- Buyer's Guide
Ember Equipment :: A Brand to Watch
Crowdfunding has undeniably changed the way the game’s played, serving up a platform that’s perfect for floating new, innovative carry to the world with class and ease. That being said, meet its latest success story: California-based Ember Equipment, and their awesome take on a modular urban pack. Images of their new offering have been viciously circulating around the Interweb with nothing but love. And it looks like they’ve got a bright future, raising their hand square in the air as a brand to watch. Our man on the inside, The Brown Buffalo, stole a few minutes with them only days after they smashed their pledge goal and hit them up for an interview…
1) Tell us about Ember
Ember is a combination of three distinct design principles that drive our work. 1) Everything must function well, no excuses. 2) Ember products should be fun to use. Our first product, the Ember Pack, is designed for a multi-dimensional lifestyle, but it’s also kind of a Lego set for grownups. 3) CRAFTSMANSHIP, CRAFTSMANSHIP & CRAFTSMANSHIP.
2) How would you describe your design aesthetic and what influences the style of Ember?
It’s function first, but beyond that, modernist design principles are the backbone of our aesthetic. We find that once you nail the function the aesthetic follows.
3) What general steps are involved in your creative process? Does your team work alone or collaborate?
We start by thinking through the scenario for everyday use to make sure we have a complete solution in mind. From there we get right into a combination of sketching, CAD, and prototyping. We work in full-scale patterns right from the start so that we are always dealing with real scale, weight and structure.
4) What are you working on at the moment?
On the Kickstarter launch there is a fair amount of working through backer questions. We enjoy being able to directly interact with our customers prior to shipping product. A few days ago one of our backers suggested a new way to combine the Ember Pack elements to create an ultra-minimal laptop backpack. We took his suggestion and tried it out, and it turned out he was right. With a very small adjustment to the design we added another great carry option for the Ember Pack in collaboration with a customer.
5) What other brands are inspiring you these days?
We were at ISPO MUNICH not too long ago: the usual suspects. Arc’teryx had some great new fabric treatments and constructions. Nike Flyknit continues to blow our minds. We also continue to be impressed with Patagonia.
Not only do they have the market cornered on how to do the right thing, if you have not checked out their surfing flotation vest, we urge you to do so.
6) Your favorite neighborhood and why?
Best neighborhood, wow, that’s tough. What comes to mind is Nakameguro,Tokyo and the Saint-Michel neighborhood in Paris.
7) What and where was your last great meal?
The last great meal was actually in Munich. We had a rare free night to get out and explore a bit and stumbled upon a great little Italian bar/restaurant, (forget the name now, I’ll have to check my notes). Great wine, great carpaccio, amazing risotto.
8) Best kept secret in SF?
Honestly, there are very few secrets left in SF these days, so the ones I’ve got I’m holding on to!