Our Studio

Nov 27, 2015

Jessica Mejia


Who makes what you wear? As brands embrace a socially conscious identity, it’s hard to discern how transparent their sourcing production processes are. Unfortunately, what’s actually happening behind the scenes can seem mysterious, even misleading. If this is the case, how would you confidently know that your purchase is an authentic product of socially conscious practices? What questions about the materials and production are left unanswered?


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    It’s often left for marketers to sell you on a brand, often evading details about their production practices because it’s not something you’d want to identify with. They focus on elements of process without having actual control over the creations of the product. Transparency in pricing does not always mean fairly compensated factory workers. Offering “charity” to provide basic needs for factory workers who materialize their designs is an unsustainable patch on a system that ultimately exploits its workers. But they’ll avoid this issue, and leave you assuming they offer high quality products and carefully oversee every production step, not just design and marketing. You have a right to know where and how your favorite products are made in order to make purchases responsibly. Knowing where and how your products are made establishes a trusting relationship between you and a brand. Fortunately, we don’t have to ask you to trust that our practices are local and transparent– you can judge for yourself.





    Entering our San Francisco studio, you’ll discover firsthand what true transparency looks like as you witness every step of the production process come together in the same space. We’ve taken “Made in the U.S.A.” to a resonating new level by offering you an honest first person experience of what goes into the bags and accessories you wear. It is vertical integration at its core– no mysteries, no outsourcing– and it’s all available for you to see with your own eyes in our San Francisco studio. You’ll walk away with a very personal look at whose hands have worked on the products we know you’ll love for years to come.





    This is not a new concept. But as we approached the 21st century, companies had unfortunately discovered shortcuts to increase profits and offer low prices, often by adopting unethical production practices. With that comes the loss of value in each product as well as a troubling brand identity. Awareness around these issues have improved numerous brand identities, but real transparency ought to be easily recognized. Instead of continuing such untenable practices, we address the core issue: exploitation of those that forge our designs. We have not invented anything new; we’re simply putting more money into the product and the people who make them. The only way we can ensure that our factory is in good hands by being the factory. We’ve reclaimed what companies have done centuries before with a modernized vision of what in house production should be.





    We obsess over each step of the production process, allowing us to painlessly establish a well-oiled machine that produces a tight stitch. That stitch keeps your bag together and looking sharp as you wear it with confidence. Only through the effortless union between a socially conscious process we’re passionate about, and incredibly talented people, can we produce bags that look great and make you feel great. We proudly make what we sell. You’re setting foot in the retail store and factory in the same space. From our hands to yours, we’re pleased to offer you products we’ve made ourselves.



Nov 07, 2015

Jessica Mejia

Fresh out of our San Francisco studio, we sent our briefcases out to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and to our neighbors in the Bay to discover how their passions and our organizationally conscious bag join in effortless synergy. They take us to a moment in their professional lives and tell their unique story of a growing attachment to this newfound work essential.

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    When the time came to launch our Zip Briefcase, we sought the right friends to take it out for a spin, and show you how easily it can carry the tools of your trade. Fresh out of our San Francisco studio, we sent out our briefcases to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and to our neighbors in the Bay to discover how their passions and our organizationally conscious bag join in effortless synergy. What they’ve captured in their personalized shots are visual presentations of the numerous ways they’ve made the Zip Briefcase all their own. They take us to a moment in their professional lives and tell their unique story of a growing attachment to this newfound work essential. Through trips across the country, trips abroad, and daily trips to work, the Zip Briefcase has exceeded the tests of organization and hard work. But don’t take our word for it– allow our creative friends to tell you with their inspiring images.


    NYC Photographer, Ricardo Toribio




    Chicago-based Photographer, John Thompson




    Craftsman and Wolves, Chef + Owner, William Werner





The New Zip Briefcase

Oct 21, 2015

Jensen Luther


We proudly introduce Zip Briefcase: designed to work hard for the hard worker. This is an exciting addition to our line that truly embodies our signature style–  unmistakably conscious of the power of simplicity and utility, this new briefcase is all you’d ever want in a field bag, no matter your field.

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    To be worn everywhere, by everyone, the Zip Briefcase embodies the efficiency
    and simplicity your work manifests; love what you do with a bag that seamlessly captures you.








    CARRY IT BY ITS SHORTER HANDLES or comfortably across your shoulder, the high quality leather will soften and age wonderfully with all of your hard work.

    And with a laptop sleeve, four exterior pockets, and two small organizational pockets inside, you’ll carry the tools of your trade with ease, allowing the love for your work to flourish.




    This new briefcase is all you'd ever want in a fieldbag,
    no matter your field.


    THE U.S. SOURCED BRIDLE LEATHER HANDLES and shoulder strap can take a beating if your work takes you out of town, and the thick canvas keeps your belongings neatly tucked away.

    Our signature style meets the power of simplicity + utility.




Introducing the Small Zip Backpack

Sep 23, 2015

Mae Stier

We spent an afternoon in Los Angeles with Katie Newburn and Rod Hunt, welcoming the Small Zip Backpack into our family. The Small Zip Backpack features everything you love about our original Zip Backpack, yet it is downsized to fit your minimal needs. 


Photos by: Aysia Stieb

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    The Small Zip Backpack is the new go-to, no matter where your busy days take you. Mixing functionality with beautiful form, it has the space to hold your daily essentials while remaining stylish and minimal. It features an interior laptop sleeve large enough for your 13" Macbook, and exterior side pockets to hold your phone, keys or wallet.
    We were happy to work with Katie Newburn and Rod Hunt, both of whom we've had the opportunity to work with in the past-- for our Leather Boat Tote Release and for a style feature of our Boat Tote in Canvas.
    Katie is a photographer specializing in food and interiors. We appreciate her laid back yet self aware style, and she was the perfect fit to show off our new, smaller Zip Backpack.  Rod has a blog called Uniform Journal, which mixes a casual blend of California classic style and modern sportswear in a simplified wardrobe. Rod wore our original Zip Backpack.

    Sleek, thin leather straps and side pockets mirror the details of our original Zip Backpack, but in a more compact manner. We've kept the proportions the same from our original Zip Backpack, but decreased the size. Perfect for smaller bodies or someone with a clean, classic style, this is the bag you'll be grabbing before your next afternoon of sight-seeing or to carry on the flight for your next overseas journey.



Zip Utility Editorial with Domingo and Kali Robledo

Sep 09, 2015

Jessica Mejia

We asked our friend and talented photographer, Daniel Dent, to photograph our new zip utility tote, and he brought creative duo Domingo and Kali Robledo in to model our newest bag.  We spoke with Domingo and Kali after the shoot about their lives as creatives in San Francisco. 

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    Domingo is a 24/7 ambassador of the arts as a creative consultant who also spent years working in photography, journalism, and publishing. Kali’s artful eye has also been channeled in the editorial world, and is currently working with Fireclay Tile, SF's own First Rite & various modeling projects.

    Together they are— simply put— harmony actualized.





    What would you say keeps your home base in the Bay Area?

    Domingo: Basically, it’s the place I’ve always called home. It’s one of those cities where you could travel anywhere and come back to San Francisco and find that classic nostalgia. Being born and raised San Franciscan, it’s a great and beautiful place to call home.

    Kali: I visited when I was a teenager and I just fell in love with it. I decided after school that I’d move to San Francisco. I still find it so enchanting; I get frustrated with it, but you’re never far from City Lights, a river, the ocean, or a good hike. It’s hard to imagine leaving.

    How did you two meet?

    Domingo: The first time we met was through work— we worked at a magazine called Planet, and I tried my hardest not to be romantically involved with this woman.

    Kali: Because I was the intern!

    Domingo: It was maybe four months?

    Kali: Three months.

    Domingo: Okay three months. I figured out how to leave the magazine and since I was free I said “Hey, we should hang out.” Or actually, it was a process of asking coworkers if she was interested at all.

    What was your first collaboration you two worked on?

    Kali:  We started taking photos together pretty early on. When we first started dating, I had to adjust being in front of the camera a lot more, which I was not really comfortable with.

    Domingo: When it comes to the stuff that we shot ourselves, they were just for our own purposes. It’s our way of chronicling our days, our adventures. it’s more of a natural collaboration— there’s an ongoing appreciation for each other’s visual perspective.  I’m a photographer that shoots for himself a lot of times. And Kali— as much as she doesn't like to admit the fact that she’s become a photographer— is a point worth mentioning.  










    Kali, are you also shooting for yourself or do you meet with others to work freelance?

    Kali: Most of what I’ve been doing is for myself. I see things all the time and I just feel compelled, I would say. I’m lucky to have great friends that have brought me on to model more than anything else.

    Domingo, you’ve described your body of work as a combination of aesthetics, art and philosophy. Is there a school of thought or favorite philosopher that particularly inspires you?

    Domingo: Great question. Voltaire for sure, but I always come back to Nietzsche and it’s for too many reasons than I can explain in one answer.

    What about you, Kali? Is there someone who specifically inspires you?

    Kali: If I really think about it, it would have to be Thich Nhat Hanh— staying positive is very important to me. Daily, I would say I am most inspired by color, this city has the most beautiful palette.

    What would you say is the best part about being in a relationship with another creative?

    Kali: I feel like being with Domingo has really heightened my own sense of creativity and I might not have felt to compelled to want to catalog life the way we have if I hadn't been with somebody who was doing that naturally. It’s a wonderful thing— when you have an idea— to have someone to help you execute it.

    Domingo: Seeing that has been really special. We have a natural tendency to need to work with one another, and you just do it. A lot of it is off the cuff. It’s not an impulse but there’s an impulsive factor to what we do. Things happen and if you’re lucky enough to capture it, you do; and if you don’t you have the story to remember it.