When we decide to create and release a new product, we are meticulous with our intentions. Are we providing a solution for what’s lacking in the market? Are we expanding our collection with a product that’s different than what we’ve done before and better than similar products out there? To us, the answer should always be yes to either of these questions. We don’t ever launch product without meaning, which is why we are extremely careful about how many we release each year and why we take our time to develop each style and never rush to release.
With AllRoute, our intention was to create bag options that could easily transition from being used during your workweek commuting to a weekend adventure outside of the city limits — bags that weren’t only for the adventurer or only for the workday warrior, but a solution for both.
Kenji Okada, our director of soft goods design, spearheaded the creation of AllRoute from concept to final product. The progression of perfecting the idea was long but worthwhile — and he’s sharing his creative process behind it all.
"It all starts with a sketch."
We wanted to strip the standard bag down to the essentials and only add features that would improve all aspects of the bag experience. Our process involves continually simplifying through each prototype and focusing on the essential elements—a constant refinement so we rid the bag of unnecessary features and end up with a clear and intentional product. We don't add features just to add them; we study our users and how they use the bag to create a purposeful end result.
It all starts with a sketch. Through sketches, we are able to establish form and proportions. As we move into sampling, we can refine the function of the bag. And through extensive testing, we can eliminate the frivolous and focus in on the essential elements of the bag.
"Establishing the form of the bag and understanding how the materials would react and take shape was paramount."
When navigating through the city or weekend adventures, comfort is vital. Creating straps that properly contour to a wide range of body shapes and sizes was an exhaustive process that paid off in the end. From multiple shapes, angles and types of padding, we were able to create a solution that disperses the load, comfortably sits on the body and is able to promote airflow.