Colombo messenger bagCampomaggi Rugged-chic bagsDe Agostini handbag

On the Wabi Way: A Fan's Thanks

by Guest Reviewer Tom D'Evelyn
Managing Editor, Single Island Press


The Marcopoloni shop on the web is delightful. I stumbled upon it in my quest for a man bag suitable to my age and experience. My old joke was that women get all the cool bags. That was then.

As I studied the bags, I was drawn into a world, a world not unlike my own here at A world of values based on the insights of the 18th century haiku poet Basho – but a very contemporary world for all that.

Marcopoloni draws on my two favorite cultures, Italian and Japanese. At first sight, this looks enigmatic. As one explores, one finds a harmony, centered in the haiku value of “wabi” or worn elegance, “aesthetic rusticity”,and so on; the value epitomized by the name of our press, Single Island Press, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I was pointed toward Campomaggi bags by a staff pick that answered the issue of the man bag in an honest way. Wabi is the essence of the bag I finally bought and it has brought me back to Marcopoloni again and again.

My bag’s creator is Campomaggi from Teodorano. The signature of the bag is the incredible leather, the result of a complex process of repeated submersions in dye water. Worn elegance indeed. It’s not just the great look but the way the bag conforms to the body as you move through the day. Like a fine haiku, a Campomaggi bag bespeaks the world of the single island, the world of Marcopoloni. Our world.