Portland, OR-based illustrator Patrick Long has always had a pencil in hand. A former Parsons student, he worked for designers such as Perry Ellis and Nina Ricci and his wistful, nostalgic line drawings have appeared in The New Yorker and T Magazine. But when it came to designing his line of Chester Wallace bags, Long had much more prosaic goals in mind.
Wanting a bag that was both durable and spacious, he describes the rigorous product testing. "The first litmus test was if it could carry a six-pack of beers across town on a bike. It's been able to carry everything I've asked of it, from hammers to watermelons."
Made out of heavy waxed cotton to repel the Portland rain, the bags have one exterior and two interior pockets for miscellaneous small items. An adjustable nylon strap allows the bag to be slung around the back or shoulders for cross-town journeys, while two handles at the top of the tote lend versatility.
Named for Long's two grandfathers—Chester from Burns, Oregon, and Wallace from Ireland, family history may have also played a role in propelling Long toward design. Long explains how having an architect father meant "I grew up with pencils and paper. Building and making things just followed suit."
The bags come in a variety of neutral colors that make them a natural accompaniment to any outfit. Long's friends at NYC's Project No.8 store were the ones who encouraged him to start selling his bags. You can get them there, Canoe and Stand Up Comedy for $150 each. For more information on Long's illustration work, check out his website.