Silas Grant is the visionary behind one of our favorite brands here at Carryology, Bedouin (handmade in England). Silas and Bedouin just won 1st place in the first annual 2012 Carry Awards (“best work messenger” category) for their Barbary messenger bag, news which is brand new and hot off the presses. Silas Grant is a lot of fun to chat with, he’s always positive and with something surprising and interesting to say. That being said, it was painfully obvious we had to do a “5 Minutes w/” series with him. Love the idea for their new shop space that he discusses below. I know I’ll personally be making a visit, or fifteen.
1 – What key insights drive your stuff?
Quality, Practicality, Authenticity combined with our interest in Surrealism, Memento Mori, Provenance, Geometry and a love of skateboarding, cycling and motorcycling to name a few. Bedouin was born out the idea to make bags that were unique, and had care and attention to every detail. We want to make something special.
2 – Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry? And why do you think they’re important…
There are tons of people doing great stuff, I would need to categorise a bit. In pro courier it would be Black Rainbow Project; obsessive, technically brilliant and authentic. In high end it would be Hermes; whatever you think of fashion mega brands, Hermes really know their business, hand stitched, beautifully finished, amazing leathers. And of course there is Globetrotter, suitcase Gods that they are. Respect to Rimowa for their Aluminium wheeled bags (although if you need wheels, you are carrying too much stuff). Respect to Makr for doing it all themselves. Mission (Workshop) for doing what they do so well. I have always been a Head Porter fan. I could go on…
3 – Are there any things other brands do that you think are great or could be improved?
As above, the best ‘carry’ brands are the specialist brands that just make bags, or at least started like that. In any aspect of design, if you put passion into your work, it shows through in the end product. This is sometimes lacking in bigger brands.
4 – What’s next for you guys?
We are looking to open a shop in London and expand our global distribution network this year. Having our own shop would be ace, like a crazy little exhibition space meets a 19th century East London opium den, and do our design and prototyping out the back. We will make it a real experience to visit. New designs, we are just launching the Delireis, our latest backpack, it’s a really tight little pack, nice and simple with clean functionality but a unique look. We also have the Barbarossa, a super padded shoulder bag. We are prototyping some specialist function bags at the moment and a leather goods collection. We really like to show our products over time, how they age and get worn in; this is a healthy approach that is under-utilized. It is good to have a bag that you have had for years; that’s sustainability. We also have a great new print by Zeke coming out, with an Atlantis theme. We would like to start using the prints on some externals, and get some wallpaper made for the shop.
5 – What do you carry daily and how?
I use my Khaki Barbary more or less everyday, and have done for the past 4 years. I cycle a lot so it has a toolkit permanently in one of the internal pockets. I also carry my camera and laptop all the time. Nice and cosy on your back on these cold winter days and it managed a couple of tropical monsoons with only one re-waxing. I love its reliability and the scars I have given it through use. And it just won the Best Work Messenger Carryology award, which is great news. When it’s a bit more formal or I am travelling I take my Mamluke; clean, simple and really practical. I use my Caliph wallet everyday too, ages beautifully. We test and get friends to test all our products, so there is always a new prototype to try out.