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Soliciting ideas and suggestions for a new bag line.............

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Moderator, hope this an acceptable thread, otherwise please move or remove.

Hey guys,

 After years of designing and producing bags for other companies, I've been contemplating for awhile about starting my own line. Looking at more casual bags but the problem is there are so many out there so I thought it best to go to the experts and see what you guys are carrying, looking for, etc.

I've been reading some of the threads here,  the new look book, etc and I see a good amount of interest towards brands like Mismo, Filson and Porter. Current trends are still messengers, backpacks and totes.  From the recent Pitti Uomo it looks like totes are still moving forward and hold-alls are next.

Now I may be wrong but a good number of these designs just don't cater to common and modern amenities like safely carrying tablets, larger phones, compact/wireless hard drives, etc and for those who fly quite a bit, items like your Bose headsets, etc. Or maybe it's just me? I sometimes even carry a compact med kit and Surefire flashlight in my bag(s).

What about you guys? How much stuff do you  carry around? 
Which bag type do you prefer? Why?
How much do you haul on-board when you're traveling?
Do you have a bag specifically for carryon when traveling and another for everyday use?
If you use a different bag specifically for carryon when traveling, why?  
What are the things that you look for when you choose a bag?
Do you buy bags based on styles that are in season or actual practicality?
Price points? I guess to some this may be a moot point when it comes to higher priced brands.
How long do you keep using that one bag until you move on to a new one? Or are you like me, you have several bags that are interchanged depending on activity?
Another thing that is curious to me is if any of you carry CCW in your bags?

I've own and used bags from Filson to Ghurka to Loewe but most of what I produce these days are bags & cases for LE & Mil tier one units (special operations). That's the high level my studio is capable of, so I look at designs from Yoshida Bag Co as inspiration for the type of bags I have in mind.

I've been doing product development for almost 20 years starting with a PD gig at DKNY in the early 90s before moving on to other designers. My first studio (then in  NYC) did work for RL, Coach, Banana Republic and Ghurka. That all said, the one thing I've learnt is to always reach out to the community and folks like yourself who help dictate what comes next.

Anyway your thoughts are very much appreciated and ideas & suggestions are always welcomed.

Cheers.

Helm
post #2 of 25
I have a number of bags for different purposes...or so I tell myself. Really, I just like having options and I can't foresee myself limiting to just one or two.

As far as briefcases go, I have 4 or 5. I carry large amounts of paper, so I need the space without having to go with a bulky bag. All of them are leather. In these situations, I value places for an iPad, mobile, business cards, pens, keys, etc. The main compartment has to accomodate a 5" stack of papers and bonus points if there is a zippered file storage area. I use a Porsche Design briefcase about 25% during my busy months as it offers the most space.

When it comes to travel, I have something separate. Pleasure travel requires a bag that can fit my travel wallet (often thick with 2 passports, copies of tickets/boarding passes, 2nd form of ID, etc) and enough clothing and toiletries for 24 hours (in case my luggage is lost). Outside of those things, valuable electronics are carried on board. I prefer something canvas for the job and I have one bag that is lined with extra padding. It is basically a small duffle shaped to easily store overhead or under plane seats. It doesn't normally fit under the seat when it's full, but is fairly compact.

I don't carry a weapon, so I don't need a place for it. I'm not sure how useful a gun in a zippered/closed bag would really be in any situation. I shoot for sport, but I have separate bags for that in order to carry everything.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi Hans,

Thanks for sharing. Your travel requirements sounds similar to mine and to that I have to add space for the Bose headsets and another small custom wallet to hold all those SIM cards I carry. I'm working on a new holdall with a removable iPad/tablet sleeve and a clear TSA compliant toiletry kit. The inspiration comes from an older Valextra holdall I once saw except that it will not be in leather.

Ref the CCW - agreed that it would useless in a bag but some of us do use it as a secondary position or a place to stash it before entering restricted buildings or meetings, and the bag stays in the trunk. Not all that important really, just curios. Do you shoot IPSC by any chance?

Thanks again for sharing Hans smile.gif

Helm Ashiblie
post #4 of 25
Shoulder bag no larger than 16 liters.

25 liter convertible backpack.

30 and 50 liter convertible IATA carry on bags.

Monochrome, conservative styling. Box shaped. Muted colors. Bright colored linings.

Only one outside zip, preferably #10.

500d Cordura.

In other words, stuff made like Arcteryx's new luggage line , but styled more like Tumi Alpha, Porter, or perhaps Filson without the contrasting colors.
post #5 of 25

I have two messenger bags: the Triar, from Bally (~$1,000), and the Cornell from Manhattan Portage (~$70). The cheap cordura bag from Manhattan Portage is obviously much more casual than the calf-skin bag from Bally, but they share a few attributes. They both have:

 

a minimum of straps and closures exposed, yielding a clean look,

 

a convenient but barely visible side pocket to slide a newspaper or boarding ticket into,

 

roughly the same ~11-liter capacity,

 

and a comfortable shoulder strap.

 

I prefer the Manhattan Portage bag when I'm traveling. It can better tolerate the abuse and it is much lighter. 

 

On a normal work day my bag will have an ipad, phone, sunglass case, collapsible umbrella, and perhaps some documents. When traveling add a small, pared-down dopp kit and a passport wallet. 

post #6 of 25
A James Bond like compartment, perhaps a false bottom or end compartment to hold a portable umbrella would be nice.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
@ Hayward - are you talking about Arcteryx's Blade series of bags? I have the Blade 30 and like it very much. I do see room for some improvement though. I don't think they have anything else that falls in that category 'cos most of their stuff is still backpacks. Btw, not sure if you heard about it but a number of the original guys have left the company. Not sure what's going to happen next.

@ Vladimir - thanks for the info bro. Question - just curios why a 'barely visible pocket' versus the basic top entry back pocket you see on most bags that we usually stuff papers and magazines in?

@ Man of Lint - it is interesting to see how many us actually carry a compact/portable umbrella.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. This is good stuff.

Helm
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flursheim View Post

Hi Hans,
Thanks for sharing. Your travel requirements sounds similar to mine and to that I have to add space for the Bose headsets and another small custom wallet to hold all those SIM cards I carry. I'm working on a new holdall with a removable iPad/tablet sleeve and a clear TSA compliant toiletry kit. The inspiration comes from an older Valextra holdall I once saw except that it will not be in leather.
Ref the CCW - agreed that it would useless in a bag but some of us do use it as a secondary position or a place to stash it before entering restricted buildings or meetings, and the bag stays in the trunk. Not all that important really, just curios. Do you shoot IPSC by any chance?
Thanks again for sharing Hans smile.gif
Helm Ashiblie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

A James Bond like compartment, perhaps a false bottom or end compartment to hold a portable umbrella would be nice.

I forgot to mention a headset...it also goes in a bag. Mine have a hardcase to travel and it's rather bulky, so it is usually packed on top for easy access.

+1 on the umbrella. I don't know how it would work with a wet umbrella, but I'd love to have a concealed area to store it.

I don't shoot for anything competitive, more or less for my own amusement. I'd love to get back into it and shoot for a club or in competition, but I'll have to wait until I get a bit more time. It now makes sense what you say, I couldn't fully grasp the concept of needing a secure place for a weapon, but I now understand.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flursheim View Post

@ Vladimir - thanks for the info bro. Question - just curios why a 'barely visible pocket' versus the basic top entry back pocket you see on most bags that we usually stuff papers and magazines in?

That's the pocket I was trying to describe, the "basic top entry pocket." When I said "barely visible" I meant with no flaps, zippers, piping, contrasting material, etc. to demarcate the opening.  

post #10 of 25
Now that I am traveling overseas more (London) I'd like to find a messenger-size bag that reasonably accommodates my iPad, my Bose QC's (without the case would be fine if there was a sleeve or some such to protect them.... plus a small slot for the iPhone, place for a notepad, and options for stylus/pens.
Finally- a zippered interior pouch for misc coins, billfold... something more tidy/secure.

Leather... or perhaps a thick felted wool type of exterior... bridle strap.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
@ Hans - same problem here, never found a bag that had a pocket suitable enough for the headsets. I guess this and the umbrella pocket has to be looked into, which I will.

@ Vladimir - Roger that. Just thot that you might be alluding to a low profile pocket like the one found on Arcteryx's Blade series bags. They have one pocket large enough for papers, passport, etc that is right behind the small of your back.

@ Cary - Because I have specific price points that I'm looking at, I'd have to look into producing these bags in nylon first with possibly leather trimmings. If it works out, leather is definitely not out of the question.

Right now I'm narrowing it down to using Cordura/nylon, close cell foam for structure & padding, YKK Excella zippers, bonded nylon thread and 210D Oxford for lining. Any webbing used will be milspec 17337. Any shoulder pads will be padded, adjustable on the go and with a reversible pad (one side non slip and the other matching fabric).

This way I can provide at the very minimum a 3 years no BS warranty.

Helm
post #12 of 25
Flursheim, I'm from the Steve Jobs school of product development, "its not the consumer's job to know what they want/need". Crowdsourcing usually leads to very middle of the road, uninspired products.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Edmorel, unfortunately I would have to respectfully disagree. I can only assume that in some scenarios or industry this might hold true but not with what we're doing here. I have born witness to 2 similar initiatives in the past where the first lead to the product being purchased by the US government itself. That product still continues to be a top seller for my company 10 years after it was initiated. In both instances I turned to the 'end users' for ideas and advice and the information they provided help me build possibly the best product of its kind.

The difference I think is between that of a product developer and a designer. I once sold a designer brand whose creations clearly was trendsetting. That was an example of someone who did not turn to others but one who set the pace. That designer happens to be Karl Lagerfeld. In my case I would be hard pressed to consider myself a designer, a product developer is what I am. Ultimately it is my job to put it all together and that final product would be what I envision it. I hold a very high standard for what I do and if it doesn't meet my requirements, I wouldn't even consider putting it out. At the same time I know there are many others out there that share the same love for products and how we expect each to be, style, design and have great ideas that simply need to be heard. I cover about 100K flight miles a year on average and I cannot tell you how many times I've met others who have inspired me to start a new project or who have offered great ideas to make one of my products better.

So while I understand where you are coming from Edmorel, this would be an instance where I would have to disagree. A good product developer with help from others to fill in the blanks can come out very inspirational products. Been there, done that and I have great faith in the members of this forum.

Helm Ashiblie
post #14 of 25
Ok understood, best of luck in your endeavor.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post

Flursheim, I'm from the Steve Jobs school of product development, "its not the consumer's job to know what they want/need". Crowdsourcing usually leads to very middle of the road, uninspired products.

 

Steve Jobs is who he is exactly because no one else could be like him.

 

Form follows function.

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