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If we could identify one thread of tension in the luxury industry right now, it’s that guys are increasingly looking for well-made products that can serve more than one purpose—and designing for the rapidly changing lives and circumstances of people who can afford the best is, well, hard.
Take for example the horde of city dwellers who live in relatively small (if well-appointed) homes and whose on-the-go careers mean that the boardroom can often mean anywhere with a decent WiFi signal. How do you outfit the writers, consultants, designers and others who need to turtle around the world and want to look good doing it?
Stuart and Lau, a New York-based purveyor of stylish bags and other accessories, has one solution. Its Capstone backpack, which I’ve been using for months now, was designed to carry a variety of different necessities in a pretty trim package—cut mainly from waterproof DuraLite fabric and trimmed with leather. It has a 25L capacity (for comparison’s sake, your Rimowa Essential Cabin S has about 34), but it feels a lot more balanced than that because of how the space is used. There’s a really slim pocket at the back that fits a laptop, and much of the rest of the storage area is used up by a central compartment. The magic is that you can access that compartment in three different ways.
That’s because there’s a snap closure flap at the top, plus two openings along either side that fully unzip. The genius of this is that you can slip off one of the comfortably padded leather straps, unzip one side of the backpack, and pull out a magazine, tablet or your puffer jacket—all without the rigmarole of removing the bag entirely.
Those flaps even come with their own compartments: On the left you’ll find a handy waterproof pocket where you can stash an umbrella or a water bottle. On the right, there’s a magnetic keyring attachment and a few slots for business cards and other small essentials.
The Capstone also comes equipped with a security pocket that faces your back when you’re wearing it. It closes with a magnet, and also happens to slip over the telescoping handles of most rolling luggage. In my experience, it looks just as good on the road as it does during the daily grind.