Honestly, I just can’t help myself. I get an idea for a new leather bag and I have to do something about it.
However, now, instead of me buying leather bags off the shelf or blindly from some website, I am communicating my ideas for what I think my new leather bag should look like directly to the makers of the bag. Enter Men A.Werro, the crazy Swiss dude turning the treadle of the ancient Singer sewing machine.
(Before I go any further, I have to say that the photos I have taken this evening do not do this new bag justice. The lighting in my house is not studio quality and the camera flash makes the bag look much redder than it really is.)
Back to Papa’s brand new bag; I wanted a bag for the days that I carry a couple file folders, my iPad, chargers and connectors, mobile device and my wallet. Not enough for a briefcase, too much to hold in the hands. So I started talking to Men from LeatherWerk. We were very quickly on the same page.
He got to work designing the bag, I got to work at critiquing the drawings and asking for something more, something less, something different, something else…until I emailed Men back to say, “I trust your judgement. I trust that you have a good idea of what I want; make me an iPad pouch.” He said, “Thanks, I’m on it.”
A few days later he emailed to tell me it was ready to go in the mail. And today it was waiting for me at my front door.
It is exactly what I had in mind when I asked Men to put something together for me. It is 11″ tall, 9.5″ wide and 3″ from front to back. On the rear of the bag is the wallet pocket I asked for.
It all works.
When we were communicating about the bag we agreed that it would come without a strap. I have a Saddleback Leather Pouch with a strap that I knew would fit this new bag so I didn’t mind.
For $135, shipped to my door, I was thrilled to get a custom made iPad pouch.
About the details of the bag: the leather is supple and I trust that it will age and have a beautiful patina. It already has some creasing from the natural texture of the hide and my use of it, even from just tonight has made it feel even more luxurious.
A couple minor (very minor) quibbles about the bag, first, I think that the bag would be stronger if it had rivets at the stress point where the back of the bag meets the top of the side. When I flip it open it feels like it pulls a bit at the sides. I’m not worried that this will ever break, but it would be stronger with a rivet on each side at the top.
Another very minor quibble is the way that the straps are attached. They could have been even a half an inch longer than they are.
Once again, this will probably never be a weakness in the bag, it just feels a little under-designed. Of course that is after having countless Saddleback Leather bags which are so over-designed that they can be a pain in the shoulder to carry for any length of time.
Finally, if I was to go back to the drawing-board with this bag, I would have split the main compartment into two. It would make more sense to have two pockets instead of one big compartment.
I requested the design to have the one main compartment but I now see that having it split into two would be a more efficient use of the space. Totally my my oversight.
The bottom-line? This bag is beautifully crafted. It is not made in a factory in a far off land (unless you call the Orgeon coast a far off land).
The stitching on this bag is virtually perfect and the quality of the leather is second to none and will age beautifully.
The design is based on the vision I shared with Men A Werro, the creative genius behind Leather Werk dot com.
Yes, I have a couple minor quibbles but overall, this is an excellent bag that will look fabulous while doing exactly what I want it to do; carry my iPad, a charger and assorted connectors, a couple files, my wallet and my mobile device. All that I wanted it to do.