We just posted the new LENORE Capsule Backpack from IGNOBLE Bags yesterday and knew you’d be craving more so we caught up with half of the brother duo responsible for the brilliant bags. Founded in 2009, IGNOBLE is focused on style-conscious, thoughtfully designed black backpacks. They keep it pretty simple, “operating from the belief that a well conceived bag is the essential tool of urban survival, and that the sense of identity imparted by a backpack’s shape and materials is as important as the usefulness of the bag’s features.”
Okay, that’s enough stuff that you can also find on their website… now it’s time for the good stuff. Dean Hinds, one of the two brothers that started IGNOBLE, was awesome enough to do a Q & A with us and we’re sure you’ll enjoy the candid interview.
OA: It says on your site that you’ve got over two decades of collective experience in the soft goods manufacturing business, what’s the most important thing you learned over that time?
Dean Hinds (DH): Keep it simple. It’s such an obvious, cliched concept, but it’s actually incredibly difficult to learn and extremely easy to forget.
OA: I’ll write it down so I don’t forget, what was the driving force behind the motivation to go out on your own in 2009?
DH: Overwhelming creative confidence, a few conversations on live-work balance, and way too much iced green tea.
OA: What’s up with the name IGNOBLE? Why’d you go with that?
DH: IGNOBLE is our spin on a common men’s accessory, and our goal isn’t necessarily to one-up the functionality of other bags in the marketplace. We’re a tiny operation, (re-)making the backpack into something that’s utilitarian but stylish, and that blurs the line between the fashion and consumer demographics. Considering what we’re doing, the name IGNOBLE is both entirely appropriate and terribly ironic at the same time. Backpacks are a very common product, but ours aren’t, both in terms of design aesthetic and market proliferation.
OA: Do you sew?
DH: I have zero sewing skills.
OA: So that’s got to be your brother’s gig, what are some of the challenges of running a business with your brother?
DH: For me the hardest part is waiting for my brother to sew something, so we can in turn wait for manufacturing to sew something, so that I can run the business. It takes quite a bit of patience. And iced green tea.
OA: Green tea helps everything…Your site says that the bags are a necessity for urban survival, can I take mine in the woods too?
DH: The bags will go anywhere you do; You can comfortably pack a lot of gear in them, and they’re designed to endure. That said, we strongly recommend against using them underwater or in outer-space.
OA: Noted, might need a disclaimer there…Will the bags always be black? Any color in the future?
DH: No comment. We don’t want to ruin the suspense.
OA: Okay, so if you ran out of black thread, what would be the alternative color you’d use?
DH: Very, very, very, very, very dark gray.
OA: Well played… What about plans for other items or a women’s line in the future?
DH: None such. But most plans are only good into next week. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.
OA: Why is MIA and local manufacturing important to IGNOBLE?
DH: A thorough answer would be too long, too abstract, and far too dry for this otherwise punchy interview. In short, we choose USA based manufacturing given the flexibility, reliability, quality, and ethicality of labor. Our priority with IGNOBLE is in communicating our ideas, and local manufacturing allows us to do so and still sleep soundly at night.
OA: Does driving in LA suck?
DH: Not between the hours of 11PM and 4AM. Just plan accordingly.
OA: Graveyard shift driving, perfectly convenient. Thanks for your time, much appreciated.
“IGNOBLE bags are made in the U.S.A., hand assembled in small runs by a military-grade soft goods production facility. We believe in and support our local economy. If nothing else, when combined with our skills and ambitions, it keeps us safe and warm.”