Posted in Accessories, Eye Candy, Men's Style, Objects of Affection, tagged ace hotel, bags, forestbound, LAYERxlayer, messenger bags, symmetry goods, the shiny squirrel, tote bags, totes on February 9, 2011 |
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Forestbound is the nom de guerre of Alice Saunders, a Boston local who crafts some damn good looking bags and totes from salvaged vintage textiles. Think canvas from 1930′s laundry bags and WWII era military tents, or an envelope-style carry pocket repurposed from a 1950′s hiking pack. Some are reinforced with individually sourced leather pieces, and everything comes complete with heavy-duty hardware that Alice herself hunts down throughout New England. So basically, you don’t have to worry about a lack of authenticity here.
And as you can see from this collection of images, you don’t have to worry about aesthetics, either. From the expertly executed staging to the self-evident appeal of the bags themselves, it’s a win all over.
Her Etsy shop is currently well stocked with a selection of everyday bags and weekenders with an impressive mix of old school inspiration and modern execution (like pockets for your phone/iPod/assorted gadgetry), and in a couple of weeks she’ll be presenting a new line of offerings at The Shiny Squirrel‘s pop-up event at the Ace Hotel in NYC. I’m looking forward to seeing them in person, and I’ve got to admit that I won’t be shocked if I walk away with one in hand.
And a heads up to the NY folk out there: LAYERxlayer and Symmetry Goods (two labels that recently hit my radar and piqued my interest) will be showing at the same event, along with a bunch of other solid brands. Seems like it’s gonna be well worth a visit, so give me a shout if you’re looking for something to do Feb 21-23.
(Images courtesy of Forestbound and The Shiny Squirrel)
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Based out of New York’s Hudson Valley, Utility Canvas was launched in 1990 by Hal Grano and Jillian Kaufman-Grano. The brand specializes in exactly what you’d guess: Canvas goods with a keen eye for function. It all started with a canvas portofolio carryall for the Jillian’s personal use. Since then, it’s expanded out to a full line of home goods, men’s and women’s clothing, and bags.
One of my favorite offerings from the Grano/Kaufman-Grano team is their take on the shoulder-strapped tote: the Bucket Tote. The lines are simple, the canvas looks to be very heavy duty, and the simple snap closure at the top provides for a bit more security than an open-topped model.
Beyond that, there’s the pockets: 3 on the outside and 3 on the inside. Seeing as one of the biggest issues I have with simple totes is the lack of organizational capabilities presented by a single huge compartment, this is a massive plus in my book. When my phone and headphones can be found without furtively rooting through the bottom of my bag, I tend to be much happier in general. I’d venture to guess this is true for most folks.
Throw in made-in-the-USA construction, the natural water resistance of a tightly woven canvas, and a pretty reasonable $98 price tag, and you’ve got a pretty solid contender in the day-to-day bag category.
It’s available in Olive (my favorite), Navy, and Natural from C’H'C’M or Utility Canvas.
(Images courtesy of C’H'C’M)
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