Behind The Design: The Quinn Commuter Backpack

Behind The Design: The Quinn Commuter Backpack

Join us behind the scenes as we sit down with our Director of Design to learn more about the inspiration behind the Quinn Commuter Backpack. Tell us about what inspired you to create this bag.

Backpacks make the best work bags but most make you look like you’re either in high school or about to hike the Appalachian Trail. I’ve been carrying the Crews for years but have always admired how professional, neat, and useful our briefcases like the Miller and Haythe are. The Quinn grew out of a desire to blend the comfort of the Crews with the look and polish of our briefcases.

Thomas Brennan, Director of Design

How did you consider the user’s needs when designing the Quinn?

Useful backpacks——that is, those with plenty of pockets and discrete spaces for specific items——have a tendency to look busy: zippers and pockets and rivets and buckles everywhere. So the goal was to meet the user’s needs while avoiding a cluttered look. That meant keeping the exterior as minimal as possible and considering every detail of how the bag will be used. Items you want readily available (cell phone, business cards, plane ticket, passport wallet) live in pockets just inside the main compartments. Larger items are kept deeper in the main compartments but the angled zipper actually makes access to them easier than a traditionally vertically oriented zipper.

The simplicity of this bag is stunning. How did you show restraint in your design when making this bag?

Initially, I didn’t! Every bag starts busy——ideas jammed together; details added with abandon——and then the work is to pare it back to it’s most essential forms. As the design evolves, the look is shaped by the utility, “form follows function,” and in the end, you (hopefully) get the best, cleanest version of the bag. I think we succeeded here.

Why was this specific leather chosen for this piece?

Baldwin Oak has become a house favorite since we introduced it on our Parker rolling suitcase and Haythe commuter. The color is great, the finish is very subtle, and it breaks in quickly and beautifully.

What’s your favorite feature of the bag?

The angled zipper pleases me more than I care to admit. Shop the Quinn Commuter Backpack here.