For obvious reasons, San Francisco is ground zero for biker-friendly bag brands--Timbuk2, Freight, Chrome, and Rickshaw among them. Ethan Jamison sets himself apart from the nylon-and-plastic masses with minimalist, grown-up design that looks equally sleek off the saddle. The Bayview-based designer started making his own bags at UC Davis, where he majored in art and dabbled in metalworking. Ethanmade's three original styles--the Penny, the Grace (pictured), and the Utility--were based on friends' toteables wish lists. All avoid unnecessary frills without skimping on raw materials, lilke heavyweight waxed canvas, 8-ounce cowhide leather, solid-brass hardware, and copper rivets. A one-man operation, Jamison focuses on made-to-order design. He encourages special requests (a business model he refers to as "forcing customer connections") that can range from a custom, laser-cut tag to waterproof fabric. This month he'll add a new silhouette: a military-inspired roll-top backpack.
Established: December 2009
Founder: Ethan Jamison
The Goods: Waxed canvas and twill backpacks and duffels ($210 to $410)