I’m very particular about my bags. I use a Almare Toscana weekender bag for weekend escapades, a Roncato suitcase for longer trips, a Sandqvist roll-top backpack for the gym and to explore the city. Only bag I was missing was a dressier briefcase to take to meetings, in which I could carry my notebook, my camera and a phone charger. Good thing I recently came across leather goods brand Cravar, that makes exactly what I was looking for.
Its founder, P. Baskara, has had a passion for bags since he had to pick his first grown-up briefcase for college, in its hometown of Jakarta. When studying in the Netherlands, he took a trip to Italy where he visited all the leather workshops he would encounter and decided that one day, he would have his own, back in Indonesia. After starting a first business out of university, he took a leap of faith and co-founded Cravar, which initially launched on Kickstarter.
The campaign was a success and Baskara was delighted to see that they had managed to introduce to the market a brand that focuses on simple designs and quality craftsmanship, all made in Indonesia, a country that isn’t necessarily on the map when it comes to leather. Since the launch, he has developed a full collection of bags (see below) as well as a series of journal (made to order for now), available anywhere in the world through the brand’s e-shop.
Above you can see Cravar’s various lines: Alpha, The F.C. and The C.O. which all come in various sizes (10 to 15 inches) and colors (Rust, Fox and Espresso). The one I chose for myself is the Alpha Rust in 13 inches (see the pictures below). I chose that color as I feel like it can be worn with pretty much anything and the size is perfect. Not too big or awkward to carry, but large enough to carry whatever I need to have with me.
I asked Baskara what inspired him to design the Alpha briefcase and he explained to me that he wanted to make a very simple but functional bag that would be perfect to carry 11/13″ Apple products. He replaced the traditional snaps of the shoulder straps with small buckles (second picture below) so that it’s sturdier than a typical strap. To ensure that the bag would keep its shape even when fully loaded, he added an aluminum plate to the top structure of the case. Finally, he covered the rivets on the inside of the bag so that they don’t scratch your iDevice.
A very simple looking bag that was actually engineered very precisely and with serious attention to details!
The inside of the bag is very much streamlined: two gussets, the one in the back narrower than the other to carry your laptop tighter, and the front one for your other stuff (this is where I put my camera and my charger). Every bag also comes with a little removable cotton pouch to help organize all the small stuff you need with you at all times.
I have only had the bag for a couple of days but I’m already taking it everywhere with me. The aesthetic corresponds perfectly to the style we promote one Le club des douze. It’s simple and raw (I love that there’s no lining), sturdy, well-assembled and looks damn good.
We thought you might like it too and so we worked out a deal with Cravar! If you buy any bag from the collection before the end of July, you’ll get a 20% discount with the code CRAVARLCDD20. Don’t wait, head over to the e-shop now and get yourself a bag you’ll use for the next 20 years (or more).
Q&A With P. Baskara, Designer At Cravar
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born, raised and living in Jakarta, with a few years spent here and there.
What do you do and how did you get there?
I’m the lead designer for Cravar. My fascination for leather goods started when I saw a leather bag in a store around the time I was about go to college. I didn’t buy that bag, but it got me interested in leather goods. I started studying as much as I could about it.
I was very fortunate to be able to do my postgrad in the Netherlands. I travelled quite a bit around Europe during my study and I suppose being exposed to the style of leather goods I saw in the streets influenced the designs we do now.
I started a photography business once I got back, and the first leather goods I made was photo albums for my clients. I’ve since sold the photo business and started Cravar with a friend, Rama.
Where do you find inspiration and what motivates you?
My travels, movies, interesting people I interact with. Creating designs that work well, make sense while also aesthetically pleasing. Designs without distractions and unneeded clutter and embellishments.
We realized from the start that it was going to be a challenge, I’m pretty sure that when people think about leather goods, they think of France, England, the US… Countries with a rich heritage of leather crafting. That meant we needed a platform to prove ourselves, to gain trust. That’s why we decided to officially launch Cravar through Kickstarter.
We were very excited to read the many positive comments from all over the world after the backers received their goods. We managed to introduce ourselves, prove that we make quality products and also to show that we’ll do our best to provide good customer service. I’d say the need to always do better is my main motivation.
After all the hard work, the best payoff is hearing from your customers how much they love their bags.
What big project are you currently working on?
It’s an ongoing project, to grow and improve. Updating our website to make for a better visitor experience. Working on some new designs.
Let’s do this!