In a world where men seem to have few choices for truly stylish, yet manly bags, Basil Racuk is breaking the (manbag) mold. While some men helplessly carry a tote or messenger bag, or, god help them, a backpack, the choices for men of taste have been somewhat limited to briefcases and doctor bags.
No longer. Basil Racuk, which launched in February 2008, has interesting, elegantly rugged man bags that don't bring your masculinity into question.
Basil, the brand's designer and namesake, comes from a NY fashion world background. He had a menswear line in the 90s which sold at Barneys, among other retailers, and then worked on Seventh Avenue for many years at a leather company, where he learned about skin qualities. In 2001, Basil moved to the San Francisco Bay area. "I immediately felt at home amidst the valleys, mountains and streams. It's a great place to be, and a great place to reimagine what it means to design. It has influenced my design process tremendously."
Basil Racuk caters 50 percent to women and 50 percent to men, but it's the men's bags which truly caught our attention. I asked Basil via email what his design philosophy is when it comes to designing for men.
"My decision to get into accessories was that bags and such are an area where men (specifically) should given a product that is well-made and 'simply thoughtful' in its design. Further to that is my belief that 'branding' is no longer relevant in the way that we've come to expect it over the past 10+ years -- and should therefore be eliminated whenever possible. Because of this, there is no visible marking on the exterior of my product."
Even without a big, gaudy logo emblazoned all over your bling-free bag, there will be no doubt about its quality -- or that it's expensive. Click through the gallery to see a few of the items available on basilracuk.com
. Basil Racuk custom bags are available through Leffot
in NYC (10 Christopher Street) and will be available from Union Made Goods
in San Francisco beginning January 22, 2010.
Every item is handmade to order.