You can now snag your own custom-designed messenger bag from Chrome, the local maker of messenger bags you’ll recognize by their signature seatbelt buckle shoulder straps. New color options and a variety of trims and materials are available for customizing the Mini-metro ($120) and Citizen ($140) models, both made in the company’s SoMa store.
So just how choose-y can you get? In-store sewing expert Michael Pablo will make your bag on-site using your picks from a materials list that includes weatherproof Cordura shell fabric in 11 color options (some limited and seasonal), seven truck tarp liner colors, four different velcros, two tape trims, limited glitter vinyl, a vintage patchwall and a choice of either black or chrome hardware for the buckle. You can also mix the black and chrome to make one contrasting buckle. Chrome also welcomes open dialogue with its sewing experts, “that could lead to more, imagination pending,” says Chrome public relations representative Corinne Avganim.
How fast will you get your bag? Expect bags to be ready in a week, if not sooner. “If they come in on a day where Michael [Pablo] is fairly free, they may be able to get their bag same day,” Avinnem says.
As for what Chrome expects customers to gain from the experience, it’s about more than getting a made-for-you bag. Company President Steve McCallion likens this service to the Jamie Oliver Project from the well known chef, whose mission not only teaches people how to cook, but also gives them an understanding of where food comes from. Translating that to Chrome customs, McCallion says it’s about giving people an appreciation for building and the way their product is made.
Ready to check it out? Head to Chrome, 580 4th St (at Harrison).
Photograph 1 courtesy Chrome SF. Photographs 2-5 courtesy Kizza Chadiha.