The bag that didn't exist
Life is the Luxury: vol 2
The bag that didn't exist.
By Aaron Manuel
I always had an interest in fashion but I felt like I needed to choose something more “practical” as a career. In spite of my austere plans, I randomly fell into working in the industry anyway. Oftentimes, I would go to fashion events wearing jeans, a t-shirt and my canvas backpack looking like the college kid who walked in the wrong room on his way to the library. I always felt like an outsider nevertheless it was an exciting environment.
I would end up in these spaces and over time I realized that not only did I like fashion, I loved it! However, I didn't love the fashion that was offered and felt like there weren’t options that fully represented the nuance of my personal style. I was in that space of feeling too professional to carry my highschoolers backpack and not so serious to carry a briefcase. I had an idea of what I wanted: a backpack that was beautiful like art, subtle, classic, sophisticated, and adult. Something I could carry anywhere and have it function as an accent to anything in my wardrobe. I was willing to spend whatever amount it took because I felt once I found a bag that represented those qualities that It would be an investment that I could always wear. Living in New York I felt confident that my dream bag was within reach. Several months had passed; I searched and searched…and searched and could not find anything remotely similar to what I wanted. The only bags I found were outlined with bullets, had skulls and crossbones everywhere, or had the designer's brand name so large I would’ve looked like a walking billboard. I knew what I liked, I finally thought I would just make it myself.
I embarked on the journey by using my lunch break to question anyone I knew, researching different types of leather and going door to door in the garment district. Over a year had passed and I finally walked out of the craftsmans studio wearing my dream bag. At last, I had something to represent my style and the crisp fall air of personal accomplishment smelled fresh and rewarding. Before I could cross the street someone stopped me. “Hey that bag is wavy!” Thinking he meant there was a problem with the bag, “Where?” I asked. “Nah I said the bag is wavy. Where can I buy it?” I told him it wasn’t for sale and continued to walk back to work. At that time it didn't occur to me that he actually wanted to buy the bag that I designed and not the one literally off my back. It was months of people stopping me and running across the streets of Soho to catch up to me before I finally realized that I wasn’t the only one looking for a bag that didn’t exist.
Admittedly, it took a long while before I could wrap my head around being a designer but I finally embraced it and Marty Moto was born. Years later, the leather and production for the brand is handcrafted in the beautiful Tuscan region of Italy and we have clientele from all over the world. It took the thing that I was afraid of the most to allow me to become who perhaps, I was always meant to be.