Tough And Stylish: Road Testing the New Freitag Reference Collection Handbag (Photos)
All images by Leonora Oppenheim - Freitag Reference Handbag in the customised screenprinted cardboard box it arrived in. Sure makes you want to keep and reuse the box.
Cool new green design is our thing at TreeHugger so we were delighted when those tarp loving Freitag boys offered to let us road test a bag from their brand new Reference Collection. The Swiss Freitag brand has been leading the field in funky, durable, recycled accessories for a good while now. Best known for their brightly coloured messenger bags made from reclaimed truck tarpaulins Freitag has been very popular among young urbanites keen to show off their green style credentials. Now Freitag is branching out, or rather up, with a new collection that is aimed squarely at chic professionals. Carrying the Freitag Reference Handbag over my shoulder.
For the travelling writer
The Reference Collection, Freitag tells us, moves on from the cycle messenger bags that first inspired the graphic design brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag to start their brand. The inspiration for this new collection is the travelling writer, the contemporary journalist who is always on the move and can work from anywhere. Perfect for your average TreeHugger writer then.
They sum it up in this charming, if slightly strangely translated, sentence: "Messenger comes from message; and today, the media are the horse that carries him."
Inside label of Freitag Reference Handbag explaining where and what the bag comes from.
If you are wondering where the horse comes into it, then this might help clear it up: "like hot meets cold, the new FREITAG REFERENCE line is the meltdown of neo and retro: on one hand inspired by horse messengers of the 1800s, on the other hand initiated and endorsed by contemporary journalists."
We like this lost and found dog tag on the inside of the bag, let's hope it's someone honest who finds your bag if you loose it.
Chic and sharp style
Other than the amusingly cryptic copy, we love the new Reference Collection for its uber chic style and the unicolour shades of putty grey, dirty cream and blood red. The styles with their belts, buckles and classic shapes are clearly aimed for a more grown up market than the iconic Freitag pop art style we know and love, but there's still a recognisably sharp edge to the designs which mark them out from your average expensive handbag.
The Reference Collection also produced a newspaper called The Daily Reference which was then used as labels for the bags.
Reclaimed materials built to last
The bag in these photos, that Freitag sent me to try out, is the Reference Handbag. A large practical tote which would easily fit a small laptop or ipad, my 15" Macbook Pro is just too big. I love the feel of the reused tarpaulin, all the useful pockets and compartments, and the absolute built to last quality of the production. This is one sturdy bag that isn't going to fall apart any time soon.
Seriously these are for grown ups
We can't really sum it up better than Freitag have done themselves with some more classic copy: "what is new is they are not hip. They are not pop. They are not ironic, not post-modern or post-anything else. REFERENCE bags are fucking serious."
Some seriously stylish eco-friendly bags from some not so serious Swiss people - obviously!