Via Roztayger we’ve found out about Kika NY and their leather Postal Backpack. Kika NY has been producing artisinal leather goods since 2009 and was founded by the Dutch MA gaduate in Economics Kika Vliegenthart and former interactive designer Sabine Spanjer. It has slowly been expanding since. Vliegenthart who rigorously changed course and became a leather smith under Barbara Shaum in Manhattan after her studies and her business partner Spanjer have their workshop in the old Brooklyn Naval yard and therefore have both moved to New York from their native the Netherlands. They work with materials sourced from Europe, including leather from Portugal, Italy and Belgium. Their solid brass hardware is hand-tooled in an old family-owned foundry also in Europe. In a way one could say that the products of Vliegenthart and Spanjer emphasize the largely European lineage of their adopted new home New York City.
Their leather and canvas pieces are all hand-crafted at the Naval Yard studio, on machines mostly custom-built for the brand. Their company’s goal is to design clean, simple and functional pieces while keeping alive the skills that Kika learnt while working for over 15 years under her acknowledged master leatherworker, Barbara Shaum. Together with Barbara, Kika crafted high-end pieces for Ralph Lauren among many others.
The form of the Postal Backpack itself is based upon a vintage US canvas mailman’s bag, but updated by Kika NY with the addition of a zipped rear pocket and ‘slider’ strap that allows the height of the bag to be adjusted as required. The unlined leather backpack fits up to a 15 inch laptop and is sturdy enough to carry plenty more. It has one large inside pocket with snap closure and one small outside pocket. The bag comes in two different versions, in dark tan and black (with brown trim).
The bag is available worldwide at Roztayger.
See a little video of the Kika NY workshop here.