The Detroit-based brand, which has spun a lifestyle narrative from its understated “assembled in the U.S.” designs that it sells in its neighborhood-y stores, projects that this same ethos will serve it well in the women’s bag realm.
“It’s about creating modern luxury with simple designs and attention to detail,” said Richard Lambertson, Shinola’s codesign director, who — with fellow design director and longtime business partner John Truex — has created nine new bag designs for Shinola.
The styles — a louche hobo satchel, a bucket bag, a messenger bag and a duffel shape among them — are due to hit stores on Feb. 1. They will be priced from $395 to $995 — with the average bag hovering around $700.
The entire range will be offered in bright “regatta blue” cobalt, as well as orange, navy, black and neutral-colored leathers, which have all been sourced, tanned and sewn in the U.S.
Truex said of the bags: “The designs have a softer edge to them; it’s not about structure or sharpness. They are clean designs, but I wouldn’t say they are simple — they’re complex in how they’re made and constructed in order to achieve a certain lightness.”
Truex added of the designs’ intended wearer: “If I see a young lady riding a Shinola bike, that is the bag I’m trying to design. It’s about creating the whole picture, and a design that truly purports a free spirit.”
The new Shinola bags follow the brand’s soft-launch into women’s leather goods earlier this year, when it introduced three designs — two totes and a cross-body style. “We wanted to get some things out for Mother’s Day and fall just to get some things going and get a read [from consumers],” Lambertson said.
Interest and demand was larger than anticipated, and the three styles have amassed a collective waiting list of 500 shoppers in under two months, recalling the break-away success of another cultish bag brand — Mansur Gavriel. “It seems that way,” Lambertson said when asked if a lengthy wait-list is the key to “It”-bag-level success in today’s market. “We are just trying to keep up with it,” he added.