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Sunday, March 3, 2024

How nice issues age – Everlasting Fashion

Lucas has had this canvas bag from Charlie Borrow for years, and I’ve all the time admired its rugged high quality, significantly once we’ve traveled collectively. So I believed it could make a superb entry in our How Nice Issues Age sequence, which in fact has explicit pertinence as a part of our Dry January venture.

Lucas has had it since 2017, and used it lots – daily for lengthy durations and (he estimates) most likely three days every week on common for these seven years. It seems actually nice for it.

The physique is a 24oz military-spec canvas, with the handles and strap equally heavy-duty. The {hardware} is strong brass, and there’s a brass key clip on the surface.

The bag is unlined, with one exterior pocket sitting between the deal with straps and two pockets on the within (one canvas, one leather-based). The straps run beneath the physique, which is the strongest methodology in addition to a pleasant design aspect. There are many different particulars on Charlie’s web site, as with all the opposite merchandise.

As I requested Lucas concerning the bag, he started wanting by means of his telephone at photos of it over time.

The primary one from 2017 reveals it sitting on the ground of the London Underground, and it virtually seems like a distinct bag. The canvas is inexperienced, there isn’t a patina or color variation. It’s flat and plain.

Subsequent images all present it sitting on the bottom someplace, and this appears telling. Lucas has by no means been light with it, and has solely grow to be higher.

“After I was travelling spherical Europe for Drake’s, doing wholesale, I’d mainly stay out of the bag,” he says. “The suitcase I checked in was crammed filled with Drake’s samples, so there was no room for me.

“The scale meant I might match three shirts, a pair of trousers and a few underwear, plus toiletries, laptop computer and so on. And that was me for the journey, going by means of France, Austria, Switzerland.”

“The great factor concerning the form is that whenever you carry it as a day bag, with the garments all left on the lodge, it doesn’t look misplaced. A weekender type or one thing equally large in a distinct form would look odd, however this doesn’t.”

The flatter form additionally makes it straightforward to retailer, and the shoulder strap has got here in helpful. “I do know plenty of luggage have a shoulder strap, however it had so many makes use of for me – it meant I might carry the bag throughout my again once I was hauling the suitcase, loop it spherical one thing on a practice for a bit of safety, and take it off once I didn’t want it.”

After I meet Lucas on the town he usually cycles in, and it’s this bag that’s all the time slung throughout him.

“Essentially the most punishment it’s taken might be final yr once I was in Mexico,” he says. “I purchased an excessive amount of stuff, so needed to ram this filled with all my garments and verify it in alongside my suitcase, then use a purchasing bag for hand baggage.

“I used to be a bit anxious how it could come out the opposite facet however it was advantageous. There’s one place the place it seems like there’s a gap, however the materials hasn’t really damaged, it’s simply been pushed aside by one thing sharp. The fibres are all intact.”

The bag-maker Charlie Borrow is best identified for his bridle-leather totes (above), that are equally robust and simple in make, often unlined with riveted handles.

He has a workshop close to Arnold Circus in Shoreditch, the place he additionally works on previous chairs, reupholstering or changing covers. It’s a beautiful house, and I’d advocate visiting you probably have the prospect. Though it’s open most days, it’s all the time value making an appointment prematurely so Charlie is aware of you’re coming.

Lucas’s bag is a regular design, loosely based mostly on a pilot’s helmet bag, however Charlie additionally does totally different designs and requests – as we noticed just lately with reader Ben, who can be a buyer and had a crossbody bag made to explicit proportions (under).

I’ve by no means had a tote like one among Charlie’s in bridle leather-based, however it could be fascinating to attempt a while. They’re not low-cost, however it’s nice to have the shop and the standard is definitely prime notch – if Lucas’s expertise testifies to something, it’s that.

When it comes to performance it could be just like my much-loved Frank Clegg tote, however the look can be a bit of extra rugged and workwear-adjacent. I additionally like the way in which the pure leathers purchase a patina – it occurs inside just a few weeks, going from pale pink to a wealthy tan, highlighting all of the wrinkles and stretch marks.

It might most likely be extreme given I’ve that Clegg and an previous LL Bean one as effectively, however maybe at some point.

Lucas’s pilot bag, in the meantime, is sitting on prime of his suitcase as I write this, in Florence airport as we anticipate our flight residence from Pitti. And it seems so good – a terrific instance of high quality building that has aged very effectively, and can solely keep on doing so.

Lucas Nicholson runs the Everlasting Fashion store and has labored on PS for the previous three years. Readers that use the assist service on the store could have benefited from his recommendation. He has additionally written for PS up to now, right here.

The pilot bag begins at £350 and a typical bridle-leather tote from Charlie Borrow is £875. Every thing is made to order, however orders might be made by means of the web site. Lead instances are sometimes 4-6 weeks, though are barely longer for the time being. Contact Charlie for an correct lead time. 


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