Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, urban dwellers carried their daily personal cargo in briefcases, large purses, diaper bags and flimsy fabric tote bags.  Not always efficient and, in the case of diaper bags, certainly not fashionable.  

Somewhere along the way, we looked to soldiers, school children and hikers–and discovered the ease of backpacks. (“Look ma, no hands!”) Before long, these sensible devices became homes to our wallets, keys, laptops, tablets, smartphones, mints, makeup, workout gear, kombucha bottles and sleepover accoutrements.  We became mobile and self-contained.

Harvest Label understands how much stuff we drag around every day, and offers collections of sturdy and fashionable backpacks, sling packs, totes and other bags that appeal to stylish city dwellers of any gender.  

“Harvest Label has been making what we call ‘carry solutions’ since 1995,” says Fumi Suzuki, who handles sales and marketing for the U.S. distributor for the brand.  “They were founded in Osaka, Japan and also have a location in the Harajuku district of Tokyo.”

Among Harvest Label’s many offerings, sling packs–a newer introduction–have become hot items.  They’re basically a one-strap backpack that you can wear on your shoulder or cross-body style.  The adjustable straps can be switched for left or right carrying, and a 180-degree zipper in the pack means easy access.  “The sling packs are lighter and more compact than a backpack,” says Suzuki, “so they’re a perfect second bag for times you don’t need to carry as much.”

The Sling Pack from Harvest Label
The Sling Pack from Harvest Label

An unexpected bonus use of the sling packs?  “Wineries have told us that they are the perfect size for two bottles of wine,” says Suzuki. Have pinot grigio, will travel. Harvest Label’s backpacks are also anything but traditional, and include ones that are big enough for laptops and books, feature rolltops, flaptops and other closure details; plus plenty of rings, pockets and straps to secure your small stuff.   Colors include solids and two-tones.

A special line of sling packs and backpacks was created in 2015 to mark the brand’s 20th anniversary.  The NightHawk collection takes its cue from military styling, and is the firm’s only line made in the United States, at a factory near Camp Pendleton in Southern California, which specializes in Department of Defense supplies. The look? Camo, mesh and bold details.

The brand isn’t all about good looks, Suzuki points out.  “The bags are hand-sewn,” he says.  “They have 20-plus years in perfecting the art of sewing and use master craftspeople.” Durable fabrics such as polyester and nylon go into the water-resistant products, while others are made or detailed with leather.  Zippers, clips and straps are also rugged.

Harvest Label’s products are always evolving, Suzuki says.  “They come up with new silhouettes every season.” The brand has a lot of bag enthusiasts, who collect bags for different occasions, not unlike sneakerheads or Manolo maniacs, who buy shoes for every scenario.

“It’s a different world today,” he concludes.  “We just have more stuff to carry around with us.  Harvest Label understands that.”

Harvest Label products are available at Amusespot.com.