VanDorst1968 Bags telling stories

On November 9th 2011 a new leather goods brand for men has launched. I’ve known owner and designer John van Dorst for quite some years now and I admire his conceptual thinking and love for the product and to care for it from design to shopfloor. Over the past 18 years John had been working for sports, fashion and denim companies. For one of my articles for MVRO John was my guest and together we did our research for ‘Think big, act small’. So when John told me that he was working at designing and developing a leather goods brand for men I could only be very curious to see how his talent and passion would work out in leather!

The Brand

Over the past 1,5 year John started up the brand by learning the basics from leather bag crafts-men. By learning the basics, finding the right leather, accessories and production facilities he made his ideal product.The products (6 bags and 6 accessories) have an iconic silhouette, are made of tough leather and are timeless. The inspiration for the bag collection came from John’s grandparents travels in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The stuff he found in their cabinets like wallets, bags, diaries and a whole mélange of boxes and stationery have always fascinated him. Being inspired by the immense skill of leather artisans working in small ateliers, using traditional tools combined with centuries-old techniques to make each bag unique and beautiful in its signature imperfections… All this is John’s passion.

The entire collection has been created in classic shapes such as The Briefcase, The Sports, and the Tote. The lining in each – Royal Blue (said to have been invented by millers to the wife of King George III of England) – is the signature colour of the brand. Prestigious and masculine. I’d say: also a lot of women will like VanDorst1968 ;I’m the type who rather carries a bag like that around than these girly bling-bling designer logobags.

The leather and production

Naturally, only the finest hides are used in the products. Exclusively sourced from suppliers in central Europe and treat them at one of the only remaining Dutch tanneries still in existence. The products are created in a small atelier in the south of the Netherlands (how nice!!) , home to the shoe and leather industry. Each piece is assembled individually by skilled artisans who have been trained andraised in the leather trade, and who use classic tools and techniques.

Bags telling stories

John’s grandparents travels in the 1920’s and 1930’s have been the inspiration for the bag collection. The introduction of the bags will celebrate their travels as well: 15 inspirational men who appreciate style and quality, will be invited to take one of John’s bags on their journeys and tell their stories on