As one of our readers or customers, it’s a fair assumption that you appreciate things that will get better with age and still look amazing after a ton of wear. Yes, we typically focus on Japanese raw and selvedge denim, but there are definitely other categories of products that we think are worthy of attention in this respect. Today, our focus is on bags – man bags: much feared by the insecure male but revered by those in the know, to us bags are essential.
Sure breaking in a crisp pair of denim feels like a million bucks, but believe us, breaking in a bag, a backpack, a tote is equally rewarding, and the best part is: not only do they make you look good, but they also have the added benefit of practicality. So, time to put all that crap you have in your pockets deforming your precious pair of raw denim (plus a laptop and whatnot) into a work of crafted, carry-able art.
These are some of our favorites:
Let’s start with this marvel of a tote bag from Setto. Setto is part of the Japan Blue Co. Ltd. network, so a brainchild of the same guys that brought you Momotaro, Japan Blue and Soulive. That being said, these guys mean business when it comes to bags, which are all crafted with pride in Japan! This selvedge denim BG-09 tote bag with a tan leather handle is no exception. Leather and denim will age beautifully and get great patina, while your goods are safely stored in the completely lined interior: No indigo stains on the stuff you carry around! The main compartment has lots of space for stuff (39 cm x 30 cm x 11 cm) and thanks to the snap button everything is conveniently available and safely stored. If you are a true denimhead at heart, this tote bag will tick all the right boxes and clocking in at 9.000 Yen, it’s a freaking bargain to begin with.
Camo is in. And by in, we mean hot as hell right now. So naturally, we would be recommending this amazing backpack from Momotaro. The backpack is an essential for the young that constantly move between campus and city, and a fashion statement for the working man. This backpack is everything you’re looking for. Plenty of storage room (height 36cm, length 28cm, width 15,5) combined with a lot of flexibility. And thanks to the great camo design from the always amazing Momotaro, it simply looks stunning. It’s 100% cotton with some super-solid hardware, both will break in nicely and last you decades. It might even outlive you! The general look is clean and simple and it is (obviously) topped off with the obligatory going to battle stripes.
Did we mention that it’s a total steal at 10.000 Yen? (Unfortunately, we don’t have many of these available)
Denime is a brand that is simply not getting enough love. When you type it into Google, you’ll just get “did you mean denim?” But that’s actually spot on: Denime pretty much is the embodiment of denim. Together with Evisu, Warehouse, Full Count, and Studio d’Artisan, they were part of the Osaka 5, the legendary jeans makers who kicked off the denim craze in Japan. Denime make crazy good jeans, and as of late they also make crazy good accessories. Look at this bag for instance, it’s a collab with outdoor brand NOMAD. This backpack brings together a lot of awesome materials: Denime’s signature denim, NOMAD’s signature cotton canvas and two leather labels, so you can enjoy the ageing of the different materials together. It has a clear naval theme (navy color + white rope), but you can basically take it anywhere! It offers a lot of space (heights: 48cm) for literally anything. Check out the crazy amount of details. It can be yours for 17,500 Yen, but it is a limited collab and once it’s gone, it’s gone!
If you are looking for more storage room, more compartments and more leather, check out this shoulder bag from Roberu. We recently featured them on our blog and if you are lucky enough to own one of their iPhone cases, you know that Roberu stands for top-notch quality.
This washed canvas shoulder bag is no exception. Choose your canvas in one of three colours (GRAY, NAVY, GREEN) and the craftsmen of the Roberu workshop will make you your very own bag! It comes with a heavy leather lid that will age to perfection. The shoulder belt is made from sturdy leather that will actually hold the bag and keep it’s stability! The smaller front compartments feature the same leather lid and allow you to keep your cell phone, memo pad, passport etc. accessible.
The bag is super roomy (W 42cm / H 28 cm / D 17 cm) and leaves you enough space to even use the bag as a weekender! These bags cost 27.000 Yen and are worth every penny! These are lifetime bags with timeless designs.
Studio d’Artisan make amazing jeans. Seriously, they have been around since 1979 as one brand of the Osaka 5 and their garments kick ass. You probably already own a few pairs – such as the bestsellers SD-101, SD-103 or SD-107 – and love the quality of construction, the amazing denim fabric and their attention to detail. Well, you pretty much get all this from this bag as well: Their amazing selvedge denim is the basis for this awesome tote bag. The main compartment is huge (W: 45cm x H: 28cm x D: 13cm) and is fully lined. But don’t worry, three smaller interior compartments offer a lot of space to organize your stuff. One of those can be closed with a solid YKK zipper. Everything is trimmed with luxurious leather. Speaking of leather: The leather handles alone are pieces of art: robust and practical (L: 87cm x W: 2.2cm). We only have a couple of these luxurious beauties and they go for 27.800 Yen.
You probably heard of Vasco! Vasco consists of a handful of very skilled leather craftsmen, artisans who truly deserve that title.
This leather shoulder bag is based on a mail bag which was manufactured for the US postal service in the 1960s (how cool is that?). It’s a very handy bag (W 38 cm H 30 cm D 13 cm) that carries everything you could possibly need at the university or in the office. This bag is super classy, yet has a somewhat rugged quality – just the balance we love. One reason why these bags will work super well with your denim lays in the production process: Just as your jeans, these are perfectly constructed! Everything about this bag is handmade, even the leather is hand-dyed which has become pretty rare in recent years. Seriously: HAND DYED.
One of these bags will cost you 45000 Yen and the production takes 3-4 months. They are made to order, so there’s no way around that. In fact, the waitlist for these guys is usually longer, so 3-4 months is not bad for a lifetime piece. At first, you might be scared off by the price and the long waiting time, but if you consider that each of these bags is entirely made by one person who only uses the best available materials, does everything by hand (even the stitching), spends over 100 hours only on your bag, you might change your mind. Because the bag you’ll receive will blow your mind, these bags are simply incredible!
Pailot River create some sick leather goods! Their wallets are made from the same workshop (Village Works) that is responsible for RedMoon products: You will actually find a the legendary silver concho from RedMoon in many Pailot River leather goods. Anyone who has ever owned one of their wallets and enjoyed their amazing leathers might secretly have thought: wow, how amazing would it be to have an entire bag made out of that leather. Well, wonder no more. Pailot River offers this enormous shoulder bag with space for almost everything (W 48cm × H 30 cm × D 15cm): you can probably fit a dog or a small human being in this thing (try at your own risk). The cowhide leather used for this bag will age like nothing else and the patina will blow you away! In the center of the front flap, the original REDMOON concho is hand-sewn on a leather pedestal.
The inner design is also very functional, when you open the flap, you have two large pockets on the outside – perfect for storing frequently used items. The quality of these is second to none, and although we admit they are not cheap at 119000 Yen, you’ll get the best bag money can buy.
We have something in store for everyone. Shop for more bags now at Denimio and find the perfect bag for you!
Think blue, think Denimio!