I met an old friend, Monsieur Avocado, for catch-up drinks (well, a chili cilantro margarita for me, a club soda for him) on the Soho House roof deck a few weeks ago. He was slinging around a particularly unsavoury ripped & shredded falling apart black nylon rucksack which, surprisingly, even he agreed needed to be replaced tout suite. (The surprise stems from the fact that I distinctly remember that, although a pretty snappy dresser, he had holes in the soles of his shoes when we dated.)
Although he continues to maintain that I wrote this post about him, (I didn’t), he appears to trust my taste enough to come up with a series of alternatives to the urban backpack worn over both shoulders which I described thus:
“The quickest way to look academically challenged. It’s time to leave behind the wipe-clean trappings of childhood and buy a Proper Bag.”
He’s now emailed me twice to remind me that I offered to come up with some manbag ideas. So, to save him turning up on my doorstep demanding the list, here are the criteria: when he’s not ignoring the subway on his doorstep in Brooklyn to take $20 cabs into the city, he walks to and from work so he needs a sturdy bag to carry the astonishingly amount of stuff he he deems necessary for a day in the badlands of Manhattan. He’s willing to spend what I call proper money for something good, and we are looking for durable leather, as opposed to cheaper canvas. (Altho I have included one waterproof bag for variety.) I only really like satchels for men, so that is what I have focused on.
First off is the Mulberry Barnaby in Chocolate (also comes in Oak & Black) $650 or £425 which has a canvas strap & suede interior. I rate Mulberry bags extremely highly for quality & durability. (I have the Mulberry Anthony which just gets better as it gets older. Yes, I know it’s a manbag but the girl version is too small for my liking)
The J Crew leather postal messenger bag $595
This is a recreation of the oil-tanned mailbags carried by the US Postal Service from 1868 until the 1970s, when the original leather satchels were replaced by blue nylon bags.
For those with a smaller budget, and with less tendency to over-analyse their purchases, may I suggest the above bag’s little brother, the J Crew Artisan leather messenger bag $225, made to a traditional Florentine craftsman’s design,
If money really is no object then the deerskin Prada Cervo Messenger Bag $1,750 is an investment buy. Prada leather is always beautiful and, unlike many of their competitors at similar price points, Prada bags last & last.