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Great Messenger Bags for the Young and Active

Updated on August 16, 2013

So your children have graduated from college or graduate school. They are entering the 'real world' and they need a business case. I'm sure the styles that they are looking for, will not look anything like what we, their parents, carry! First you have to understand what contents they will carry in their business case, which they probably refer to as their 'bag'. Undoubtedly, they carry a laptop computer, probably also have a iPad or Android Tablet, certainly a smart phone and also an MP3 device of some sort for even more stored music. Yet, they are not looking for a large and bulky multi-compartment structured business case. Afterall, that looks like something that Dad carries. Remember, they don't have paper cluter, everything is virtual and important documents are stored on their computer, tablet, or smart phone. .

Actually, these are the concerns that experienced business case buyers have, upon stocking their product assortment. How do you select a product to capture this 'young and active' market? Upon analyzing what type of products they offer in store and online, it makes it easier to hone it on product that appeals to this market segment. Next, you have to understand this coveted 'young and active' customer formerly carried a school backpack for the last umpteen years. They are willing to depart from that look, yet they are accustomed to transporting their contents in a soft and unstructured fashion. So they generally will be graduating from a school backpack, yet the departure surprisingly may not be polar opposite of what they've used for years. Consequently, we see that almost every 'bag' that this particular customer is looking for is in fact soft and unstructured. Rarely, do we see any exceptions to this rule.

If the product they select is yet another backpack, we do see an evolution in the style they select. No longer will they purchase the colorful fabric backpack that virtually every high school and college student has carried throughout middle and high school as well as college. Now they have graduated to muted fabrics (such as canvas) or casual unstructured leathers, We see that the colors are either earth tones such as Spruce, Khaki, Clay, or Desert Tan. Alternatively, the other popular color palettes included subdued colors such as Steel Blue, Grey, Charcoal, etc. It is not uncommon to see contrasting fabric or contrasting leather to accent the bag.

If it is not a backpack, than what else will this 'young and active' consumer find appealing? Messenger Bags, Sling Packs, and Totes are immensely popular. The shape will be defined by what they carry. If they only want to carry an iPad mini and Smart Phone, I can assure you the gadget, sling or messenger bag they carry is quite compact. Consequently, we now have a new category of vertical slings or messenger that are no larger than 10". However, should they also need enough space to include their laptop, they may require something 13-16" depending on the size of their laptop. Keep in mind the laptop screen size is a diagonal measurement and the trend today is sizing down. In fact, the most popular laptop screen size in the US today is 15" and actually 14" in many other countries. Therefore, regardless if the Messenger or Tote is Horizontal or Vertical it will need to accommodate the laptop. Finally, there seems to be a growing number of consumers in this category that are moving into a 13" screen size (such as the Apple Macbook Pro or Macbook Air). As mentioned above they also have their Android Tablet or iPad, as well as the smart phone. Yet, they may be a candidate for bag that simply fits the footprint of these three appliances and the charger. Forgive me for being repititious, yet it is important to remember, they don't carry the paper clutter, it's not green!

I have imported leathergoods for close to 30 years. However, my 23 year old son sent me back to school with regard to styles for the Young and Active. This market classification refers to young professionals like himself. Of course, I'm proud to say he is a medical student and will have years of education ahead of him. However, I didn't seem to have any business cases in my vast selection of name brands and styles that appealed to him or his collegues. This was a humbling experience and one that gave me a new challenge.

In our recent import trips to Asia and Colombia, I was on a mission to see if I could find the category my son was describing. The fact is I had to take myself out of the formula, I'm simply too old to 'get it', so I just recruited input from our target group....the Young and the Active. is what was created as a result. The good news, is my son likes it and I'm hoping his classmates will feel the same.

Our designers were given the challenge to create sleek business case designs that would appeal to the young and active! These bags work in the courtroom, boardroom, university life or can transition into a perfect getaway weekend bag. So, who would carry a bag like this....The Minister of Magnificence, from the Republic of Cool, in fact someone just like you! The leathers are rugged, a bit more casual in appearance, less structured and look simply amazing with their color coordinated cotton webbed crossbody straps. These messenger bags can be carried by the shoulder strap or used as a crossbody sling bag, as you prefer. This exquisite leather collection is handcrafted in Colombia, with old-world tradition and new world styling. The bottom line is these exciting new styles are not what your parent's carried.....GUARANTEED!

The leather on these messengers are exquisite, the front flap features oil-tanned pull-up leather that defines the rugged casual look. The accent trim is a contrasting pebble-grain brown leather. The hardware is antique brass and the laptop/tablet compartment is not only padded, it is elasticized. Whether your laptop or tablet is razor thin or thick it stretches to accomodate. These Colombian made products are actually handcrafted in the Old World Tradition. The owner of this factory specializes in the apparel business, providing us with new and exciting leather options. His craftsmen exude pride in every step of the development process. We are proud to be doing business with our new friend Juan, and look forward to growing this collection.

Now for the results, the product hit our floor, the products checked out. They are either buying them for themselves or as gifts....either way they apparently like the styles! The consumer was indeed our target market. Of course, we didn't buy enough....and I already have requests to add more styles that complement the line. So check back and see how the collection grows, we think we're on to something. Naturally, I would love to hear from the hubpage readers, if you have ideas or suggestions, we would love to hear from you.


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    • 4TRAVELTIPS profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Gartist, thank you so much for your suggestion. My next import trip will be the first quarter of 2013, so I will ineed work on a sport bag duffel that will complement this collection. I was thinking about something that is roughly 21" so that it will also be airline carry-on compliant. My retail associates also informed me that we've had several customer suggestions that we need a sport duffel as well as a backpack. Thus far with regard to the backpack, most of the suggestions have been to create a style in the rucksack design, This is a backpack that generally has a top opening and a front flap. Thank you once again for your suggestion, we always love hearing from our fellow hubpage readers, as well as our valued customers!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      These are great looking messengers! Have you considered a matching duffel for travel or the gym? I would love to see that!

    • 4TRAVELTIPS profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks Mariasial, I will pass on your message to my son. These days my wife and I are learning from our children. You can't put a price tag on a good education. We have a great deal to be proud of! Your kind words are greatly appreciated.

    • mariasial profile image

      maria sial 

      5 years ago from united kingdom

      They simply look amazing... your son has a good choice... thanks for sharing


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