"I was showing up at the studio all the time with no bag, being like, 'I don't want to have a backpack. I've had backpacks my whole life, and I'm a grown man now. I should have something better." Mike D
This quote is an interesting one, does carrying a backpack necessarily make you look too casual, unprofessional, or even immature? We all have that image in our heads of you school kids pilling out after their last lesson carrying colourful nylon backpacks sagging under the weight of heavy books. Backpacks have come a long way since those days though, in terms of style and function, and we firmly believe that a backpack can be perfectly suitable for a commuter to jump off the train and head to a meeting. Our Vintage Child "Kingsley" Leather Laptop Backpack with Grab Handle is designed as just that; a smart leather alternative to the traditional informal backpack that can work as well with a shirt and tie as jeans and a t-shirt.
“students had no choice but to tote their textbooks and notebooks around campus with their hands. Some tied a belt around them or clutched them to their chests as they walked.” From the book The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Other Mountains: How JanSport Makes It Happen
From backpackers, travellers and hikers to working professionals and students, the backpack is an extremely practical way to carry your stuff in a spine-friendly way. So how did students carry their books 50 years ago? The idea of strapping your gear to your back is not a new one, in fact it is most likely the way the first humans carried logs from forest to fire, but the evolution of the backpack as we know it today has been an organic and practical one.
"I'll use any excuse to buy a new backpack" Michael Potts
As is often the way, necessity is the mother of invention, and the first backpacks that were carried to school were more of a bundle of books held together with a leather strap. Somewhere between the 1930s and 1960s children evolved this primitive idea into something more of a satchel worn on the back resembling a square of leather closed with a buckle. In 1939 Gerry Outdoors invented the first backpack with a zip but, back then, the bags were still primarily intended for traditional outward bound activities like camping, hiking and alpine recreation.
Then in 1967 Gerry Outdoors created the first “modern nylon backpack in existence” and in the same year JanSport opened their first store selling their own lightweight nylon backpack. These new style backpacks were then sold in college campus stores with young hikers in mind but quickly became popular among students to carry their heavy books around university grounds. By the 1980s a sturdy backpack was deemed a school and college necessity and these designs would eventually come to evolve into the backpacks we recognise today.
"I always have my backpack" Bhavish Aggarwal
Most of us now probably carry more technical devices than books and most backpacks, like our Vintage Child "Kingsley" Leather Laptop Backpack with Grab Handle, will now have a laptop sleeve plus a phone pocket and multiple extra pockets for small items like headphones, chargers and other electronics. Designs have come a long way from a cumbersome sack and more compact, sleeker looks mean that carrying a backpack to work is now more than acceptable.