Stuart Crumpler designed his first bag in the backyard shed of his Ballarat home in 1992. He enlisted the help of a local parachute maker and with a few handy sewing tips, set off on a journey to create one of Australia’s most idiosyncratic companies.
Today, with more than 12 outlets around Australia, Crumpler bags – with their distinctively bright colours and practical designs – are interwoven into Australia’s everyday street style. You can’t walk more than a block in any direction without noticing the Crumpler logo (a tribal character with a sprawling afro) on a satchel bag, iPad case or leather wallet. Crumpler still works from the brand’s head office in Kensington, where its namesake and a team of designers create every range from scratch.
In November, Crumpler opened its eighth Melbourne outlet on the corner of Chapel and High Streets in Prahran. In store, there’s a selection of crafty camera bags (with enough pockets for even the most superfluous of toys) wallets, accessories and travel bags.
This new store is perhaps the most audacious design yet. The vision of award-winning architect Ryan Russell, of Russell & George, the design of the store features skewed, futuristic LED lights that create a three-dimensional illumination surrounding the bags. Adding further visual depth, moving images of urban environments are projected on the back wall.
Beneath the simple shelves, grey rocks pile neatly on the floor. The displays are clean and minimalist, so the Crumpler selection still steals the show. And with such an array of colourful, clever designs, it’s no wonder.
182 Chapel Street, Prahran
(03) 9529 7837
Mon to Thu 10am–6pm