Get The Messenger: Skinny Vinny’s Basic Bags

In this day and age, skipping from profession to profession is common practice. Vincent Lai is no exception. First an industrial-design school graduate, then a product designer, Lai decided in 2007 to change his job title to bag maker. Boy, are we glad he did. Perhaps finally finding his calling, Lai named his new collection of stylish totes and messenger bags "Skinny Vinny," a nickname by which is friends call and tease him.
Growing up, Lai learned sewing skills in his parent's garment factory. "I loved every second of it," he says. "I learned some important skills. I guess it was fairly inevitable that design and making satchels was what I would want to do. It's a good bridge between the two worlds." Putting his many talents to use, Lai crafts bags that use architectural and geometrical shapes along with little details like hidden pockets and contrasting trim colors. Handmade in Brooklyn, with each bag hand finished by Lai, the canvas satchels are "straightforward" and "no-fuss," yet completely polished. Says Lai, "Our mission is to create functional products that create a sense of urban sophistication, with tailored craftsmanship and unique designs." In addition to providing urbanites with the perfect pouch for their everyday baggage, the charitable Lai also gives back partial proceeds of each piece to the National Resources Defense Council. Let's hope Lai sticks to the sacks.
Skinny Vinny is available at Etsy. For more information, visit

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