In introducing work bags made for creatives, it would not be complete without mentioning Chacoli. Chacoli bags are designed over a long time through intimate communication with Japanese craftsmen or professionals with strong aspirations. Products imbued with such unwavering passion have themselves reached the realm of craftmanship—let’s dive into the world of alluring Chacoli bags made specifically for carrying work tools.
Founded in 2011, Chacoli is a bag brand from Japan. Among the countless bag makers that exist, their well-researched practicality and simple, elegant designs have been building a loyal fan base from people of all walks of life. The most important purpose for Chacoli is to create designs that enrich those whose lifeworks are not influenced by the business of profit and trends; rather than creating something extraordinary, they provide practical values by slightly updating familiar objects that surround us. Tote bags are Chacoli’s most iconic product that follow their philosophy. Everyone has used a tote bag at least once but for better or for worse, most people don’t expect much functionality from a tote bag—it’s just a simple product. Chacoli’s bags, however, encompass beauty and functionality that are the result of designing their products with working creatives in mind: their bags are closely related to work-life.
Since the launch of the brand, many different bag models have been produced by Chacoli. Frame collection, which comes in eight different sizes and shapes, was what triggered the launch and the founding of the brand and still plays a core role within their products. Distinguished from ordinary tote bags by their highly functional dividers using advanced sewing techniques, this collection consists of Chacoli’s flagship products. Another feature of these bags is that they stand on their own when placed down; they use sturdy tapes, like pillars that hold up buildings. The dividers inside the totes come in various sizes and handy to separately organize everything from laptop to documents and small electrical devices. Each tote in this series is given a number from FR-01 to FR-08. Among them, the model called FR-02, which I mentioned previously, is designed to carry heavy loads; the grips on the straps are made thicker than usual in order to reduce the burden on your shoulders. FR-02 is the original model of Chacoli and can be referred to as the heart of the Frame collection, as it plays the most important role in this brand. Its durability was pursued to the utmost limit through repeated tests by carrying dictionaries and laptops on daily basis. The process, which resembles the steps in building a precision machine, is enough to make you understand their commitment. However, Chacoli’s strong love for craftsmanship knows no end; the FR-02 has been updated into various versions while being tried and tested by people in specific professions. For example, FR-01, the large capacity model, comes with shortened strap length so that the bookstore staffs can hold the bag with books in their hands while carrying it on their shoulders.The compact size of the FR-04 is calculated to fit perfectly on the editor’s lap while sitting on a crowded train during the commute. Other smaller models FR-05 and FR-06 are exquisitely sized to fit inside bicycle baskets, while the extremely durable FR-02 is equipped with dividers of different sizes that are designed to separately store tools and samples that product designers carry with them every day. All Chacoli’s bags were designed with the specific needs of each occupation in mind, and prototypes were used by many professionals, including graphic designers, store owners, and confectioners in order to perfect them. Over five years in the making, their deep love for craftsmanship overflows from these eight bags—FR-02 being the starting point of them all. For Chacoli, design process begins when a bag is entrusted to a user. The design of the bag improves accordingly to individual work styles after parting from the creator, while being in use. The opinions of the user shape the bag into its final form by adopting what is truly necessary into its design. At times, Chacoli received negative feedbacks including the zipper on the prototype or the oversized bags. Every opinion was listened to with earnest, and they kept moving forward with additional improvements. When your work environment and the bag you carry are perfectly compatible, it becomes conducive to your work style.
At times, new discoveries come to light as a result of confronting a single situation.
From Chacoli’s experience of creating the Frame collection through dedication and corporation with various professionals, they came to realize that their designs can be adapted to other purposes rather than being too specific—this led to the release of a series called the Partition: a collection created as a counterpart to the Frame collection with seemingly well thought-out unique box shapes and dividers. However, the shapes of the dividers are said to have been created without any consideration for comfort or function. Storage spaces of various shapes and sizes were outfitted purely by the pursuit of visual appeal; how you use these designs that completely disregard function and usage for the people, is up to you. Chacoli’s Military collection was created after the beauty of military bags were discovered; they successfully recreated them with their own twist. After more than a decade of collecting military cases from around the world and constantly perfecting the beauty of their forms, this collection has truly become a cross between art and practicality. Consistently possessing these two elements, Chacoli’s products are the perfect companion bags for creative workers.