Co-founded by Matthew Dear and Sam Valenti in 1999 as a boutique record label, Ghostly International has since become a leading figure and voice in the industry for experimental, "genre-less" music and even art, clothing and product design. While nearly every product to bare the brain power or brushstroke of a Ghostly artist is in some way a product of teamwork, the label's first custom bag collaboration is in a league of its own. Made entirely by hand by fellow Michigander Ryan Perkins, the Ghostly + RPMFG Record Tote is designed down to the finest detail to be your ideal bag for shopping sprees at the local record store or transporting albums to your next gig.
A self-styled maker, Perkins took to hand-craftsmanship shortly after earning a degree in engineering, making leather goods, bags of all shapes and sizes and custom clothing. After an introduction to the Ghostly Store's Brian Fichtner by mutual friend—and Ghostly recording artist—Heathered Pearls, the collaboration quickly became a passion project for both. The upshot is a very limited run of 15 individually made, signed and numbered tote bags designed to hold the morning newspaper, your notebooks, phone, keys and of course more than a handful of records—25 to be exact.
Made in Kalamazoo, Michigan of 24 oz canvas from the Martin Corporation in New Jersey, the sturdy bag is finished with 6 oz vegetable-tanned leather straps from Hermann Oak tannery in St Louis, 8 oz Japanese cotton chambray lining and held together with American-made thread and solid-brass hardware. With obviously no detail spared, the cotton canvas is finished with a coating of wax to deter rain and keep your possessions bone dry.
Available today exclusively through the Ghostly Store, the Ghostly + RPMFG Record Tote will sell for $275. Read more about the man behind the bags' design and construction in Ghostly's interview with Ryan Perkins.
Studio images by Erin Nail, process images courtesy of Ryan Perkins