“THE PERFECT BAG does not exist.” This is a lie I frequently tell myself, usually when trying to talk myself out of buying yet another bag, one I’ve somehow deemed perfect. As an admitted bag obsessive — my quest for the perfect leather bag is an odyssey that stretches all the way back to my teens — the desire to buy just one more fine leather good is something I have never been able to shake. Just when I think I’ve finally acquired what will be my forever go-to messenger bag, or my ultimate workaday backpack, along comes something like Métier’s Closer to reignite my obsession. In the case of this bag, however, I might have finally found “the one.”
The brainchild of designer Melissa Morris, Métier is a London-based luxury leather-goods house focusing on exquisitely crafted bags and accessories that are all handmade in Italy. Aspiring to timelessness, the company’s website states: “Our products are not meant to be discarded or replaced. Instead, they only get better with time.” Free of logos or any unnecessary accoutrements, Métier’s bags manage the unique hat trick of reading as both classic and remarkably contemporary. The bags are also characterized by their utility, offering designs that are as supremely functional as they are luxurious. After being gifted a small Métier wallet a few months ago (and then obsessively haunting the Métier website), I finally took the plunge on one of their larger bags — the Closer All Day Briefcase.
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The crux of my personal bag obsession has to do with size. I desire a bag that is slim enough to serve as my daily go-to — an everyday work bag, that bag you take on the subway that has just enough room for a laptop and all your daily needs without being too heavy or cumbersome. At the same time, I want this bag to possibly do double duty as a carry-on when I’m traveling — just big enough to accommodate a large pair of noise-canceling headphones and tuck neatly under the seat in front of me. If possible, I’d also like this bag to have a removable shoulder strap, and maybe handles. While it doesn’t seem like too much of a tall order, it’s amazing how many bags I’ve purchased, carried briefly, and ultimately rejected because they were ever so slightly off in one of the above categories. I was delighted when the Closer managed to tick all of these boxes. Perfectly sized, beautifully made, and created with the ability to expand, the Closer, while technically a men’s accessory, has a coolly unisex vibe.
The bag is available in a variety of leathers (and also in a “slim” model). I picked the All Day version of the Closer because of its ability to serve a variety of purposes — an everyday work bag, and an overnight bag in a pinch. Even though I’m typically all about basic black when it comes to accessories, I chose the suede option — a ruddy, caramel color called Marrakech — because I liked that it had a very slouchy, retro vibe. It reminds me of the kind of bag a turtlenecked analyst might carry to their Upper East Side office in a ’70s art film. There is a multitude of inside pockets, along with a laptop enclosure and an interior lined with buttery suede in a color that might only be described as a rusty eggplant. The vintage bag of your dreams that’s not actually vintage, the Closer lives up to Métier’s ethos as an object you won’t want (or need) to replace, and that will only look cooler with age.
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T. Cole Rachel Writer
T. Cole Rachel is the deputy editor of Departures. A Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and teacher with over 20 years of experience working in print and digital media, his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Interview, and the Creative Independent.
Ahonen & Lamberg Illustrator
Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.