Nostalgic Modernism

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The Herschel bag; so iconic it’s barely noticeable. My Herschel bag is perhaps the most important wearable in my life because it holds everything I need to carry throughout the day. And yet, for its importance, its design is quite humble. Perhaps though why this brand has exploded since its inception in 2009, is because it prides itself on the fact that it’s not just a bag, but a lifestyle.

The company was founded in 2009 by two brothers from Calgary, Canada, Jamie and Lyndon Cormack. Before starting the company, they were working as salesmen for clothing lifestyle brands, but wanted to get away from the monotony, and start something on their own. The beauty of Herschel’s start, is that the company actually started backwards; instead of focusing on the idealistic product, the brothers first imagines what kind of store the bag would sell in, and who would buy it. They wanted the image to be a mix of nostalgia and modern aesthetics. They wanted it to be a lifestyle brand. So Herschel ended up becoming the grown up version of your old “Jansport” backpack; familiar yet updated.

Aside from the trendy nature of the company’s culture, the bags themselves are designed with the habits of the consumer in mind. There are different designs, and different sizes that fit the varying lifestyles of their audience; from the school child to the budding professional. They are also designed with impeccable detailing, mimicking the craft oriented nature of the past, with warm materials (such as metal and leather straps) and beautiful color contrasts. I personally love my bag because of the diversity of spaces and functions it allows. For example, there is a protected sleeve to put my laptop in, as well as a space to loop headphones through. There is also great variability in being able to adjust the size of the bag through its numerous straps for its function. My backpack is all grown up.

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