Lots of good additions! Especially the Capellino stuff; I've not heard of the brand before and so I'm looking forward to checking them out. Anyway, I've been really busy and not able to log in lately, but I wanted to add a coupla pics of what I'll be using this summer as I travel: Suitcase: Tumi T3 (22) rolling suitcase. It's been to Japan and back about 10 times by now and is still going strong. Manbag/carry-on: Valentino S/S 09 Reporter Bag: I'll also update later this summer with some Japanese brands and stuff. I'll also take my crappy digi-cam along and see if I can snap some pics.
Lots of good additions! Especially the Capellino stuff; I've not heard of the brand before and so I'm looking forward to checking them out.
Anyway, I've been really busy and not able to log in lately, but I wanted to add a coupla pics of what I'll be using this summer as I travel:
Suitcase: Tumi T3 (22) rolling suitcase. It's been to Japan and back about 10 times by now and is still going strong.
Manbag/carry-on: Valentino S/S 09 Reporter Bag:
Also, a few more I thought of that haven't been added:
PROS: Durable with sturdy leathers and nylons, convenient/ergonomic styles, subtle detailing.
CONS: Overly expensive, styling sometimes leaves a lot to be desired (sometimes boring), can be hard to find if not in a big city.
Overall Assessment: Tod's would be my go-to source for "best" work bags, over something like Tumi or Piquadro. They are more expensive than Tumi, but they are also better looking and nicer all around.
Pros: Huge range of products and lines, makes almost every accessory from wallets to totes to suitcases. Prices often comparatively fair or decent quality-to-price ratio.
Cons: Because of that huge range of products, some are downright hideous. Others are boring. Some of the leathers and materials leave something to be desired on some of the lines. Made in many places, including Italy, eastern Europe, China, etc.
Overall Assessment: Excellent alternative to Piquadro or Tumi. Personally, I'd pick Samsonite Black Label, but Bric's makes does some nice work at a similar overall pricepoint.
Barney's (House Brand) $400-900
PROS: Very simple styling with no or limited branding. Often decent leathers and canvasses and sometimes follow moderate seasonal trends.
CONS: Quality isn't in line with the brands they mimic, but pricing is often higher than you'd expect from a "house brand." Also, quality varies by item... some are made in Italy, but others are made in China, South America, etc.
Overall Assessment: It so varies by the item, but some of them can be decent. Nevertheless, given the competition and the pricepoint, I don't really see why this would be a "go to" unless you got it at their seasonal clearance.
Alexander McQueen ($700-1500)
PROS: Styling, styling, styling. Love them or hate them, they are always unique. Good leathers, linings, and hardware/zippers (owned by Gucci group and I assume using the same Italian facilities as other brands in the group?)
CONS: Given that "Uniqueness," they sometimes aren't particularly versatile or useful. Expensive as hell. Hard to find.
Overall Assessment: Each season he puts out two or three men's items and usually they are quite nice. If you were in the market for a $1500 designer bag with flare and distinction (and NOT to use everyday), then I'd definitely look into it. For a daily bag, though, I'd go elsewhere.
Ermenegildo Zegna ($700-1500)
Remind me a lot of Ferragamo. Overall the same sort of vibe, though slightly more conservative. Fewer styles that tend to be more business-oriented (briefcases, messengers, etc.) Quality and such are in line with Ferragamo, though honestly I find most Zegna items to be a little stodgy.
Just started a new Trussardi 1911 line with Milan Vukimirovic that is very interesting, but the general "Trussardi" items are a little boring (for the most part). Quality is generally pretty good, though they have had some licenses here and there. Definitely check the items out in person before purchase (so, avoid Ebay, Yoox, etc. unless you can return them!)
Hugo Boss $400-900
They make an almost complete men's accessories line, but I personally wouldn't seek it out intentionally. Styling may be okay on some, but the branding is often overt, the leathers, hardware, construction, linings, etc. are sub-par, and the prices are VERY high considering. Unless you find it 90% off, I'd say pass. Think of what they do with suits, and basically it's the same with their bags.
I'll also update later this summer with some Japanese brands and stuff. I'll also take my crappy digi-cam along and see if I can snap some pics.
rach2jlc, i dig that valentino
btw, i have heard that a brand 'heny cuir' makes leather goods and bags for 45rpm
wonder if u can check it out during ur trip in JP or not thx!
rach2jlc, i dig that valentino btw, i have heard that a brand 'heny cuir' makes leather goods and bags for 45rpm wonder if u can check it out during ur trip in JP or not thx!
Originally Posted by delirium
nice valentino bag, rach.
Thanks! I'll try and check out Henry Cuir for 45rpm when I can. There is a 45rpm store near where I will be staying this summer and I'll give them a look. What I've seen of the brand (Henry Cuir) in the past wasn't my style much... sort of a slouchy, artisinal, "worn" type of treated/distressed leather, though I know it's fairly popular in Japan and has lots of stockists.
Originally Posted by canstyleace
Hi would highly recommend the taiga and utah lines of LV bags, expensive but good stuff.
Agreed. Nomade is also nice, although it isn't for the faint of heart (in that it will show marks and wear over time!) My only complaint with Utah is that it is quite soft and loses its grain over time. I still really like it, but I didn't find it as rugged as I had hoped, especially given how expensive it is. Definitely Taiga is a good bet, though. It's slightly more than Monogram/Damier, but less than Utah and Nomade and holds up very well. Suhali is also very nice (it's goatskin), though very expensive and with a limited range of unisex products (I especially like the Lockit GM.) A few years ago LV did a range of seasonal items (S/S 2007, I think) in very lightweight Kangaroo leather that was really interesting. Here's a pic of one of them that I really liked (not mine):
^ I think you read my mind, onion. Seriously, just yesterday I was thinking about adding Delvaux to our list of manbags. As some may know, they're a Belgian brand who are one of... if not the oldest... leathermakers around (older than LV and Goyard) Pros: They make some really simple, nice, classic stuff that holds up well and flies under-the-radar. Cons:It's really hard to find and costs an arm and a leg. As well, I find their range fairly limited and the styles can be boring/stuffy. Nevertheless, I really like the bag you posted (I think the retail is around $2000 USD or so?) and they also make a nice messenger and a travel tote. Though, again, for $2500 or more, there are lots of options and I don't know if Delvaux would be my final pick. I'm hoping to visit the Tokyo flagship Mitsukoshi in July where they have a boutique and will give a fuller report then.