack has its deep historic roots in a poor French-Canadian named Camille Poirier. Poirier came to the struggling village of Duluth in 1870 with very little more than a dream of making boots and shoes. In fact, according to many sources, he came into the village with a “little stock of leather and tools”, and that’s where he began a small shoe store in 1884 (the bag basically being invented pre-shop). The intent of the bag at the time was to carry large loads up and down the vast hills of Duluth, MN without putting total strain on the back (his invention of the tumpline is best known on this bag which now has universal appeal in the hiking and climbing community).
This bag was made before Poirier even had his boot and shoe shop located at 1 west Superior Street, Norris Block, built in 1884. Camille Poirier’s shoe shop was one of the four buildings on the upper side of Superior Street, west of Lake Avenue, making up the oldest section of Old Downtown Duluth, all built in the 1880’s. This is where Poirier patented and invented the “Poirier Pack Sack”. The significance of this pack is the date on the handtooled handmade brass oval plate of Nov. 10, 1882, which was handmade by Camille Poirier himself, basically a prototype strap pack before his actual patent date – on Dec. 12 1882. The actual patent was granted in Duluth, Minnesota on Dec. 12, 1882. The bag itself was a success and led Poirier to invent and to file a patent on December 12, 1882 for a “Pack Strap” that entirely changed the design of pack sacks. The Patent No. is 268,932.

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Retrovelo Frame Bag

Retrovelo frame bag
Made with 2 mm thick full-leather the Retrovelo frame bag carries your laptop in style while you ride to work. Compatible with many classic bike frames with horizontal top tubes, the Retrovelo offers two compartments for your gear, quick attachment via two belt hooks and a style more compatible for your office uniform. Attractive.
Retrovelo frame bag