Functional bags for quality seekers
TEXT: SOFIE COUWENBERGH | PHOTO © GUNTHER THIENPONT
Whether you are a businessman, a traveller or a woman always on the move, Hedgren has just the bag for you. Over the last 23 years this Belgian brand has launched a wide range of timeless bag collections and, for more than half of that time, Gunther Thienpont has been the driving force behind the bags’ timeless and functional designs.
It is easy to forget Hedgren is a Belgian brand, with stores selling its bags across the globe and fans from North America to China. Hedgren thanks its broad appeal to a combination of quality, functionality and styles that survive every seasonal trend. “We don’t call ourselves a fashion brand,” art director Thienpont says. Instead, Hedgren creates bags that are hard to replace.
“Compare it to a lady who wears painfully high heels to look nice on a night out, but will always choose her comfortable flats to go to work, do groceries or visit her family. She might like the heels, but she’d hate to lose those comfortable shoes. Our bags are like those comfortable shoes,” Thienpont continues. “Once you have one, you don’t want to go without it anymore.”
Minimalistic quality without the extra weight
Overseeing Hedgren’s design processes, he makes sure all bags are top performers when it comes to usability and sturdiness. Every bag is made to last a lifetime using high-quality materials and the usage of the light material nylon ensures that your backpack or tote does not put any extra weight on your shoulders.
The multiple compartments on every bag emphasise the brand’s focus on functionality without ever making them bulky. On the contrary, Hedgren bags usually boast a minimalistic look that make them a good fit for any day-to-day occasion.
Inspiration for that look has come from Japan, where overcrowded cities force designers to make optimal use of spaces while keeping them appealing to the eye. This result is achieved not by implementing tons of frills and decorations, but by paying close attention to finishing touches and details. “Our designs are minimalistic, but they’re polished and perfected to the tiniest detail,” says Thienpont. “It’s the details that make the difference.”
Bags for the digital era
Hedgren has also proven that reliability and functionality do not need to stand in the way of innovation. The brand was one of the first bag creators to launch two complete collections equipped with USB battery chargers. By doing so, it responded to our ever-growing need to be connected at all times, whether waiting for the bus or hiking through the mountains.
The Connect collection allows people to charge their devices without having to open their bags. Simply pull out the retractable USB cable from a side pocket and you are good to go. No more risk of forgetting your charger or having the contents of your bag seen by unwanted lurkers.
One thing says it all
Like every Hedgren collection, it is made for people with an active lifestyle who know where they are going and what they need to bring. Hedgren users do not simply throw stuff together, they like structure in both their bags and in their lives.
There is an ample selection of bags to choose from, whether you need a functional handbag, a backpack, a workbag or a travel bag. Shoulder bags, tote bags, handbags, clutches, crossovers, backpacks, hard case trolleys, duffle bags and more – Hedgren has them for both men and women. Each collection has its own colour palette, from subtle and soft to bright and vibrant.
Whatever style you prefer, there is one design element that always comes back: the keychain shaped like a six-sided cube. It adorns every bag and is a subtle reminder of the brand’s core values: strength, lightness, versatility, quality, design-led style and functionality.