Many years ago, we were traveling in Europe and noticed the bags carried by many men. Particularly in cities, we saw what can only be described as small briefcases designed in a way that made them seem less for business and more for everyday necessity. Not effeminate, these bags were clearly designed for men – even when rendered in bright red calfskin, saw that one in Venice.
These elegant yet casual bags seemed so right. The comparison to a woman’s handbag is inevitable (it’s European!), but these bags, carryalls, cases, call them what you will, were totally male in forma and design, yet unlike anything we had seem in America.
Such bags make sense, especially today, as men now tote around wallets, mobile phones, tablets, cables, notebooks, pens, keys, and other daily necessities. And, for times when your nylon backpack doesn’t seem to be the right choice, a well crafted man’s bag is very much a desired alternative.
With that in mind, we are pleased to present the Scott Writer’s Bag, from France-based Bleu de Chauffe. This company makes some of the most interesting and highly crafted bags were have come across. Hand built by a single craftsperson who signed each finished bag, most models are based on vintage work bags that were once common to many professions.
In the case of the Scott bag, the story is a little more unique. The design of this bag is based upon the satchel carried by legendary writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Used to hold his manuscripts and notes, the original carried the scars and dents of a lifetime of use. Bleu de Chauffe kept much of the original’s design in place, from the pierced full-wrap body straps to the leather handle, to the centered locking clasp.
The execution of these elements, however, was a rethinking of Scott’s bag for the modern man. Even so, this new bag retains a bit of historic elegance and quirkiness. For example, the unique turnstile lock which allows easy and quick access to the bag’s contents, possesses a certain anachronistic joie de vivre. It is a functional element, yet also playful and seems to speak to the bag’s overall artisan feel.
This bag is special and different, but not glaringly so. The smaller size makes it a bit impractical for full-throated business work and it’s certainly not a tote-your-gear-to-the-footbal-match sort of bag. The feel of the Scott bag is more of a personal work bag. In this bag you carry your personal thoughts and necessities. You place what you want to bring with you, not only what you must.
So, in a very real way, this is in fact the sort of bag we saw in Paris and Brussels, Amsterdam, and Rome. A personal man’s bag; not for the office, but for daily life.
In terms of specifics, the interior is open and unencumbered. It is a wide-open single gusset bag that also has a clever snap out boiled felt pocket that can also serve as its own small carrying case.
The leather is stiff and strong, easily holding the bag’s distinctive curved shape. Ours has begun to soften up a bit and given time and use, it should mellow to a structured yet pliable bag.
Overall, this is an especially unique man’s bag that deftly shifts between formal and casual, practical and selective. The connection to F. Scott Fitzgerald is an added quality that speaks volumes to this bag’s style and simple practicality. We love it and highly recommenced the Scott Writer’s Bag to anyone looking for a classic and modern everyday man’s personal bag.