- Buyer's Guide
Bag Collectors :: Tony Held
Meet Tony Held, CEO and co-founder of Incase, and world-class bag collector…or bag user as he likes to call it…
What was the very first piece in your collection? And do you remember where and why you picked it up?
I don’t remember the first bag I purchased; I’m 46, so that was some time ago. I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a bag collector; I’m more of a bag user. However, I do consider myself a collector of vintage and modern steamer trunks, as well as vintage luggage. I do remember purchasing my first Goyard steamer trunk in Rome, Italy.
When did you begin to feel more than what might be called an “average obsession” for bags?
I wouldn’t call it an obsession, more of a deep appreciation for good design, and equal respect for bag brands, designers, and craftsmen. I’m not only into Incase bags, and have zero issues supporting or using other bag brands.
What do you look for? What makes a bag a must-have?
I’m drawn to bags that make intelligent use of unique or performance-driven materials, hardware, details, finishing, and an overall clean and timeless aesthetic.
“I wouldn’t call it an obsession, more of a deep appreciation for good design, and equal respect for bag brands, designers, and craftsmen.”
Do you have a certain fetish? A brand crush?
I’m a huge fan and supporter of both Acronym and visvim. I’ve been buying their apparel, footwear, outerwear, and bags since the inception of both brands. I live in California, and have a closet full of bad weather jackets. My wife constantly reminds me that it never rains here, but when it does, I’m beyond prepared.
Was there anything from the past that you hesitated on that you would kill to have now?
I wish I had purchased more KAWS, Bathing Ape and Louis Vuitton collaborative bags, all highly collectable.
How many bags do you have in your quiver? Can you run us through an itemized list?
I probably have 30-40 bags in rotation, and more trunks than I know what to do with. I pulled a few select pieces* for this story.
How do you store your collection?
I don’t have a specific area. I keep my bags in closets throughout my home, and make a point of using my bags. They were designed to serve a purpose, and I let them do their jobs. I’m also not a packaging or hangtag saver.
“[I] make a point of using my bags. They were designed to serve a purpose, and I let them do their jobs.”
Can you tell us a favorite carry memory? Or a memory garnered whilst donning a particular piece?
I love my matching travel duffels. They were wedding gifts from a close friend. The bags were made by another friend who designs, crafts, and manufactures bags/accessories. He’s one of the most recognized brands within the high-end luxury and vintage watch markets. His name is Jean Paul Menicucci, located in Firenze, Italy.
If your house was burning down and you only had enough time to grab one bag, which one would it be and why?
My vintage Gucci (wild Boar hide) carry-on. I searched for this piece for a number of years, not sure I’m going to find another in the same condition.
What’s next on the wish list?
More investment grade Goyard steamer trunks. I love the stories each one tells.
*List of bags:
Vintage Louis Vuitton Steamers (early 1970’s) & Modern Day Murakami x Louis Vuitton “Monogramouflage” Duffel (2008)
Vertical: Vintage Goyard Trunk (early 1920’s), bottom: Vintage Goyard Trunk (early 1900’s), white: Modern Goyard Trunk
Vintage Goyard Trunk (early 1900’s)
Vintage Louis Vuitton Steamers
visvim Backpacks (left: Red, center: KAWS, right: Olive)
Acronym Messenger Bag, 3rd Arm, and Concealable MB Air + iPhone Sling
Original Bathing Ape Backpack
La Martina Duffel [Editor’s Note: this bag is a reflection of Tony’s and his wife’s passion for horses and the equestrian lifestyle]
Gucci Boar Hide Overnight Bag (1970’s)
KILLSPENCER Weekender & Daypack
Parabellum Medicine Man Duffel & MacBook Sleeve
Custom his & hers Jean Paul Menicucci Weekenders
RTH Los Angeles Tote Bag