February 10, 2010

Bags for Tools (Not the Ed Hardy Kind)

I have used bags all my life, as I am sure many of you have too; school bags, lunch boxes, and briefcases accompany us through much of our educational and professional lives. After graduation, I continued to use bags to hold all of my daily essentials and it is a wonder how anyone could go anywhere without one. Designer handbags have worked their way into my heart with their design and quality craftsmanship. I have a distinct memory of this black Playschool children's doctor bag that held all you needed to feel better. Then there was my father's tool box that contained gadgets that could fix pretty much anything. It is no wonder then, that I am so drawn to the shape of a doctor bag, a structured silhouette, or a combination of both. Enter: The Mason Bag.

The Heritage Leather Co. Mason Bag garnered hype recently after Bagaholic Boy wrote a feature on the piece. This particular model, the 16" Canvas Reinforced with Yellow Leather, is probably the sweetest blend of function, fashion, and at $79, frugality. A classic man bag that won't harm my Birkin fund? INSTANT ORDER. Lets not forget that this bag was built to take a beating, and still look timeless (if not better ditry) with the Heritage Co. logo embossed on the leather. Also, if you haven't caught this, I am a sucker for feet on a good bag. The Mason also comes in 20" and 24" models.

Created originally as lightweight, eco-friendly bags for trips to the flea market, Fleabags are a top quality carry all with many uses. The original model has been on my radar. There are more color ways to suit different wardrobes but I love the original canvas and saddle color combination the best. The striped lining inside the canvas bag is a wonderful surprise! There is also The Porter which is similar to the original design, except they are made from a denim, leather, and sometimes suede combination. Note: Each bag is made in New York from organic cotton, water-based ink, and American/Italian vegetable tanned leathers sourced in America.

Fleabags releases new models each season in limited edition runs, with the exception of the year-round original style. Here is the latest model, The Salt, which is similar to the Heritage Co. Mason Bag (only smaller). Like the previous collection, the Salt has feet to protect the leather and also comes with a cross body strap. The strap is an add on that makes this piece particularly tempting, but the price difference from the Mason is something to think about. Depending on fabrication, Fleabags range from $440-595.

- jerome

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