Bags are among the most collected (hoarded?) pieces of gear that we own. Many of these bags are of the technical variety—they're made with the specificity of cycling, hiking, or climbing in mind. They have technical fabrics and durable builds, but aren't always ideal for the everyday. In Chicago, however, a modest brand called 1733 is sewing up high quality totes, slings, and bags of all types using the very same technical fabrics, straps, and adornments that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on carryalls made for alpine pursuits. And unlike those bags, 1733's are fit for the less-adventurous moments of your life—and the latest collection drop hits tomorrow, 10 June.
1733’s numeric name isn’t a reference to some seminal year, but rather the house number where the brand’s owner, Phil Schade, grew up in Philadelphia. In 2014, while working an IT job, he created the brand as an outlet for his experiments in a growing sewing hobby. “I settled into bags as an interesting combination of sculptural construction and technical materials and trims,” Schade says.
"I want to make bags that people will use every day.”
Schade's palette includes familiar materials like ripstop, Cordura, and various gridded VX-type fabrics. On an upcoming build of the 3.5L Side Pack, an ultralight, 100% recycled ECOPAK Ultra100 face fabric pairs with a VX07RS lining for a fully-waterproof and highly-utilitarian fanny pack. If that sounds overly technical and complicated, it might be, but the intention behind the design is that it's for whatever its user can dream up. So it better work for a lot of different things.
“I try to design bags that are versatile and functional in lots of settings," Schade says. "Hyper-specific kit isn't really attainable or feasible for a lot of people for monetary or space reasons; I want to make bags that people will use every day.”
The brand often embarks on collaborations that involve unique creative directions and points of view, rather than the dreaded “co-labeling as collaboration” pieces we see time and time again. In fashion, they’ve created luxe leather bags for NYC label Adsum, and in sport, they've used Dyneema in bags for carrying golf shoes for Sentinel Golf. Right now, 1733 is working with their friends at Dog Pasta to create some pieces that involve printed patterns on waterproof laminated fabrics.
To help keep its own retail portal supplied, 1733 releases a rotating selection of bags on a monthly drop schedule every second Friday of each month. This approach aids in testing their customer’s interests, and if a specific combination of material, color, and bag style is particularly successful, then it’ll likely make a return in a future drop. A rotating inventory of styles also makes the work of the studio’s three full-time employees more enjoyable and rewarding.
Though most 1733 products have no single intended use case, the brand is testing some bags that focus on bike commuting that it plans to release sometime in the first half of 2023. Like most goods produced on a small scale, the best way to keep in the loop is through the 1733 Instagram and monthly 1733 newsletter—so hit follow and subscribe if you're interested in adding something new to your bag stack.