Sometimes the phone rings and the conversation that awaits you is not one that you could have ever expected… This was the case for me last May.
On the other end was the marketing director for LowePro. While I have talked with him many times, the conversation that awaited me was quite surreal. He said plane and simple, “we have made you a bag line.”
Now if he would have said that they made me a bag, I would have lost my mind at how cool that was, but a bag line!?!?!? I think my only response was, “thank you, but I just don’t deserve this.” I feel that things like this, and some other endorsements, are at a constant battle in my mind telling me that I am much cooler than I am. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for it all, but damn, I have long since passed the point where thank you can say enough. No amount of gratitude that I can type about or express in person will ever describe how much you (my friends and family) and my sponsors mean to me…. A genuine and heartfelt THANK YOU.
Now onto the bag….. LINE (yes, even I chuckle inside when I think about it)
Now when I first thought of a bag line, I thought okay, maybe they have a couple of backpacks or roller bags that I need to take some photos with. This was not the case, far far far from it. On a conference call with the marketing and design teams, they described the ultimate bag. Now when I say ultimate, I mean, “hey, we spared NO expense and made a bag to show what a company can do when they want to show off.” For the car guys out there, here is the analogy that best describes it… Many car makers made a one of a kind car for the Geneva Auto Show as an example of what is possible. It is a car that will likely never be sold or driven on the road, but rather an exercise in art and design at its finest.
The phone call continued… the bag (which I already thought was the greatest photo bag ever) had some friends it wanted to bring to the party. One called the Attache and the other the Laptop, both of which were top of the line in ever single detail. Throughout the presentation one word was used more than any other… Luxury.
It was very obvious that what they were describing to me was a collection of bags that showed the essence of what a large company like LowePro could do if they so desired. The pieces were the strongest, most beautiful bags I had ever seen, and more importantly, they were understated. Even the logos on the outside of them had all color removed, as to not draw unwanted attention. After all, the truest form of luxury and accomplishment is not having to boast about it.
In the early stages it was questioned if the bags could even be produced en mass. We knew that the costs would put them very much at the all time top for camera bags, but that was less the issue, it was actually making them that would be tough. With hand stitched leather and a single piece tub, these bags would stretch the resources of even a company like LowePro.
Fast forward a couple months and the phone rang again. It was LowePro calling to tell me that my bag line had been produced. Due to the sheer costs and the level of the bags, only 400 had been made. To me, this was the rare chance to purchase the unicorn of the camera bag market. I was ecstatic when they told me that they were giving me a set. However, when it arrived last week, I immediately called them and purchased a second set, because damn are they incredible. I thought that in production there would be small little details lost from the prototypes I had, but this was not the case, they were and are the pinnacle of design for a camera bag.
So without further adieu, I present to you the greatest camera bags I have ever seen….. ECHELON