Before we go any further, it would be appropriate to introduce ourselves first.
The first member of our team is Kevin, but he prefers to be called Choy. He is the brains and the driving force for our small company. A graduate of Business Management; Choy, like all of us here at Team Dent, shares a passion for sneakers and travelling.
Second member of our team is Francis, but we prefer to call him Bec. Bec is the hands, legs, and the soul of the team. A passionate sneakerhead with an disturbingly big nose and wears Palladiums to sleep.
Finally, there's me, you guys can call me Irv. A sneaker and toy collector, and a respectably hardcore gamer. My role is to make sure we get our amazing products to the people that share our passion; and I also make sure Bec gets up every morning and actually does some work.
How we began
During our many travel experience, we prefer to travel light and put all of our stuff in our carry-on backpack luggage. we always encountered several common problems when it comes to our bags:
1) There's no place to put our footwear. Some bags have a shoe compartment at the bottom section but this not ideal because the weight of the clothes and other things atop of the shoe will crush or deform it.
2) Our shirts usually end up all wrinkled even if we packed them nicely.
3) Toiletries would sometimes spill while inside the bag
4) Trying to find something inside the bag usually involves taking things out one at a time
until you find whatever it was I was looking for
We tried looking for a bag that offers a solution to these issues, but the bags we found
were either too expensive and/or only addresses some and not all of the problems. After our trip to Hong Kong last year still came up empty handed; we decided that it was time for us to create the solution ourselves.
The Dent Design Philosophy
When we started designing our bag for Dent, we had 3 goals in mind:
1) Address the problems mentioned above
2) Aesthetic design should fit all fashion styles
3) Made with the best materials but remaining afforable
In order to achieve these goals, whenever we have to make any design decision, we always ask ourselves "As a frequent traveller and a customer, would I want this?" We figured out early on that the best way to design something, whether its a bag, a wallet, a phone, a laptop, a shirt, or whatever; is that the best decisions are made from the perspective of the user. We kept this idea as our guiding principle through out the entire design process of our first product, The Dent Wingman.
The Unconventional FormfactorIn deciding how to address the 4 problems we identified, we looked at other bag designs and how each of them address some of these issues. After a lot of research, brainstorming, sketches, cardboard prototypes; We decided to design the bag similar to a book. Instead of the usual top-opening hatch, the bag would open from the side similar to how a book opens. This unorthodox form-factor provides the benefit of having 2 separate compartments on each side of the bag. We have one side to put our footwear without the risk of deformation and damage, and another side to neatly place the clothes without being wrinkled. It was an elegant solution to all the problems we aimed to solve.
After settling with the formfactor, the next step was to decide how the bag would look.
We took inspiration from how tech companies' design their products. Most of the popular and beautifully made tech products today (The iPhone, The Macbook, The Razer Blade, The HTC One, The Playstation 4, to name a few) have one thing in common; they adopted a minimalist industrial aesthetic. Despite having quite a number of parts inside, the products look like a single, monolithic entity from the outside. This approach in aesthetics is universally acclaimed by consumers, and we wanted to adopt the same aesthetic to our bags.
The Dent Wingman features a minimalist design that is simple and elegant. The front portion, or the "face" of the bag is made from a single portion of fabric that stretches from the bottom all the way to the top. This gives the Wingman monolithic look that has the same tapered edge seen in smartphones and unibody laptops, and it looks absolutely beautiful.
We also reinforced the bag corners with highly durable piping to ensure the Wingman will maintain its shape with or without any items inside. This should also help support the fabric for added durability even under heavy load.
For deciding which color we should proceed with, we looked at different color combinations not only in bags, but in sneakers, smartphones, laptops, cars, etc. before we eventually settled with solid black with gold accent. We believe this colorway represents Dent's design philosophy best; Simple and Elegant.
It fits almost every outfit, whether you wear casual for a short trip in Phuket, or out for a weekend business trip in a fancy suit; The black and gold Wingman will complement your style.
On our next blog entry, we will share our experience in choosing the materials for the Wingman. Do check back soon!