By ERIC DING
It’s easy to get swept up in the hype of backpack giants Patagonia, The North Face, Jansport and the like. After all, backpacks aren’t really something people think about as an accessory, especially for men. Bags and backpacks in general have always been more geared towards functionality rather than aesthetics. Better to have a plethora of pockets and zippers than to be stylish. However, with a little digging, you can find an edgy backpack that will be more than just a container for your books. Trust me, having a unique bag will make you really stand out amidst the common black North Face or Jansport ones that plague this campus. To get you all primed, here are some brands that are paving the fashionable bag landscape.
If you don’t want to get too crazy, Crafted Goods has really classy, futuristic variations of the run-of-the-mill backpacks. They are all constructed and look differently than regular backpacks, but the style is very minimalistic. The colors are all very plain and basic, but there is a sleek, yet understated, attraction to the way these Crafted Goods bags look on the outside. Even better, the bags all have functional clasps and pockets woven into the design so you can still hold and compartmentalize all the things you wanted to before. The Ballistic Collection is exclusively all-black for those who dig that look, but the Original Collection has black, navy and tan to diversify the colors.
My love for this company is twofold: The company is insanely focused on quality, thereby producing all of its own goods, and the company is insanely focused on fashion, designing all of its own goods. It’s a markedly simple yet beautiful system. They are online-only to cut costs, and they are completely transparent about their business, even giving their customers a complete breakdown of the costs of making their products. The result of their cost-effectiveness is evident; their most popular bag is the Twill Snap Backpack priced at an amazing $65. It is slightly less functional, however, the uniform cotton twill exterior coupled with the leather detailing makes for quite the trendy bag right now in our youth culture. They do sell out regularly, so make sure to get one soon if you’re interested!
For a change of pace, Côte&Ciel is a company that will cost you a pretty penny, but makes up for it in sheer design innovation. The biggest draw of Côte&Ciel is their emphasis on one thing: Ergonomics. Started in Paris, Côte&Ciel means Coast&Sky, referencing the company’s inspiration from nature. Their backpack products all balance original, architectural design with human form and movement. And if this all sounds too highfalutin, just check out the Nile and Isar Rucksack Collections, and you will know what I mean. The style is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and the prices are nearing astronomical, but the design is so avant-garde, it has me hypnotized. Their backpacks look like wearable, functional works of art.
Don’t let the monotonous backpacks at Cornell fool you, there is much more out there than meets the eye. Branch out and find a bag that really fits your sense of fashion.
Eric Ding is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Dapper Man appears alternate Fridays this semester.