Sold out on pre-sale: reflections on good design, craftsmanship and the bag of the century

Lovely reader Southern Belle PhD has been kind enough to direct my attention to this timely post on The Daily Prep, in which the blogger visits a New England leather goods factory where bags without logos are handmade. The bags are impressive, although Muffy -the blogger - is too well-raised to discuss prices in front of any possible blog-walking strangers. She quietly provides a link to the company's site, where you can find out for yourself, should you be so inclined. I have observed that New Englanders of any ancestry are impressed by the concept of "value for money," which I think results from a naturally-occurring mineral in the regional water tables, rather than DNA, and these bags are a good example of that concept. Thank you, Southern Belle!

Here's why I find that post timely: the bag I really want, while not yet "on the market," will make its appearance March 1, and I'm sure when it does it will already be sold out on pre-sale.

It was designed by Leonardo DaVinci, but like so many of his brilliant ideas, never produced that we know of, until now.

Well. Here's a link to a more detailed description of the bag and the Discovery of the sketch, and all I can say is I have rejoiced in rediscovering my once and future favorite designer. The Huffington Post has a link to a video of the bag's construction, which also fascinates, and I wish I could get that link to work on my blog but since I can't, go over there and check it out.

So I'm sure that by now the Leonardo bag is "fully committed" and I'm also sure that knock-offs are in production at all price points. Sigh.

Here's a travel bag I can afford:

You can find it on the LLBean website. I have also provided an example of why user reviews are a public service. I wonder if Leonardo included compartments for poison rings and finely engraved stiletti in his bag. Meanwhile, since we're planning a Florida trip in February (didn't want to miss the NY-Seattle rotten weather and flight cancellations this month, but that's another post), my Florida must-do list includes keeping my distance from any guys toting the LLBean bag.


  1. Thanks for sharing! My failure to reproduce has undercut a lot of my former interest in selecting heirloom-quality products, but I admire the simplicity and logo-free aesthetic of this line.

    Although the 80s have gone down in history as an era of OTT fashion, as a young adult in that decade I could always rely on the quiet, handsome basics produced under the Nordstrom house label. Now my local Nordstrom centers on a tacky handbag department stuffed with every type of bling, zipper, initial, and label imaginable. It makes me avoid the store entirely.

    (And I'd be very happy if my husband picked up a little L.L. Bean man-bag rather than jamming his CW in his coat pocket. We live in the Wild West; what can I say?)

  2. Hi, Hexicon! Having trouble imagining man-bags west of Central Park, but if the guy's carryin' , I guess it's unlikely that he'll worry about getting into an argument...

    I agree about Nordstrom's generally. A stop at Great Mama Nordstrom's used to be a highlight of family visits to Seattle, not so much any more.

  3. just watched the video- it's kind of a shame that we'll see some super cheap knockoffs though- they, uh, 'cheapen' the look!

  4. Southern Belle Ph.D.January 21, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Wellfedfred, Thanks for taking a few moments to read the post I mentioned. I found it interesting to read comments from others regarding the decline in quality and to learn of options in the US for quality products. I, for one, would much rather pay more for an item and know it will last than to pay over and over for clothing, handbags, etc. that just disappoint almost before the bill arrives.

    I really like the handbag you have chosen. It will be interesting to see the knock offs.

    My husband, a gun enthusiast, said that should trouble find you while in Florida, find the man with the LL Bean bag. He will save you!! Hope you have a great time on your trip to Florida.

  5. I made it here anyway... thanks for the link to the blog...

    Hopefully no LLBean bags in April in FL either. :D

  6. Hi, thatdamngreendress, I love to watch things bring made, wish more things were made where I could get to see the process.

  7. Hi, SouthernBelle, thank you for finding it. And I'm not afraid of guns in general, just that the lunatic pointing one at me may be in the pay of Himself's mother .


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