Rough Around The Edges

Fashion has yet again turned its roving eye on the military for inspiration, but we’re not talking khaki and medals. This season the eternal menswear inspiration comes in the form of canvas. Some of the season’s best accessories—particularly bags—are made from this tough and unassuming, yet hip fabric.

The Banker Bag by Freemans Sporting Club, for one, is durable and comes with a built-in “don’t mess with me” vibe, while luxury-lovers will find solace in Makr’s canvas and suede duffle bag. The former may be handy, but the latter is a classic—jet black, manly and complementary to any capsule wardrobe.

Canvas is now even suitable for the office. Barbour’s waxed-cotton briefcase, for instance, turns the white collar staple into a practical, modern accessory, while J.Crew offers a similarly structured waxed-canvas duffle bag for longer business trips. For something a little grittier, Magnum bag by Porter is a tough-talking tote suitable for any manly-man and Corto Moltedo’s David In Traffic side strap carrier is versatile, yet sleek.

Don’t think this textile transformation is limited to indie boutiques and designers, however. The international runway for spring/summer ’09 was also full of canvas accessories and other trappings. Mihara Yasuhiro offered a slouchy, hand-held pouch in black with leather straps and subtle detailing. Gucci revamped their warm weather wares for international jet-setters with a hefty canvas carry-all, embellished with the label’s signature red and green stripes and caramel leather accents. Even the perennially unpredictable Jean Paul Gaultier sent out a moss colored shoulder bag that harbored more than a little early ’90s flare, to say nothing of its pouch-pocked and zipper-friendly practicality.

Whatever the occasion, outfit or personal aesthetic, there’s an option for every man in this new wave of masculine, canvas bags.

—Candice Rafferty




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