My first encounter with the Topo Designs founders Jedd Rose (below right) and Mark Hansen was a perfectly orchestrated meeting over beers that happened completely by chance 4000 miles from home. A few months back I purchased a few items from the Topo online store and really came to love the design and aesthetics. I used the bags a bunch and more often than not people asked me where they came from. Intrigued I followed the guys on Twitter and Instagram and enjoyed the laid back and approachable nature of the company. That feeling came full circle when Mark and Jedd stopped me this week in a bar in Florence after a long day in the hot sun at the peacock friendly menswear trade show that is Pitti Uomo.
At Pitti, Topo was showing off the bags, accessories and some new categories that make up the SS13 collection. The new stuff, specifically camp shorts and a few outerwear designs, continued on with the same great outdoorr-retro design details and aesthetic that has made Topo Designs so likeable in seasons past.
Honestly, the guys from Topo Designers were probably the people I was least expecting to meet in Florence, but it was great to finally get a chance to talk to the people who make some stuff I really like and use. Most of Pitti is comprised of very finely tailored clothing brands, so the bags and gear from Topo Designs was a nice change of place from much of the other collections on hand. (There were actually a few other purveyors of Americana at the show, more to come on that.)
What I find most interesting about Mark and Jedd was the story of what led to the founding of a American-made bag company in Denver, Colorado. The guys both left other professional careers to pair a passion for the outdoors with a desire for making simple gear that functions and looks good at the same time. The goal was to create simple products that work, look good and are made in America. It’s a philosophy that appears to be shared by many others and has fueled the continued growth and admiration for Topo Designs in the States, in Japan and even amongst the sartorial set at Pitti. [Topo Designs]
Comments on “American Goods in Italia | Topo Designs at Pitti”
I want to thank you for posting this piece. These guys are great in every aspect as far as I can see. I’ve dealt with them, particularly Mark, quite a bit and always come away impressed. They make very impressive products at great price points. I have three of their bags, and have gifted another. I plan on returning as often as needed. As you stated I get a lot of comments on my Topo gear and I’m always glad to share my experience with the company with anyone that will listen.
Also, ACL is an everyday read. Keep up the great work.
Cool article and product. I’ve been meaning to place an order and I am just overwhelmed in Brooklyn. Want to shout out the support. The backpacks are always to key to hands free mobility and smart means of travel. I had no idea the outerwear products. Nice surprise.
Sorry, little archaic or not advanced enough to know what’s going on!
double thumbs up
triple thumbs up
I’m out of thumbs… but I love their gear…
Thanks for this – just ordered the accessory bag. I’ve been needing a new wash bag for ages and this looks just the ticket. Looks like lovely gear and I’m only too happy to support principled companies like this.
Great article and good story – we could really use more of these sturdy and great-looking types of backpacks in Canada!
on behalf of Demu
Great to hear that they are taking on the home of fashion, the blue jacket looks terrific.
Just got back from a trip to Denver and saw some of this product for the first time at the I Heart Denver store at Denver Pavilions downtown.
It’s great stuff, deceptively heavy duty and solid throughout. Considerably more sturdy than a Hershel pack for not too much more money.
They also have a really nice camo print which never hurts.
Their bags are the best bang for your buck out there. I’ve had my klettersack a little over a year now. Its survived tons of new england day hikes, 2 months of backpacking in south america, and 5 weeks of backpacking on the west coast. It still looks as good as new.
Fashion disguised as function? The ice axe loops suggest one can actually use these packs for outdoor adventures. Except, that is, that the lash tabs are oriented 90deg off. Not to mention that packs with two ice axe loops have only one lash tab, and vice versa.
I use the loops to secure the end of my trekking poles. I have the lightweight daypack for short summit hikes, and I’ve used the larger pack (3rd pic. on the end of the rack) for light overnighters. To secure items to the lash tabs I use cords w/toggle locks and the twist actually helps keep tension on the cord.
Thanks for the introduction to these backpacks. After a bit of research, I found they are at Need Supply on sale right now. Go get them folks: http://needsupply.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=topo
TOPO parkas. Shut the front door.
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