While Tijs Studio's first collection firmly places them in the realm of fashion, closer inspection reveals that for these guys, it's more about design than anything else; bags are just the current vehicle for their design ethos.
I get the feeling that it's more about functional design, user-centred thinking and attention to detail for the Utrecht, Netherlands-based studio. In short, they could probably put out anything; they're more likely to be a studio focussing on how people interact with products at the heart of their design rather than a straight-up brand creating one type of product.
Collection No. 01 is made up of three super-functional, utilitarian style bags. They all come in an identical, black colour way, which on one hand makes for something effortlessly cool and perfect for the throes of everyday use. Beyond that, the identical colour helps you focus in on the details of each bag, opening up a thought process for potential buyers to ask themselves "which of these bags is going to be most useful to me?", which is a sign of great design. It stops you from leaning toward a particular bag because of its colour – you begin to look at things in a completely different way.
From the bike-ready adjustable roll-top bag to the strap of the up-and-over tote, each of these bags solves a need. These don't just look nice, the functionality has been very well thought through, which I imagine makes them comfortable, practical and ready to assist you wherever your day takes you.
A hard wearing, water repellent canvas is used across the collection, which should wear just like great denim or leather, showing nice signs of use over time. After all, brand new bags look brilliant, but their very purpose means upkeep is difficult, so you need a material that can be put to the test.
After coming across Tijs Studio on Instagram, I reached out to Thijs Kremers, the product designer behind the collection to learn a little more about his inspiration and, of course... the bags.
Can you tell me how the project came about?
While studying mechanical engineering I developed myself as a product designer. After graduating, I started an innovation agency (moorgen.nl) together with a friend. We worked and are still working on a lot of projects for clients, mainly service design projects, so I wasn’t making products anymore. The last few years I discovered that I love working with soft materials like textiles. At one point I bought a sewing machine so I could teach myself working with different kind of textiles.
I started this while thinking of maybe using it somewhere in our service design projects, just as a small addition for our clients. I began with making some small products, after which I got an idea for a backpack I wanted to make for myself. I used that first prototype for almost two years. Meanwhile, some friends mentioned that they liked the backpack. Twenty friends and twenty backpacks later I decided to design a collection of three bags in total. During the Christmas holiday, I made the three bags that we used for the photo shoot. From then on it was all about building a brand that really presents what I stand for; I want to create products that contribute to the minimalist lifestyle.
What's the inspiration behind Tijs Studio?
The inspiration behind Tijs Studio is the complete lifestyle of minimalism. I started with the idea of a brand/ store/ studio that could contribute to this lifestyle. I also want to create products with a minimalistic design. Another important thing is the craftsmanship that we highly value in our products and in our brand and studio. We strive to stretch the ways of being minimalistic in everything we do.
Which is your favourite bag and why?
My favourite bag is the Shopper Backpack. The compartment of this bag is a bit larger than the Rolltop, which means I have no problem taking all the things that I need to my next destination. The height of the backpack is determined by my own experience of carrying larger packages from one location to another in the city. May it be from studio to home or anywhere else, every package will fit some way in the Shopper Backpack. Biking through the city is no problem with the Shopper.