The Madly, a new line of sturdy leather bags, puts the emphasis on crude, functional designs and hand-crafted production. Directed toward the male market, the bags share a simplicity and rough-hewn charm perfect for travel or as an everyday carryall and designed to get better with age.
Produced in the Philippines, the line was founded by Jake Quellman and Melanie Dizon (the latter had an eponymous line of women’s shoes and bags), who travel extensively and take a conceptual approach to their work. While the couple’s first collection took its cues from American literary heavyweights (the bags went by “Salinger,” “Burroughs” and “Hemingway”) the latest, “King’s Highway,” channels the Coppola epic “Apocalypse Now.”
The slightly asymmetrical “Kilgore” (top left) features handwoven webbing on the shoulder strap, and the “Willard” (top right) has a heavy leather roll-closure not unlike a paper lunch bag, which makes sense: Dizon mocks up each bag using paper. The vegetable-tanned leather of the “Kurtz” backpack (above) contrasts with the cracked leather straps, which the Filipino tanners make using a local treating method.
The globetrotting founders have their sights set on manufacturing in South America next, but in the meantime you can find the current crop of bags in NYC at Steven Alan, Buckler and Save Khaki and in Tokyo at Edition. Check out their soon-to-relaunch website or look at more images from the new collection after the jump