Following up on my post over at the Leathercraft Studio blog, I thought it worth going into the whole man-bag thing here. We are working on a few designs, but the beauty of this for leathercrafters is that these bags are highly personal. In all my years of buying man bags, briefcases, and laptop computer bags, I have never found one that meets all of my needs. Some have had qualities I think are fantastic, and even those have had other things I found to be annoying. I don’t like to spend money all that much, but I would pay a small fortune for a bag that had everything I wanted and nothing I didn’t want.
Now, for features, I was really taken by this bag from the inexpensive Japanese clothing chain called Uniqlo. It was cheap, and it was made of (shudder) denim. But it is super functional, and I have gotten compliments on it. It’s load with small zippered inside pockets, so I can leave all my keys, coins, flash drives, whatever, and quickly find them. It’s nicely partitioned, so I can keep my documents in order. It has handles and a shoulder strap – I use both. It has studs on the bottom to protect it from the floor. The list goes on. But it’s best feature is the long key chain you see in the picture. I am constantly digging around for keys, so this is perfect for me. You attach the keys to the chain, and drop it in your bag. The chain is anchored to the inside of the bag, near the top. When I need my keys, I just pull at the chain until they turn up – like reeling in a fish. The chain is also long enough that I can use the keys to open the door without taking them off. This item is one thing I would like in my perfect bag.
Now, everybody is going to have their own ideas, and this is what makes custom leather goods something that mass brands cannot compete with. When you make a bag for somebody, with all the bells and whistles that they want, and no annoying features, those customers will love that bag for life. In fact, they may love you for life, and come back when they need a wallet, a belt, or even a new bag.
Beckham is a guy who is not known for dressing well, at least not consistently. He has been seen in public in a sarong, of all things. Anyone with any taste knows that the only way to be seen in a sarong is either on a Southeast Asian beach or dead. However, even blind squirrels sometimes find an acorn, and Beckham is doing OK here, with a very stylish bag. It wasn’t cheap, but then he probably paid too much for the sarong as well. The funny thing is, this picture launched us at Leathercraft Studio into the man bag design business. Not that you would know it. Our first design is out, and we will have to do it all over again for the DVD. Have a gander…