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Seven Favorite Things: Timbuk2's New Distilled Collection + Q&A with Director of Product & Design

Grown up bike messenger, hot older sibling... call it whatever you want. Timbuk2's new Distilled Collection is sophisticated, modern and ridiculously practical. 

Complete with a new logo, premium waxed canvas, and genuine leather detailing, the collection just launched with three key (unisex) pieces: a backpack, messenger, and briefcase. (If you're itching for more, we're pretty smitten with their full travel line, too)

We sat down with Timbuk2's director of product & design, Greg Bass, to get the scoop on the new collection, design process and company brew master.

What's one thing most people don't know about Timbuk2?  

Greg Bass: We have an official position in our office for a Timbuk-Brew Master. One person gets to choose the kegs and make sure we don't run out. It is a year-long term and can be very important (we don't want to run out before a big event or on a Friday!).

What inspired the new Distilled collection?

GB: Our customers.  A lot of the people who loved Timbuk2 in the past have had to move on to more "appropriate" bags to bring to work or wear with nicer clothes. We believe that having the right look from a brand they know and love will be exciting and appealing to these folks. The name, "Distilled" came from weeks of kicking around ideas.  We like the concept of these products being distilled from the original Timbuk2 bags. They retain a lot of the DNA from Timbuk2's history, but they are refined and distilled down to have just the details that are 100% necessary for these users.

What's a quick breakdown of your design process?

GB: We always start from the user and what they absolutely need, those things are non-negotiable. From there, the design team takes a few weeks to explore different ways to meet those needs (i.e. how to best protect an iPad in the bag). Then, we start making real, fully functional prototypes with professional pattern-makers. Our prototypes are all tested extensively to see that they are functioning and fitting right, and also for wear and tear.  

What's your preferred Timbuk2 bag? 

GB: Personally, I am on my bike or skateboard a lot, so I have been using an Especial Medio backpack for its stealth functionality. But, if I am not carrying a lot of stuff or trying to look more like I mean business, I use the Proof Messenger.

Who would you love to see rocking a Timbuk2? 
GB: That's a tough one. I think comedians would appreciate us, maybe Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey.

If you could design/redesign anything, what would it be? 

GB: I wish there was a folding/portable bike that wasn't dorky.  It seems like a hard problem to solve, but if done right, it would be revolutionary for those of us that live in urban areas.

What's your favorite Bay Area bike ride? 

GB: I'm an East Bay guy, so I love going up Tunnel Road into the hills. Through our partnership with Mission Cycling, I have a renewed appreciation for how fun it is to ride through SF, across the Golden Gate and do a quick climb up Hawk Hill.

What's your Bay Area Top 5? 

GB: Four Barrel Coffee, Maverick Restaurant, Kinokuniya Books in Japantown, the Fox Theater in Oakland, the East-Bay Ferry (my favorite way to get in and out of the city). 

 

Lily Ko (lily7x7 @gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily works as a freelance stylist, writer, and designer.