The Shine Brand is setting out to change the way that you roll with your luggage in a major way. They are introducing their new summer 2015 line, “The Cordura Edition”, featuring the Weekender Sneaker Backpack, the Weekender Sneaker Duffel, and the all new Shrine Sneaker Daypack. The design for the new summer line were inspired by the aesthetic of U.S. military grade material. The durable bags are made out of the fireproof, weatherproof, and cut resistant 1050 D nylon cordura fabric (techie talk for those that know). The backpack and duffel has two colors, black with olive accents and olive with black trim with orange accents. In addition, the daypack comes in three colors, red with Black trim, olive and black, and black in olive, which is made from the same material as the duffel and backpack. The box like design is for an easy and convenient fit, along with providing an easy way to compartmentalize your gear for long distance travel; a suitable alternative to the bulky and round duffel bag.
The luggage pieces each include sneaker compartments that can fit up to size 18 or 20. Smaller compartments can fit small items such as chargers and cables, an individual watch slot, and the backpack’s larger compartment can fit up to a 17 inch laptop. One of the pieces also comes with a durable hat sling that can fit up to six hats; the very first of its kind. With the Shrine Sneaker Duffel at $275, the Shrine Sneaker Daypack at $150, and the Weekender Sneaker Backpack at $325 retail price, it is arguably one of the most affordable high quality carryon luggage bags on the market. Co-signed by celebrities such as Dwayne Wade, Common, Anthony Anderson, and LeBron James, Shrine plans for these pieces to become the luggage you had no idea you needed, but can’t live without.
Dre Pabon, Director of Marketing for the Shrine Brand, explains how the San Francisco based company started, breaks down in detail their new summer line, and the overall mission for the company.
How did this brand get started?
My partner and the creative director, Fernando, started this about three years ago with just the backpack and sneaker racks. He’s an industrial designer and he wanted to create a carry on backpack that you can travel with for short trips, but carry everything that you love [to go] with you. He started that about two years ago, he’s developing product on his own. December 2013 he started a Kickstarter campaign that eventually failed; he didn’t raise the money for it, but that’s how I came across him. I basically saw his Kickstarter campaign on Twitter and I reached out to him via Twitter and we formed a relationship. About a month after that we incorporated the company together and basically started the development and production of the bags and how we wanted to have this company be.
Compared to everything else on the market, what’s the need for this type of production?
I mean we do try to solve; we’re like a solution based company so we try to solve a problem. One thing that was a real problem to me in particular was that I wear a size 13 shoe. So I do a lot of trade shows and those trades shows are like three, at the most four days. So what we were trying to do as far as solving an issue was for guys with bigger feet, how can you travel for short trips and can you carry everything in one bag? So all of our bags on the luggage side they go up to a size 20 shoe. And if you look at these expansion panels here, that allows for bigger shoes. If you know how shoes are constructed the height of the shoe never changes it’s only the length and the width. So with the length, these pockets come open here and on the backpack, you’ll see the expansion panels on the side. So the problem that we were trying to solve was how can you carry all these sneakers, as a man, all of your sneakers, your watches, hats, all of your clothes, all your toiletries, everything that you carry with you, your technology, your laptop, everything. How do you get that on one bag? And how do you just carry that on the plane, because one thing that we hated was check baggage. So everything we make was carry on. Even the new FAA specs that they’re trying to shrink the bags to these still conform to those specs. So the problem was, how do you travel in short distances and carry everything with you and not check a bag.
Is this also good for long distances?
Absolutely. If you take the backpack and the duffel with you, you can pack seven to ten days worth of clothes depending on the season, whether it’s winter and different stuff. Five pairs of sneakers and everything that you need as far as your laptop, your working gear, all in these two bags. [The backpack] fits in the overhead and [the duffel] can fit in the seat in front of you. You don’t have to check anything for a seven to ten day trip.
In my case, coming down here to New York I had a hard time trying to get all my sneakers and all my clothes all in just one big suitcase.
The other problem was I hate putting sneakers with my clothes because the bottom of you kicks are dirty, your clothes might get dirty. There have been times where I pulled my shirt out and its got nothing but sand and little rocks on it.
And even when you put all that stuff in there, shoes tend to get smushed together. So how does this prevent that?
It’s got its own dedicated compartment to the shoes. So, you put your kicks in [the compartment] and you put it in the overhead, what’s going to squish it? If you check it and you have to put it in there, of course it’s going to get squished but even still it has stress points that keep the form of the bag. And we also sell accessory dust bags that will still keep stuff contained and stuff won’t get scratched. Even if you look at what’s inside the bag, we took little materials that you would find in sneakers like the Jordan 11s with the patent leather. But it’s also a good material that doesn’t scratch up your kicks or scuff up your kicks in the back.
Tell me about the material it’s made from?
Our summer collection is made from a 1050 denier nylon. This type of nylon was originally created for US military use for their bags and their uniforms. It’s meant to be used for outdoor extended use, so if you have a camp out somewhere your uniform has to stand up to the wear and tear of being out in the field for two weeks. It’s weather resistant, it’s water resistant, it’s fire resistant, it’s cut resistant. The US government uses these on the uniforms so that when you’re in close combat and something comes at you, you at least have an extra layer of protection on your body. So when we created this collection, we wanted to pay homage to that military aesthetic and do certain colors and use the fabric that aligns with it. The other thing about our company with the fabrics, every time that we release something it will be the first and the last time that you see it. So, after this collection is done and gone, we’re on to something else. We’re sampling and producing different fabrics and we’re gonna test different things. It will be of the same quality, but we’ll try to refresh it every single time. What you’ll see on the inside of the bag is that it’s 1 of 500. So every time we drop a collection, you’ll never see it again.
Now as far as the backpack, is it also for the college kid that has to carry lots of heavy books every day?
No, well, this piece isn’t for everyday use. This is strictly a travel piece. People have used it every day and the people who use it every day, it’s probably not best for a student. The best for a student is the one that I travel with called the day-pack. Here you have an organizer where you keep business cards in here, your tablet, your notepad, and your pens. I got my chargers in there. The side piece, you can fit up to a 17 inch laptop. You can put books or a change of clothes in there. This also has a sneaker compartment, but these don’t fit up to a size 20, only to a size 18.
As far as the sneaker heads, talk about why sneaker heads would want this?
Honestly, when we first started the company, that’s the demographic that latched on to us. We’re not the first company to do sneaker bags. I know a few years ago Supra did a whole line of luggage and backpacks that were just for traveling with kicks. But if you weren’t a person who really mess with Supra sneakers, did you really want the Supra bag? So we saw that those bags were really great and we wanted to emulate the luggage that they had and the functionality that they had and come up with our own design. Like they’re duffel was very different and all their bags was different. What we tried to do was give people who have a love for sneakers a solution to travel. If you look at the brand, it’s called The Shrine. It’s about everything that we worship, everything that we collect, everything that we want, so if you look at all of our bags, it has an ode to something like that. So the sneaker compartment obviously if you’re a sneaker head traveling and keeping your kicks with you. A lot of these kids, they like to travel with the Yeezy’s and $700 and you just can’t check that in there because if someone goes in there and sees that you have a pair of Yeezy’s it’s a wrap. So keeping your sneakers with you is a big thing for the sneaker heads. Another piece that men, what we worship, this watch slot. You put your watch in here and [sit the face upward]. A lot of guys are watch collectors so they want to travel with a really expensive watch, where are you putting it at? Is it protected?
It’s hard to really just find something that you can put a watch in without the face getting broken. Especially for a long period of time.
And if you see where it’s at, the watch is at the top of the bag which usually doesn’t get that much pressure and then it’s padded underneath all your clothes. What’s going to really happen to this that you really can’t control? The other piece, this is a pocket for your cables and your chargers. There’s a pocket for your tablet in the back and you can fit a 15 inch laptop in here too. So again, what we worship, Shrine, everything that’s in a bag. Can you travel with everything that’s important to you? That’s what we try to set out to do. Can we solve issues with travel and the big issue with travel is checking in bags.
Down the line, do you ever plan on making a bigger suitcase/luggage?
Yes, we’re in development right now. Spring of 2016 we’ll have our first carry on roller and then later on in the year we’ll have a full size luggage bag where you can keep your kicks and if you want to check it, you can. So again, we’re trying to focus on luggage. Our initial focus was on carryon luggage and we’re just going to expand from there. So along with the strategy of only dropping something once and letting that be the first and last time, every time we come out with something we’re going to add a new silhouette, so this day pack here for summer was the new silhouette that we added in addition to these and then for [the holidays] we’re going to have an overnight type of a gym bag or an everyday type gym bag we’re going to introduce in addition to these.
What are the retail prices?
[The Shrine Sneaker Duffel] is $275 retail and [The Shrine Weekender Sneaker Backpack] is $325 retail.
That actually sounds like a better deal than the high end luggage because of the quality you’re paying for.
And that’s the thing, you can get a Tumi carryon luggage for $1,000. It’ll be worth it, you’ll have it forever. But you’re starting to see more younger and younger people travel. Travel is like the new thing with millennials, it’s the new status symbol with the younger crowd. So when you look at that growing market and you look at how there’s no real dedicated luggage for that and at the price point where you need to be that at the price point where you need to be at, we’re trying to fill that void. We saw that there was a wide space for that. If you have the money to spend on a Tumi bag, spend it. You’ll have it forever. But ours, we’re trying to keep a price point just lower than them but still at an accessible price point to everybody.
And this box like design, it gives you just enough space to fit everything in adequately.
Yes. That’s the thing. My partner who’s a designer Fernando and even myself, we’re really anal about packing. And we each have our own style about packing our bags and things but it’s about using all of the space and how much space can we really, really max out of and that’s why everything is kind of square, to give you all of that functionality and to give you all of that space in there so that you can pack efficiently.
So what’s the overall mission for the brand?
The overall mission of the brand is to create products that you didn’t know that you need. Everyone who has big feet were like “How can I pack this in a bag?” And then we come out and they’re like “Oh! That’s exactly what I need!” So we’re trying to come up with products that solve issues and solve problems that you didn’t know was an issue or a problem or didn’t think that anybody can solve them. So we do home goods like the sneaker racks that you can store and display your sneakers, that’s were it started. The bags are an extension of that. Very simple, very innovative, just something that solves an issue and solves a problem.