It used to be that unless a man was carrying a briefcase, sort of like Mad Men's Don Draper, the only other accessory he would have on his person was a wallet. Today, with the help of celebs like Kanye West, David Beckham and Jay Z, who started the trend, men can readily be seen carrying messenger bags, tote bags and even in some cases a men's purse. With all the items we carry around with us today, including our cell phones, iPads, and laptops, it does seem that it was only a matter of time before men were forced to join the world of daily bag carrying.
As mentioned above, there are several types of bags available to men today, depending on what their needs may be. Of course, the brief case is still high on the list, though as opposed to the earlier stiff boxy models, today's version can be a rich, plush leather and soft sided making it much easier to carry. The messenger bag is a popular bag that hangs across the body and leaves hands and shoulders free making it possible to ride a bike (much used by the bicycle messengers in the city,) eat, or perform whatever tasks the day may bring. Another popular option today is the men's tote bag. These come in different sizes and a wide variety of price ranges as many of the big name purse designers have jumped on this ever growing band wagon.
When it comes to travel, every man needs that perfect weekender bag. A weekender bag is a term used for a bag that is lightweight, easy to carry, smaller in size and will hold enough clothes and toiletries for a weekend. This bag is sometimes referred to as a duffel bag, but the bags listed below, are a far cry from the duffel bags we used to pack to bursting for summer camp or a friend's sleepover. These bags are the epitome of high end travel bags and will make a statement at any popular vacation spot as well as on the road less traveled.
10 Pineider Calfskin Boston Bag: $2,325
This bag is from the 1774 collection which takes it's name from the year the company was formed. This bag is a true classic made from Rugato calf skin in a matte ebony color. Pineider uses true Italian craftsmanship and only the finest of materials. Pineider was founded in Florence, Italy, and initially manufactured writing supplies. Later they specialized in embossed stationary. Actually, Napoleon, Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor were a few of the company's well-known clients. From there they went into leather products and are much loved in the industry today.
9 Ferragamo Duffle: $2,400
This bag is constructed with embossed calf skin and has a removable and adjustable shoulder strap. It is the perfect size for a weekend away or a quick business trip. One of our most well-known leather designers, Ferragamo's 1920's Hollywood Boot Shop was a mecca for such stars as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. It was after his death in 1960, that his family took over and branched out into handbags, silk scarves, ties and clothing. In 1990 the Ferragamo top-handle bag became a new classic.
8 Gucci, Leather Carry-On Duffle: $2,750
The Gucci leather carry on duffle is made in Italy and has a double zip closure with a leather tag. This bag also includes the added bonuses of interior pockets for a smart phone and extra zip pockets. It comes in several colors; black, brown, dark green and bordeaux. Guccio Gucci founded his company in 1921 when he opened a small leather goods shop in Italy, though his vision was geared towards London and the fine nobility, he had seen when working in the Savoy Hotel. In 1994 Tom Ford became the new creative director and brought a new modernism to this timeless classic. Today the Gucci label carries with it a distinct aura of elegance and class.
7 Tom Ford, Buckley Leather Duffel Bag: $3,460
This bag is made with pebbled leather, has tote handles and a zip top with a loop pull. It has a soft sided body and is Italian made. After taking the reigns as the Creative Director of Gucci and bringing that brand to the forefront of modern style, Tom Ford introduced his own collection in 2006, that consisted of menswear, beauty, eyewear, and accessories. He has also directed a major motion picture, A Single Man, and is a favorite among celebrities.
6 Bottega Vaneta, Ardoise Buffalo Leather Metal Duffel: $4,350
This duffel is made from the highest quality of buffalo leather and crafted by trained artisans. The bag features two small interior pockets and a large zip pocket as well as a removable shoulder strap. Bottega Veneta was established in 1966 by Laura and Vittorio Moltedo. Bottega Veneta is well-known for it's superior craftsmanship as well as it's discreet "no logo" design. As a matter of fact, the company motto is, "When your own initials are enough." The company became a favorite of the jet set in the 1980's when Andy Warhol made a short film for the company after doing his Christmas shopping there. In 2006, because of the diminishing number of leather artisans, Bottega Vaneta opened up a school to train and support future artisans.
5 Ralph Lauren Saddle Weekender Bag: $4,950
The roomy Saddle Weekender bag is crafted with smooth calfskin in a creamy gold. It has an unlined interior with a hanging leather snapped pocket and a reinforced bottom. It comes in a protective leather pouch complete with a card of authenticity. This bag is part of the ultra-luxe Purple Label collection. Ralph Lauren started 40 years ago with a collection of ties. The company has become well-known for their innovative advertising that tells a story while showing beautiful people wearing their designs. Ralph Lauren now has a magazine RL Magazine and a television station, RL TV.
4 Louis Vuitton Neo Greenwich Nomade Grand Damier Bag: $7,450
For their 2014 collection, Louis Vuitton has reworked their classic Damier bag to create the Nomade Grande Damier travel bag. Still with the iconic shape, the Nomade Grande Damier is even more convenient for travel with the addition of the overly supple Nomade leather. Once again, the square design makes it perfect for carrying folded items. This bag has a washable and scratch proof lining and a zip closure with a padlock. The Louis Vuitton brand and iconic monogram are among the world's most valuable brands. It is also one of the most counterfeited. Chances are if you are buying an LV at a greatly discounted price, it is not a true Louis Vuitton!
3 Coach Archival Twill Day Bag by Billy Reid: $10,000
This bag is a limited edition from the partnership collection between Coach and the Alabama-based designer Billy Reid. Reid brings a Southern approach to modern American luxury. The Archival Twill Day Bag is pieced and stitched by hand from the heirloom archival fabric first introduced by Coach in the seventies. It is accented with the signature brass hardware and trimmed in genuine matte alligator. This bag works well as a weekend travel bag or a very high end office bag.
2 Brooks Brothers Crocodile Weekender: $15,000
The Crocodile Weekender is for the man who thrives on the epitome of luxury. Made in Italy, just the name of this bag says it all. This bag comes with a removable shoulder strap, providing different options for carrying. Founded in 1818, this family business is the oldest men's clothing chain in the United States, and now produces women's clothing as well. Brooks Brothers is frequently sought after by Hollywood costume designers and has dressed many of our well-known stars such as, Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor, George Clooney in Up in the Air, and designed all of the men's costumes for the 2013 remake of The Great Gatsby. They are also responsible for dressing the men of Sterling-Cooper on the popular television show, Mad Men.
1 Domenico Vacca Travel Bag: $48,000
This bag is made with genuine alligator and is only available through special order. Domenico Vacca comes from Southern Italy and has family roots deep in the fashion industry. In 2002 he launched his own label and quickly became known as "The Ferrari of Clothing." Domenico Vacca was recognized twice by Robb Report Magazine, with the Award for Best Italian Collection in their annual Best of the Best issue. Another favorite with the Hollywood costume designers, he has supplied the clothing for many Hollywood blockbusters and is currently working on clothing for Jeremy Piven for the upcoming Entourage movie.