Shopping From The Present

Archival Baggage: Filson Passage Line

Original Filson luggage line-up, plus bonus catalog footage, late 80s/early 90s:

All Filson ensemble w/accessory luggage

Gone: poplin duckbills and Rood’s satchel

Filson garment bags

Original pricing would make you weep
And selections from the new Passage Line (2009):
Identifiably Filson?
Business pack with key fob

Lodge collection companion?

Filson just released a new line of luggage called Passage. Unfortunately, I have to include the collection in the retail category of Why was it made? Rather than canvas or leather, the Passage bags are made out of unattractive synthetic twill (“ballistic quality nylon”). Country of origin is listed as “overseas.” On their own, on a practical, functional level, I’m sure the bags would be considered OK by the floatplane demographic (catalog selling points include “compact yet roomy” and “perfect for overnight travel”). But there’s nothing about these bags that visibly connects them back to the historical Filson aesthetic–not the fabric, not the styling, not even the embossed leather Filson stamp. To me, they look like pricier versions of the gift bags given away at department store cologne counters. Or–more likely, department store remakes of Filson or Barbour field bags.

Nevertheless, I forgive Filson for this Lodge-esque collection since they’re still producing almost all the styles from their original canvas twill collection plus a new line of tin cloth bags. I already own and adore the Filson tin cloth tote (currently in redesign) so I’m saving up for this tin cloth shell bag:
Use value t.b.d.

11 thoughts on “Archival Baggage: Filson Passage Line”

  1. It’s nice to see that the design has changed little in 20+ years. Also, that red & black plaid jacket cut on the bias totally kills it… the first time I’ve seen Filson give Woolrich a run for it’s money in the flannel department.

  2. The passage collection looks cheap and ill-considered. nothing like trading in a great name for a little more profit. shameful. i’m not sure if i should buy as much of their “traditional line” as i can now before it’s all gone, or just write them off as a loss. i’m embarrassed for them.

  3. I’ve been buying all the traditional stuff that I can,before it is gone.I actually have one of those hats in the old catalog-I got it on eBay,and wondered how old it was.

  4. As far as I can tell, Filson remains committed to producing most of their original collection inhouse, in Seattle. So, I dont think you need to worry, for now. about buying up the complete original luggage works for now. Same goes for most of the core clothing line (cruisers for sure).

    I just worry about these generic, add-on collections that don’t really fit with the overarching Filson aesthetic and do not tie back in with the Filson heritage thing (which really seems to be underway now with future special project collaborations and celeb gossip tie-is). Same thoughts extend to many of the items in the new collection for women (like salmon pink tank tops and forgettable synthetic zip-up jackets). Why bother?

    Again, I wish they’d consider electing a heritage style council (me included) to help advise on future designs and historical reissues. Why should Ralph Lauren have all the fun?

  5. If you think its bad… email them and let them know. It is one of the rare companies where feedback does get to the decision makers. That doesn’t mean it will be the way it is but it does mean your (my) vote counts.

  6. A–

    You’re correct. I have not sent any comments about this particular collection (still aghast especially after looking at the photos Robin sent along).

    I think Filson has a special Lesli Larson email filter to “redirect” all my comments regarding current product designs, discontinued items, overseas production and collections for women.

    In fact, the customer service folks at Filson are super nice and always promise me they will forward along my comments to the product designers and/or higher powers, etc. I did put my name in as the perfect candidate for Filson women’s design council. However, I was told that no openings were available (though they would keep my name on file for future reference).

  7. I know a few of the folks there… Comments are read and considered so its always worthwhile if you feel strongly about it. I have send my 2 cents in this morning.

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