Man Handled

Purses aren’t just for her anymore. Here’s where he can get his bag on.

By Angela Garbes March 16, 2009 Published in the April 2009 issue of Seattle Met

Reach for impeccable leather goods at Blackbird.

Space Case
If SAM were to curate an exhibit of modern baggage, the gleaming Tumi Luggageshop could serve as inspiration. Strategically lit displays authoritatively present Tumi’s signature collections, each with its own messenger bag, hip pack, backpack, and tote. There’s the soft, lived-in feel of the “Canyon” collection, for example, and the sleek, speed-inspired curves of “Ducati.” For the fearless, highly evolved purse-carrying dude, Tumi also makes leather clutches (available online only).


Water Works
Even if you’ve never waded through cold Northwest waters in Gore-Tex boots, you can appreciate the clean design of the field- and stream-ready goods at Kaufmann’s Streamborn. Among the rods, reels, and rain jackets, find a classic brown-on-brown shoulder satchel by William Joseph and a number of contemporary, user-friendly messenger bags by Fishpond. Anticipating the rough-and-tumble existence of stylish sporting men, the latter are guaranteed for life.


Case in Point
Design-focused fellows know that Blackbirdis Man Purse Mecca. There’s an ample selection of serviceable, budget-friendly nylon styles by Jack Spade in classic colors and polyurethane-coated cotton carryalls by Nom de Guerre, but those who identify as aesthetes swoon over bags by Want Les Essentiels De La Vie. Impeccably made with supple, supple leather and minimally outfitted with half-gold, half-silver zippers, they’re the sort of accessory that can truly make a man.


Get Into It
Adopt the cutting-edge look of the East at Atsui Tokyo, (CLOSED) a shop dedicated entirely to up-and-coming Japanese labels like Man of Moods. Designer Yuya Noguchi, formerly of Comme des Garçons, collaborates with Japan’s luxury-bag concern Master-Piece to create splashy, urban models best exemplified by the Boston Bag. The oversize canvas and leather pack has entry points on its mustard-yellow body and the ketchup-red top, making it accessible in more ways than one.


Trunk Show
Bellevue Square’s Marqsmen goes international with its menswear, but when it comes to bags, owner Marques Warren looks no further than Queen Anne Hill. Designed by local husband-and-wife team Rian and Julie Berry and available in large and small formats, in nylon and distressed or high-grade leather, Rian brand messenger bags sport an easy, magnetic fold-over flap, plenty of pockets, and an arty-yet-industrial appeal. Can’t seem to travel light? Check out the Rian line’s roomy, less-structured travel totes.
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