The all important Duffel Bag is arguably the most important piece of travel gear known to man, and one that you should certainly have available at a moments notice. Large enough for a weekend get-away yet small enough for a carry on, you simply can’t go wrong with its iconic design. We live in a day-and-age where being on the go is the norm, and having an essential carrier isn’t the last but the first thing on your mind before you head out the door. But, finding the best one suited for your lifestyle can be a challenge.
Searching high and low online for a suitable match will yield some great results, although, you better be ready to [highlight]burn a whole in your wallet[/highlight]. And, if your looking for that next Louis Vuitton covered in alligator leather, you might as well forget paying off a month student loans. Luckily, there are some really well made bags specifically designed for guys on the market, and at fairly reasonable price tags. Moreover, independent brands such as Chivote make it easy to find luxury, style, and craftsmanship.
Updating the Duffel Bag is no walk in the park, but if anyone could do it, it would be these guys since they’ve already thoroughly impressed consumers and collectors alike with previous releases such as the Redrum 2Face Backpack and their ingenious CamCarry made for photographers. Aptly titled The 4 Style Duffel, and catering to the busy movers and shakers of the world, the premium grade leather on its exterior is just as impressive as its multiple carrying options. Yes, it looks incredibly good, could probably save your life with the amount of things you can put inside it, but what was the process of creating it? To find out, we asked designer, architect and co-founder Andrew Chivote.
[divider]Updating The Duffel To Modern Luxury[/divider]
VM: What’s the story behind the 4 Style Duffel, how did the idea come about?
Andrew: The main problem was I couldn’t find a cool duffel bag I could afford. Most of the ones I liked were over $500 or even $1000. So I decided to design my own, and produce it, with the goal in mind of making it affordable, comfortable to wear, large enough to fit all I needed to carry, and basically make life on the road as easy as possible. Launching it on kickstarter made keeping the price as low as possible, we can order large quantities of leather, and make a large number of bags in only one run.
VM: Tell us a little bit about the creative process that went into its design?
Andrew: I worked on the design for months testing and perfecting it. I focused on creating a simple but unique design, unlike anything that’s out there and optimised the design to keep the production as simple as possible while still having a complex product. It was important the bag be highly versatile. It was also important to get the most out of it, and being able to wear it in different ways was I thought a great travele bag needed. Switching between a backpack and a shoulder bag in seconds was a must, and we’re proud to say we made it happen due to the proportions of the bag and the design of the straps. it’s a bit wider than taller, so you can carry it as a backpack, and the adjustable straps are long and wide enough to be comfortable wearing it any way you want.
VM: Compared to traditional Duffel bags, what sets this one apart?
Andrew: Compared to other duffel bags, it has that extra versatility, other duffel bags can’t be carried in so many ways. The straps are entirely made of leather, what we considered a must during the initial design phase (others make them out of textile to save a few bucks). It’s large enough to carry a lot of gear (we kept the size down just to make it airplane friendly), and most duffel bags out there look big in the photos but are in fact quite small. Which is why we optimized the production, but not the quality.
VM: The color is absolutely beautiful, what leather was chosen and where was it sourced from?
Andrew: All leather we use is sourced from Italy. This is the hardest part, finding good leather at good prices. Leather in general is very very expensive. The leather used in the 4 Style Duffel is processed to be soft and supple yet sturdy enough the handle the elements.
VM: Chivote has a well rounded collection thus far, what should we expect in the near future?
Andrew: For the past two years I’ve learned a lot, and now I can finally focus only on designing and promoting the brand, no longer freelancing and all my attention to Chivote. There will be more products in the coming months ahead, and an overall increase in quality (design, packaging, website) and moving on to the next level. I’m in the final testing phase of a messenger/briefcase bag that I’m really proud of and will be launching it this coming Fall season.
The 4 Style Duffel is available now online.