Backpacks have, almost overnight, become victims of a trend. Specifically, we’ve seen then take on an air of both contrived brilliance and perceived advancement. Every backpack from a “major brand” seems to be stuck on achieving some sort of in one of those categories.
Often times, the result will either cost the everyday consumer – likely to the tune of hundreds of dollars – or make the brand themselves seem like they’re trying entirely too hard. With Herschel, products seem more about making sure consumers can actually get their hands on them.
Started back in 2009, the brand’s origins seem very appropriate for their current philosophy. Two brothers, Lyndon and Jamie Cormack, named the company after a small (and I mean small) town where three generations of their family had lived, loved, and grown. The population of the little municipality currently sits at 60, up from 30 back in 2006. Now based in Vancouver, Herschel is a brand that focuses on establishing lasting connections with customers from all over the world.
Take the Little America backpack for example, a staple of the company’s many offerings. The style is representative of what is seen by many as contemporary and fashionable. The build is so simple that you might miss the fact it’s a Herschell model. In fact, the branding itself is so barely there that might actually be pressed for who designed this. Nonetheless, the message is clear and consistent: this is a bag we lovingly put together for you to use for a very long time.
Their methodology in creating these pieces sheds more light on how Herschel does business. Though Jamie is mostly in charge of design, both brothers have admitted that their design focus emphasizes a nostalgia. Specifically, they have a habit of picking key details from older designs and drawing more attention to them in a modern context. The most prevalent, yet subtle, examples of this is the Herschel Buoy.
This short beanie is reminiscent of what fisherman off the shores English Bay might have donned. Constructed almost completely from polyester, 5% of this cap is elastane, an earlier version of what we now know as synthetic rubber. Aesthetically, this beanie and material never got a ton of attention. But, for the fisherman who wore them, it was essential.
It’s that sort of considerate design that has propelled a company from a town of under 60 people to be the global stage. Discover Herschel.