Ditch the backpack, dudes. The man-bag is in – big time. Designer houses are heavily promoting the Carry Case as the must-have accessory as growth slows in this lucrative sector of the premium accessories market. Male consumers are an obvious target for luxury retailers, as men are spending more than $7bn (£5bn; R95bn) annually on bags, with this expected to increase to at least $10bn (£8bn; R136bn) by 2020 according to predictions from bag manufacturer Bianca Mosca. The trend is being driven by metrosexual millennials who like a bag that’s semi-formal. The Carry Case is supposed to be a handsome everyday bag; not quite briefcase or tote, yet big enough to take your laptop and gym kit. A quick scan of the list below indicates that they don’t come cheap. However, perhaps a smart Carry Case will become an investment in the long run? Some luxury bags have become serious investments, with select Chanel handbags going up in value by 70% over the past five years, reports Harpers Bazaar. In June a Birkin bag sold for more than £200 000 ($300 000; R3.5m) at a Hong Kong auction and, while the 245 diamonds it sported must have undoubtedly played a role in its selling price, Birkins in general are proving to be investment winners. Retailing for around £5 000, the Birkin has gone up in value by 500 percent over the past 35 years, says the Guardian. – Jackie Cameron
By Moti Ankari
A string of up-and-coming men’s accessories companies, including Custom House International and Stuart & Lau, are pushing a new style of bag this year.
It isn’t quite a briefcase (slim, rigid, professional) and isn’t quite a tote (soft, zippered only on the top, lacking a shoulder strap). It’s not a messenger bag, which is meant to be worn across the body, or even a weekender, which is a small duffel.
It’s an everyday bag that is handsome enough to take to work, durable enough to take a bit of a beating on commute, and big enough to fit some extras: maybe your gym clothes, maybe your laptop, maybe some supplemental snacks. No longer do you need to carry around a work bag and a separate gym bag. It’s all in one.
Call it the “Carry Case” and consider it your new best friend.
The thing is, men typically don’t know what bag they actually need for their day-to-day, says Matthew Stuart Janney, a co-founder of the new luggage brand Stuart & Lau. “The most frequent mistake might be not checking that the briefcase actually holds what it is intended to carry—the laptop sleeve is too small, it does not store your umbrella, there’s no business card holder, the phone pocket fits a different model, etc,” Janney explains. Plus, he adds, “Bags should be easy and comfortable to carry, but surprisingly, this is often overlooked.” These bags all aim to be flexible to solve those problems.
Carry cases: new man-bags on the block
Here are eight carry cases that are big enough to fit everything you need for a day but attractive and compact enough for formal occasions.
Stuart & Lau “Constant” Briefcase
This briefcase is crafted of lightweight, high-grade waterproof twill nylon and Horween leather trim. It also has a snazzy little umbrella slot. ($288, stuartandlau.com)
Giorgio Armani Private Bag
Armani’s new Private bag is made from high-quality, hand-selected leather and lined with soft cotton twill. The name refers to its intended use: carrying and keeping safe a man’s everyday essentials. ($2,195, armani.com)
Fossil Double Zip Workbag
With its sturdy but sleek silhouette, this briefcase is designed specifically for the daily commuter. If you’re worried about getting scratches or distress marks on your bag while traveling to and from work via the subway, this durable, lightly distressed leather option is for you. ($368, fossil.com)
Burberry Large London Briefcase
This minimal, mature briefcase from Burberry is bigger than the company’s average, so you can fit your gym stuff into the bag you have to take to an important meeting. ($2,395, burberry.com)
Filson Tote Bag
This is almost a tote, but not quite. Importantly, it fits the requirement for an extra carry-on on top of a rolling suitcase or duffel, so it’s good for air travel. ($195, filson.com)
Tom Ford Leather-Trimmed Suede Briefcase
You will never to get compliments with a Tom Ford carry case, no matter what you have inside it. ($3,950, mrporter.com)
Custom House International Kirkman Briefcase
On the larger end, this Custom House International bag features two compartments, one slim front compartment for immediate-reach items such as your wallet, notebook, or keys, and the main compartment where you can fit your books, laptop, or even shoes. ($295, customhouseintl.com)
Jack Spade Camo Waxwear Overnight Bag
If you want a slightly bolder carry case, this camo wax overnight bag from Jack Spade makes a subtle statement. ($468, jackspade.com)