Be prepared to salivate. Because my eyes are drooling.
Over a year ago, we covered some cool, unknown bag brands most people hadn't heard of before. Though some of these brands are still very cool—for instance, the Côte&Ciel Saar Small is currently getting reviewed—it always feels like our ethical, journalistic duty to spotlight unknown, up-and-coming brands who are doing great, great things. Because they deserve it.
Plus, we want to get our grubby hands on a few of these.
One word: Lo and Sons is consistently great, despite manufacturing issues. Everyone is always at least satisfied. The ninety thousand travelites, fashionistas and bloggers have validated this brand to kingdom come. But it might be time for a break.
Besides, there's nothing to make you feel more superior than having a cool bag no one has ever seen before.
Credit is due where credit is due, no longer how long you've been in business or what kind of cool factor out there exists. In business since 2008, the Cambridge Satchel Company specializes in beautifully, crafted structured bags that make me want to pair it with a fantastic Ted Baker dress.
Oh, wait. Has that already been done?
Though these bags still require a bit of thought before purchase, they do fall somewhere in the middle of the price spectrum on this list. But for price point-to-awesomeness ratio, these might make your heart sing like a little English schoolgirl.
Homegrown Czech brand Braasi may have already gotten their turn, but this Polish-based design studio has bags for the hipster in all of us. Focused on light palettes of muted greens, whites and neutrals, Thisispaper has won our heart with their wordy screenprints, clean lines and accessible price points.
Simple, easy to love. Sometimes there's nothing more to it.
Lost Property of London's bags employ youthful colors, with a structure and style that adds just the right touch of formality. Bag soulmate?
This small, boutique brand also “takes abandoned fabrics and lovingly transforms them into fashionable yet practical upcycled bags,” so if feeling good about the environment and waste is a thing, LPOL is a brand to check out.
Enter Korean street style. Brownbreath's BLCbrand bag brand is definitely one to flag on the radar.
Primarily based in Seoul (and Busan), Brownbreath has been around since 2006 but haven't managed to establish a presence in the American market. But even 10 years ago, no one had ever heard of Muji or Uniqlo in the United States, save a few expatriates.
More importantly, BLCbrand is one of the most affordable brands on this list at what is an *appropriate* price point.
In fact, HighSnobiety recently dubbed in a headline that “BLC by Brownbreath’s New Bags Are So Stealthy They’re Almost Invisible.” So while I think that's a bit of a stretch, BLCbrand's aesthetic does often veer toward a militaristic, urban aesthetic. Finish the look by listening to Rain or 2NE1 while touting the bag.
Someone stop me. From draining out my bank account.
Full of understated, minimalist clean lines—things that speaks to my inner being—this Danish brand is based in Copenhagen, with many many men on the website looking like they belong in a John Varvatos store.
I am one hundred percent okay with that.
If timeless European craftsmanship and design speak to your inner design slut, these bags are more than easy on the eyes. They're bound to go with everything, along with making you feel like you just stepped out of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva on a mission to preserve peace in Syria. I'd love to give my non-existent boyfriend one of their briefcases.
(If you watch Homeland, Mismo is the kind of bag Carrie's ginger-headed German human rights lawyer would carry, not the kind of bag Quinn would carry. They're also expensive as they look but that's not going to stop me.)