We may patiently wait indoors, through months of rain and clouds, for a precious few days of sunshine each year. But when spring and summer finally arrive, the city in all its natural beauty comes to life. People migrate to the ocean, to the lakes, to the mountains, to explore the splendour of the outdoors. There is no better time for adventure, to witness something new, even if it is as small the bud of a cherry blossom.
Seasons come and go, but these are bags which will last for ages. They will bring your precious belongings wherever your journey takes you. And if you carry these bags into the great unknown, the sense of comfort they and their contents bring, may just, in turn, carry you.
Hard Graft’s 2UNFOLD multi-use laptop bag is perfect for inspiration-seekers who simply need an escape from the doldrums of their home or office. Even the more disciplined of those, whose paths may lead only as far as the park or café, will appreciate the subtle discoveries they nevertheless will make. With premium handmade Italian leather on one side and exquisite Italian cotton canvas on the other, it can be flipped, folded and fashioned in eight charming different ways: as rucksack, courier, clutch or case. Its versatility gives meaning to their slogan, “you lose what you don’t hold”.
Originally from Minnesota, but with strong southern roots, the all-American brothers behind Billykirk, Chris and Kirk Bray, trained for three years under a third generation leathermaker in Los Angeles to hone their craft. Later, they took the brand with them to the Eastern Seaboard, where they have built a long lasting relationship with a Pennsylvanian Amish community, who now hand-make Billykirk’s thoughtful leather goods. Their shoulder satchel, modeled after a WWII Belgium map case, is made of a single, solid piece of cow hide, heavy wax cording, white bronze cast hardware, and finished with hand-stitched detailing throughout.
Tannis Hegan is a local Vancouver designer, truly intent on maintaining harmony in all respects. Aware of the role a bag plays as an appendage to the body, her designs are informed by a particular tactile feeling and emotional state she is trying to achieve. She also believes in maintaining harmony with the environment, using natural materials like leather and wood. Having grown up in a family of carpenters, the precise focus she gives each element is a practice that honours her upbringing. The wooden handle of her rectangular leather bag looks exactly as if it were a piece of driftwood, making this companion the ideal beachcomber.
While the tradition of the safari lives on, no longer is it about the hunt. Yet the new philosophy to strictly observe requires no less an ability to blend in with nature. Channeling the classic safari look, Montreal’s m0851 have found a delicate balance between old and new. Their practice of employing traditional fabrics side by side modern ones, is demonstrated elegantly in their Safari collection, where saddle leather contrasts brushed cotton canvas. Their statement resonates: “Our unique products relate both to a past that we respect and a present we embrace.”
C. C. Filson, a pioneer-spirited outdoorsman who earlier settled in Seattle, founded his eponymous brand in 1897. It was no coincidence that thousands of fortune-hunters were stampeding through the region at that time, heading north to the Klondike Gold Rush. Filson’s goal was to outfit them with the finest quality goods, designed to meet their match in the harrowing conditions of the Great White North. Filson’s “rugged-twill” rucksack with bridle leather straps and details, makes for a great companion, even if all you’re after is the golden sun.