I'm sure there are many readers of this blog who are also charter members of the camera bag a month club... I have what family refers to as my "camera bag mountain".
Well, I've actually been doing a lot of reading, writing and research lately (about the archive, photographs, Derrida, visual literacy and more) and I've been looking around for a nice hip (I need all the help I can get...) bag to transport around all the notes and books etc. Sure I could just use some clunky old messenger bag - but hey, a cool bag is a cool bag. And a re-purposed camera bag might do the trick if my old Domkes weren't so worn that the bottom has just about come out of them; my 26 year old canvas Billingham seems to have gone mouldy in the garage and the more recent bags were all for carrying around an 8x10.
I haven't found the holy grail of man-bags yet, though I did see one in a local store that sells everything from flowers to fountain pens to laser cut aluminium decorations to French pocket knives. Lovely black oiled leather bag, but it turned out to be by an "actual" Italian/French designer and cost nearly $600.00 - yeah, right.
However, hunting around on the web I did come across these folk in Vancouver, BC - Palmer & Sons. Not the kind of bags I actually want right now (and probably not my price range either), but I just love that there's someone in Vancouver in this day and age making these kinds of beautiful hand-crafted pieces. Kudos to them for even making the effort! (On their blog, you can also see how they put some of them together).