FROM WEEKDAY TO WEEKEND, THIS BAG'S GOT YOUR BACK.
What makes a product special? There are as many answers as there are people in the world. In our humble opinion, it's often the perfect mix of design, functionality and a dose of personality. The latest collection from Out of Town bags caught our eye for those reasons alone. We'd venture to guess that the backers of their wildly successful Kickstarter campaign would agree seeing as how they were over funded. Hailing from France, the trio of founders created Out Of Town with the simple idea to have a bag that takes you from the weekday to the weekend with ease. Damien Bettinelli sat down with us to chat about the inspirations behind the collection.
Tell us more about Out Of Town:
Out Of Town is a newly established French brand, created by 3 childhood friends. I (Damien) work in retail, Marc, my twin brother is a journalist, and Fabien is a photographer. So we have each drawn inspiration from personal experiences and also from our common insatiable appetite for adventure. Our very first product, the Friday Bag, was successfully launched on Kickstarter in July. Out Of Town is all about minimalist, versatile, rugged products adapted for the use of city dwellers who are always on the move
When did you decide to pursue your current career path?
There’s nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than being able to work on our own project with our friends and family and as long as I can remember I’ve always expected it. Six months ago, we decided it was time to get serious about it ! For us it just made sense to combine our skills in order to come out with a great product.
How did you go from idea to execution?
The idea started when on vacation together. We used to spend most of our free time together and it often came into conversations that we should create something. We knew we were on the same line as for artistic directions and so we wanted to use those synergies to create a product we love. We knew Fabien could perfectly handle all the visual parts of the brand while Marc could master the editorial side. As for me, I knew how to develop and manufacture a product from scratch. Last November we went for a trip in Israel. Unfortunately, Marc fell very sick and we had to bring him to the hospital in Tel Aviv. It was a Saturday, which is Shabbat day in Israel and we had to wait countless hours in the emergency room because of low service. The idea actually popped up from our unending conversation while stuck in this place. We wanted to create a backpack that enables you to up and leave at the drop of a hat, with a single accessory in tow that will carry what you most need (clothing, laptop, camera, papers, books...). We found out it was quite tough to buy a rugged bag at an affordable price. To make sure this observation was broadly shared, we decided to jump on a Crowdfunding campaign.
How does the city you live in influence your creativity?
We live in Paris, so there is no doubt surrounding artists influence us. However our aesthetic is more about outdoor adventures than urban life. The name of our brand itself conveys the idea of escaping from a city which sometimes feels stifling. A new generation of French creatives embraced the same approach : be it magazines (Desillusion, Les Others), brands (Sacrebleu, Drapeau Noir, Wait), photographers…
In your words, what does it mean to be a “creative”?
Being a creative, means to be able to convey feelings through the medium of your choice. You’re also a creative if you are able to imagine and conceive beautiful or useful objects.
What is a misconception about the work that you do?
Well, I guess it’s hard for people to grasp the full spectrum of activities that are involved with the work that we do. It’s a lot more than just creating backpacks. We need to be able to solve a bunch of other issues: finance, logistics, communication, editorial, distribution, etc…
What is a tip/trick/habit that do you do to get through your day?
Daily ritual to stay on top of things: First thing to do is to get a cup of coffee (or tea) along with a pen and a piece of paper. Then, write down everything you need to do through your day. Organization is the key!
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to pursue the same career as you?
Don’t do it for money. It makes you take bad, short-term decisions. Creating a brand that’s renowned for its quality work takes time and patience.
What has been the pit and peak of your week so far? (a low and a high moment)
The pit is today : it’s been raining all day long in Paris, and it feels like summer is gone for good.
The peak : We have just selected the ultimate fabric that we will use for our products from now on : it’s a water-resistant, double-layered fabric that is made in France. Hopefully our customers will enjoy it too !
What is the trait you most admire in others?
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
If you expect to know everything before you start a project, you will never do it. So you have to try, fail, learn, and ask for help sometimes…
Finish this sentence:
In 25 years I see myself doing: Maybe something totally different from what I’m doing now. Something I could not even imagine doing right now. I like to think that I can start something totally unexpected.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have: started then what I’m starting now! Don’t wait to start the projects you most care about!
I couldn’t live without my: motorbike
For more on Out of Town, visit their website here: www.outoftown.fr