Origins of the brand and its backpack

My name is Fujisaki, the designer.

I don't often share my ideas in my own words, but I thought it would be good if more people understood my views on manufacturing, design philosophy, and the background of the brand, so here I am writing this.

There is a reason why I chose this backpack as my first written article. 

When I was still an office worker, I was dissatisfied with the lack of backpacks in the world that could be used for everything from daily life to outdoor activities and travel.

In order to solve this dissatisfaction, I started planning out how to make my own backpack at a time when I had no vision of creating my own brand.

Outdoors and bags

At that time (about 15 years ago), it was common practice, especially in the outdoor community, to carry multiple bags for different activities and purposes, such as a 40L bag for this occasion and a 25L bag for other times.

The aspiration of the outdoor community to have the best equipment for each situation was a value that stuck with me at the time, and it was one of the things I enjoyed about it.

However, even though I understood that this was the optimal solution, at that time, with no money, it was natural to use my own ideas to get around the situation.

I traveled all around with one backpack as a base, and if my luggage did not fit in the backpack, I would tie other bags to it or attach them externally so that I could somehow carry all the luggage on my back.

Little by little, I felt that my style was becoming more convenient and efficient, and I remember that the usage and purpose of my ideas became clearer and clearer.


At that time, the main backpack I was using in my daily life was the ARC’TERYX Arro 22.

Even to this day it is very popular as a standard daypack.

It was the structure of this bag that inspired the concept of “outside”.

The bottom of the Arro 22 is so angled that the bag itself cannot stand on its own.
There is a reason for this: to prevent the center of gravity of your luggage from being pulled backwards when mountain climbing.

If this feature is not necessary, then you are simply creating deadspace. 

So I strapped another brand’s waist bag to that spaced and used it to expand the bags capacity when I needed it.

I designed “outside” with the idea of optimizing this shape. 

Addition and Subtraction

For those involved in design in particular, the terms “design by addition” and “design by subtraction” are commonplace.

I believe that this concept of addition and subtraction exists not only in design, but also in the way of thinking itself.

The same is true for this bag, and I think many people would consider the act of attaching other bags to the backpack as addition.

However, for me, I believe this series of thinking goes hand in hand with subtraction.

Looking at it from a bird’s eye point of view, I think the fact that a single backpack can be used in a variety of situations, and there is no need to purchase any additional bags is a form of subtraction.

In this way, instead of looking at the product itself, it is in the creator’s best interest to match the product with the lifestyle, values, and way of life of the person.

The reason why I chose this bag for my first article is because it is a memorable item that led to the launch of my brand, which was triggered by the confidence I gained when I saw the finished product.

It took 3 years from the conception of this backpack to its completion.

I made the paper pattern again and again, fine-tuned the measurements, and paid close attention to the comfort of the backpack and the detailed parts.

Especially the pattern differs greatly from other bags.

When it comes to bags, usually there are craftsmen who specialize in the making of bag patterns.

While skilled craftsmen are highly precise in their work and can make better patterns, there are many fixed ideas as to how a bag should be.

This has been become a bottleneck in many cases, making it difficult to create forms and implement functions that have never been seen before.

At meanswhile, we rely on pattern makers for our bags and clothes.

This is a result of choosing a method that takes a lot of time to create a better product that encompasses both practicality and the beauty in form.

I also faced difficulties with the garment factories.

The structure of the bag was too complicated, and I had to repeatedly explain the sewing process to the people who did not understand it.
The limited number of people who could make the bag meant that production was not stable, and I often cause many problems for my business partners due to late deliveries.

However, in such a situation, I met a certain factory, and now I commission all of meanswhile’s bags to that factory.

This reliable factory manufactures mainly outdoor bags, but also bags for the Self Defense Forces.

The factory itself is highly skilled, and by being taught more about the structure of bags, I believe it led me to improve my own skills.

After that, as I used the bag myself for several years, the number of areas I wanted to update increased, and I had to stop selling the bag in order to make modifications.

With the cooperation of the factory, it took another three years, but I was able to complete a new product that I was satisfied with, so for the SS24 season, I was able to rerelease the bag again in the form of a minor update.

To my delight, despite the three year gap, there were many people eager to get a hold of the knew design, and the planned sales quantity sold out immediately.

It was such a great thing to be able to hear the joy of those who had been waiting patiently for the product.

We will be receiving a small amount of additional stock that we had to rush production in order to meet demands.

This time, I will not write about the product description, as I intended to talk about the product background instead.

If I were to go into the detail of the bags functions, the article will go on forever, so allow me to write about it another time.

If by chance you are interested in the product, I would be happy if you had a look at the product page as well. 

product page