The Campomaggi Camouflage Bag That Struck My Heart, Twice

GALVANI Camo Print Canvas Tote with Distressed Studs

When the new Campomaggi bags finally arrive, some of them always impress me, but I usually have a good idea of which bags are going to do that. This time there was a little unexpected surprise.

GALVANI Camo Print Canvas Tote with Distressed Studs
GALVANI Camo Print Canvas Tote with Distressed Studs

The GALVANI. I made the mistake to try it on and to put my laptop in it. The laptop fits perfectly and the bag blends in with my clothes but subtly stands out in a beautiful way.

AAAGH! Someone just phoned to buy the last one!

I was starting to think that this bag was it. Four months of searching could finally be over. The reason why I did not secure it for myself in time is that I had assumed that after a few days I would stop liking it and that I would regret my choice. Grrrr…

Well, let’s hope that the blue one that is coming in the next shipment is even cooler. I did this before when I passed on the perfect SANTARELLI almost four years ago. I don’t think that I learn lessons very well.

9 New Campomaggi Products from The Fall/Winter 2013 Collection

GALVANI Camo Print Canvas Tote with Distressed Studs

The shipment with the new collection arrived on Thursday. By Friday, we had already added 5 new Campomaggi products to our catalog and we added 4 more on Monday (we are so excited!). We are really trying to add them as quickly as we can while we are responding to all the inquiries as fast as we can. To help you  get a preview of the latest Campomaggi bags that we received, Emi and I shot a video showcasing all the new models. It doesn’t go into great details but we know from prior experience that a short video is worth a thousand words.

Click here to view the video. It is less than 3 minutes long.

As usual, Marco Campomaggi, being the Cupid that he is, fired many arrows in all directions and at least one is likely to strike your heart. In my case, the Galvani did it. I never thought I would be so struck by a canvas bag, but this one is really rugged and I like it!

GALVANI Camo Print Canvas Tote with Distressed Studs
GALVANI Camo Print Canvas Tote with Distressed Studs

The GALVANI is part of a an amazing array of new distressed canvas bags that are really attractive. The new distressing adds that je-ne-sais-quoi (I don’t know what) that makes you go: “wow, that’s nice!” If you never considered a canvas bag, now is the time to give them a second look. Actually, not now, when we are done posting them!

There is Leather and Then There is Campomaggi Leather

There is handmade Campomaggi leather and then there is canned-made leather. Can you see the difference?

After 10 years selling leather products and 40 years wearing them I still can’t say that I know everything about leather. But a recent experience reminded me of the material difference between handmade and canned-made leather. What do I mean by handmade and canned-made leather? It’s pretty simple and it is at the core of why we are in business at Marcopoloni. I grew up experiencing what I call “handmade leather” the leather selected by a skilled craftsman who seeks a quality ingredient that will determine the quality of the end product. “Canned-made” leather is a term that we made up to describe the material that is the result of the pursuit of profits. It is the product that doesn’t not want to last, that does not want to reward the owner, that aims to look like high quality so that it can be sold for just a little bit less than the “handmade” leather product and yield excellent profit margins.

There is Leather and Then There is Campomaggi Leather

The bracelet is a CARLINO by Campomaggi. The wrist band is a generic wrist band from super-thin leather stuffed with something to give it thickness (usually paper or a mesh fabric). I could not get a better example of the stark difference between handmade and canned-made, and it was right there on my wrist. The Campomaggi leather is beautiful and getting better with age, the canned-made wrist band is peeling, cracking and ready to look and be something other than leather.

A leather rose bracelet by Gianni is another example of handmade leather.
A leather rose bracelet by Gianni is another example of handmade leather.

Campomaggi is Sending Us The Brander Book

The Brander by Campomaggi
Photo provided by Campomaggi & Caterina Lucchi

I just found out that in our next Campomaggi shipment we are going to receive a copy of The Brander. The Brander is a book about successful artisans who allowed the writers to take a look behind the scenes. I remember reading the article about Campomaggi and it was full of insights that made me love the brand even more. In a way, it affirmed and expanded on the qualities that make the brand so special, but, on the other hand, everything was already revealed by the products.

I don’t know of any other products that can convey the purpose and personality of their creator like Campomaggi products do. When I touch a Campomaggi bag I immediately feel that it is the best bag that the artisan could have made and that is something that Marco conveyed to me when he said: “when my company was up and running, I took a step back and decided to make leather bags the way I would make them for myself, without worrying about any boundaries set by market conditions.

At a later stage Marco said that his ambition is to let us experience the emotion of the passage of time. I often remind myself of that and turn to my Colombo to have my “time” moment. After a few years with your Campomaggi bag you will know what I am talking about. Marco, for sure, has accomplished his ambition.

A Closer Look at The RICCI Studded Messenger Bag

Marco Campomaggi has discontinued the RICCI long ago and we can’t get any more even if we beg kicking and screaming. Some of the color options are permanently sold out now and we only have four in Espresso (two of them darker) and two in Cognac left. Since this is such a unique product, when our stock falls to one of each I will move them in our museum (which doesn’t exist yet, but is a planned section of our web site for rare, actually one-of-a-kind, Campomaggi bags).

I like the Ricci a lot because it looks so cool. I know, I haven’t said much: most Campomaggi bags do look very cool. What appeals to me are the two columns of studs and the fact that the flap is a pocket with a zipper at its edges on the sides. I know that the bag fits my laptop like a glove but what about room for the charger? Let’s go pull all six from stock and take a look.
The 6 RICCI in stock

The photo shows the six RICCI that we currently (as of May 29, 2013) have in stock. The photo was taken by me, using my camera phone, in the lighting conditions offered by our showroom: so don’t rely on them to provide a good interpretation of the color, please. The bags on the left are Distressed Cognac, the ones in the middle are Distressed Espresso, and the ones on the right are Distressed Espresso Darker. Out of these my favorite one is the Distressed Espresso in the top shelf. I also like the Cognac ones but they are a bit too light for my taste. Next I am going to take a video of me loading up my favorite RICCI and we will be able to tell whether it is going to work.

The video suggest that the laptop fits well, the charger also fits, but if I start adding more things the bag will become bulky. I later added my Daniele with my wallet and phone inside and the bag did not bulge too much as long as the DANIELE and the charger were kept apart. That is the extent of what I am planning to carry, so the bag meets my needs. The pocket on the side of the flap is definitely intriguing. When I put my phone and my wallet in it you could not really tell that it was in use. The zipper, though, requires two hands to open at least until the bag has softened.

It’s too early to give a verdict, but for sure the RICCI in Distressed Espresso remains a contender.

Which Campomaggi Bags Should I Evaluate?

I had some ideas in mind, but I got so many suggestions on Fans of Campomaggi and elsewhere that I will have to go through all of the options and it will take a while. And given that each bag is unique, I will have to look at each item in stock to make sure that I don’t miss out on the one bag that would have captured my heart. But first, I would like to narrow down my selection to just a few models, and I know that it will be a hard thing to do.

RICCI Studded Messenger Bag
I’ve had my eyes on the Ricci studded messenger bag for a long time, but is it big enough?

As I have mentioned at the beginning, my two favorites are the Ricci and the Santarelli. At least those are the first ones that come to mind. As I browse the website I keep on finding new potential bags, so to create a list of favorites I clicked on the heart next to all the products I want to evaluate. Then I can just click on the Your Favorites link to see them all in one place.

The other bags that I have marked as potential are:

Grandi
Da Vinci
D’Ascanio
Vespucci
Salvi
Ferrandi
Domenico
Piola
Nobile

This is a long list of bags and through it will require a lot of time. Yesterday as I pulled out the charger from the COLOMBO’s inner zippered pocket all my pens got dragged out and fell everywhere: just a reminder that I need a new bag.

What Do I Need My Leather Bag to Carry, And Where?

In my last post I declared that it was time for my COLOMBO messenger bag to get a bigger brother (technically sister since “borsa”, in Italian, is feminine). After a few people suggested that I carefully document my decision, I started thinking about the idea of people getting a new Campomaggi bag in general and my first thought was that everybody’s needs and wants are going to be completely different. So I am going to detail my needs first, so that everyone can compare my needs to theirs and figure out whether what I say applies to them  too.

I bought a new laptop so that I can work better when I am not at the office (mainly for when I am at home). So I will be carrying it and its charger instead of the netbook with no charger as I did before.

My new Toshiba laptop is about 12.5

What I love about it is that at 2.5 pounds it is as light as the netbook was. The problem is that the charger would really be a tight fit for the COLOMBO so I need to get a bag that is more spacious or has extra pockets that will fit the charger. The photo below shows the contents of my current COLOMBO plus the charger and the DANIELE, which contains my wallet and phone, and might occasionally need to be stored in the bag if I am not wearing a belt (when I change to go for a run, for example).

The contents of my COLOMBO plus the charger and the DANIELE.

I probably should remove a few pens and give Chiara her toy cartridge back, but I think that this sums up pretty well what I need to carry on a day-to-day basis.

The other consideration that comes to mind is where do I need to go with the bag. I don’t travel very often, most of my days involve only short trips from the car to the office and back. I also rarely walk around all day long (I do that mainly in Italy) so weight is generally not an issue, and when I do travel, I would like to have a comfortable strap and to be able to slide the bag in the seat in front of me.

It Is Time for a New Campomaggi Bag

I have had my COLOMBO Messenger Bag for four years now. While I love it and it will last seemingly forever, I just got a new bigger laptop that does not fit in the COLOMBO very well. It does fit, it just sticks out by a couple of inches and, since I do have to carry the charger, things become pretty tight and there is very little room for anything else. Before I got my laptop I only carried my netbook (mostly without charger) and occasionally my tablet. There was still plenty of room for other little stuff like a journal, wallet, credit card case, sunglasses, etc. If I try to fit all that stuff in my COLOMBO now along with my new laptop I would end up with an unsightly bulge.

My COLOMBO with my new laptop inside.
My COLOMBO with my new laptop inside shows that the laptop stretches it and the flap doesn’t come down as low as normal.

So the first thing I need to decide is how big a bag I want and identify my options. What I need to carry is the same stuff as before plus the laptop and its charger and minus the netbook. My first thought was for the RICCI, but when I realized that I had to have room for the charger I started considering the SANTARELLI. Of course, the minute I mentioned this on Fans of Campomaggi, the suggestions started pouring in.

Thats’s what I will do in my next post: begin evaluating a few of the options. If you have any suggestions post them here or on Facebook: I am all ears!