November 24, 2011 - FREITAG STORY
Whoever automatically thinks of roasting upon hearing the word ‘goose’ may run afowl of the FREITAG Christmas story. Albert, goose and protagonist of the F-Mas story, is a dauntless adventurer, a daring self-doubter and a defiant city roamer. Albert’s adventures in the city will be recounted by Swiss author Jürg Halter week by week in five episodes until December 22.
Previous chapters can be found here. If you prefer to have future episodes and other FREITAG stories delivered in comfort to your inbox, simply sign up for our F-riend mail.
It’s no longer Victoria’s secret that the wrapping is often more important than the content. Christo and FREITAG have made a living off of this insight. Now the latter has packed up the iPad 2.
The lovely thing about a touch screen is that it likes being fondled. That’s why the new iPad 2 sleeve from used truck tarpaulins grants access to the screen with just one flick of the wrist. And flicks on the iPad, too. It’s not magic, but magnetic. Also magical is the way it transforms into four different positions.
Never have these old truck tarps been so flexible. And with recesses at all the right places, granting access to buttons, and plugs and giving the iPad’s cameras full view. Who says packaging is purely superficial?
Limited editions have come and gone down the path to mass-marketing-irrelevance. Because they’re arbitrary. Companies producing short of estimated demand and then calling it «limited» – until it’s all sold out, and miraculously they decide to produce more of the stuff.
This REFERENCE Limited Edition is different. Proudly presenting a series that shouldn’t exist: R103 GREEN and R504 CLEMENS in the rarest tarp colors panic pink, blunt black, striking silver, brute brown and absolute anthracite. Limited to 15 bags per model and color. In the FREITAG REFERENCE Store in Zurich, this special edition is presented on the sculpture «Vater macht Futter» by Swiss artist David Renggli – an imitation of an imitation of sculptures, or in our words, a reference to a reference to a reference.
Launch: In-store November 10, 2011 – FREITAG Online Store November 22, 2011.
For decades, moving pictures moved in black and white. Then computer monitors blinked green on black. Today, even Hello Kitty keychains have a color screen. Only FREITAG Mac Sleeves are still white or yellow? A monochrome anachronism!
In Switzerland, things often take a little longer. 1968 national TV first broadcasted in color. The most renowned newspapers took until the turn of the millennium to print color photos. And FREITAG successfully waited until today to introduce the RAL-age to their line of Mac Sleeves made of used truck tarpaulins.
If you’re not clapping, you’re obviously missing the vastness of this decision: From today, FREITAG Mac Sleeves are available in typical FREITAG designs – every sleeve unique in color, graphics and letter soup. From today, you can spend hours in front of the sleeve-shelf deliberating whether to buy your blogger friend a sleeve with her initials or one featuring the color of her favorite nail polish.
A month ago, we moved our production facilities to our own building NŒRD. Now we’re moving to a new, nerdy website, too.
Whether selling offline or online, we have always had a unique «problem»: Made from used truck tarpaulins, every single product looks different. So every single product needs to be photographed, displayed and taken offline from the online store when it’s sold. A similar issue that real estate companies or auctioneers face. But then, their items are usually more expensive than an F52 Miami Vice.
Now things don’t get easier when you add product lines, new products, new countries of distribution and new stories all the time.
Our new website is fast, square, and clean, based on a state-of-the-art container structure, inspired by high-frequency news portals, with a focus on content beyond the bags. Flexible enough to allow real storytelling and big enough to afford new and entertaining stop-motion product films for every single model, the new site also ties to all some of the important social networks and their cousins.
What true product-aficionados and remote collectors will enjoy most: A new xyz-megapixel photography dramatically increases the quality of the product pictures. Something you can feel free to check with the new magnifying glass function that finally allows close-up views of every bag’s unique patina.
Most important changes in the Online Store:
The Japanese have always been leaders in everything customized. And even though trucks in Japan drive on the wrong side of the road, Nippon was among the first overseas markets to understand and embrace the concept of FREITAG.
That is why, despite language issues, a horrible time difference, and 12-hour economy flights the Swiss used-truck-tarpindividual- bag-manufacturer opens its 9th FREITAG Store in Tokyo.
Asia’s first FREITAG Store is situated in a landmark building named «a friend of Ginza» on the legendary Ginza shopping strip and thus should be easy enough to find. Stocked with 1'200 unique bags in award-winning FREITAG V30 Skid storage racks, the store will finally relieve Japanese recyclopolites of having to look long and hard to find an individual freewaybag of their liking.
Of course, the new FREITAG Store also includes a Repair Center. Because Swiss Quality is not only defined by durability, but also by repairability. Ohaynomol grüezaimas!
As much as you might know where you’re going, what you’ll get there is usually unexpected. Even today, despite online-booking, GPS and tour-guide-app. The only exception is that one destination we all come to love as we mature: The past.
This is why R510 KRISTOF unites the past of uncountable transit routes and traditional artisan know-how with a good measure of pedanterie. The result is a buff and stuffed weekender with zippered compartments, interior straps to fix gentlemanly or ladylike attire and a general air of pre-airline posture. Available in the every-bag-is-unique-hues «almost red», «nearly grey» and «close to beige».
The Maag era has drawn to a close. We kept the F-actory in there as long as we could. But it really has become too shady behind the blitzy new Prime Tower and there were way too many suits and ties at the lunch tables in the area. In the end we felt like squatters. Time to rip it up and move on.
After the tarps, the disco ball has been cleared out of old Maag Areal, too. A big sniff and big thanks for your support!
In Zurich there are 127 rainy days per year. So, since 1993 we have been ineffectively drenched 2’286 times. This changes in our new building, NŒRD. Here we use rain water to wash our tarps.
After almost two decades in post-industrial district 5, we move a reckless three miles into our new building in Zurich's pre-hip district Oerlikon. And we find NŒRD everything but boring.
It’s not every day that people like us build their own F-actory. Especially in Zurich, where rentals are usually better fit for the next Lehman Brothers than the FREITAG Bros. But firstly, NŒRD is on a contaminated lot (why do you think it was still available?), secondly we share it with friends and third – hail to the workings of modern real estate investment schemes! – we are simply renting space in a building we conceived.
What’s important for us: After decaying Maag (the advent of musical halls, disco balls, corporatchicks and skyscrapers made us pack our bags), we wanted a F-actory that would fit our products: NŒRD is sustainably built, well insulated and recycles everything from rain water to the heat of a waste-recycling plant. According to expert calculations, saving water and energy will pay for the necessary investments in about, erm, 18 years. Anyway: NŒRD is big enough for us to keep most of the production chain right here – from design to washing to cutting to packing to sending. And NŒRD is dug firmly into Zurich city ground. Something we dig, too.
So if you’re saying: «What do I care?», you’re probably right. But don’t it feel good that the cycle continues?
3, 2, 1 FREITAG packs their bags.
1, 2, 3 It looks easy, but it wasn’t.
F2011 FREITAG FACTORY NŒRD:
Profile: sustainable, water-collection and cycling into tomorrow
Dimensions: 90000 x 64000 x 17000 mm
(LxBxH): 3544 x 2520 x 669 inches
Content: Washing machines, cutting tables, warehousing, computers and tons of tarps
Work force: 115 (of a total of 130)
Did you know that our F52 MIAMI VICE ist the exact replica of the bag of the Swiss supermarket that copied our Top Cat and called it «Donnerstag» in 1996?
Of course this is no longer about carrying on, but about carrying home. The really good thing about the F52 being that you can fill it top to bottom with milk or licquor bottles and it won’t tear, not even when it’s raining.
You’ll only notice when your fingers start turning blue and your spine creaks: A well-stacked F52 can quickly reach the 20kg mark. With one bag on your left and one bag on your right you can make sure you don’t go crooked.
Profile: robust, water-repellent and shopping-proof
Dimensions: 330 x 160 x 400 mm (LxWxH)
Volume: 20.0 Liters
Autumn calling! The days get shorter, the sunlight gets softer, the leaves on the floor get soggier and all that Jazz. What’s more important is that autumn depression is generally accompanied by compulsive shopping and compensational sports. Which is why we want to present you our very latest reference objects: Bags for sports and credit cards. Bags for small and big affairs. Bags in our autumny colors «almost red», «nearly grey» and «close to beige». Completely monotone and made of vintage truck tarpaulins as always with REFERENCE.
The complete REFERENCE collection AW11 is available at our online store, in our FREITAG Stores and in selected shops from Belgium to Korea.
The day has come: The F49 FRINGE Back-to-School-Back-Pack has been deemed street-legal by the FREITAG R&D department. Because there’s no tougher hood than schoolyards, it was tested to the fringe of sadism. Whoever manages to tear up this backpack clearly should be dispensed from school.
Just to show you what FREITAG does to their dirty bags before you lay your clean hands on them, they’ve made a making of the thrashing of the FRINGE. Definitely something to share on your mobile with your schoolyard dog friends!
FRINGE protects you and your prized possessions from any regular bully. And with its 270° zipper and butterfly outer pockets it provides room for and access to your notebook, notebooks, cheat sheets, trading cards, gumballs and whatever else you need to get through a day in the grind.
Colored ties are a common nuisance and colored socks an emerging market. FREITAG really should have thought of colored zippers all along…! With the FRINGE, they pick up on this idea. Maybe if the Bros. went back to school themselves for a bit, they wouldn’t miss out on fads like this...
Thank you for participating! The FREITAG re-contextualisation jury has sifted through the entries, deliberated, slept on it, deliberated once more – and finally reached a decision. Congratulations to Udi and Elodie, who have each won a spot at the Design Workshop put on by the Freitag brothers at the Vitra Design Camp in Boisbuchet.
Re-contextualisation may sound complicated initially but it is not a hard concept to understand. We see something (a tarpaulin) in one context (on a truck), take it and use it in a new context (for a bag).
After the competition, we now know that FREITAG is not the only one that re-contextualises – the entire world does it, from Bolivia to Zurich. See for yourself:
Picture gallery on the official FREITAG page on Facebook
The new FREITAG backpack F49 FRINGE is tough: Not only have the tarps we used faced the streets of Europe over tens of thousands of miles, also the FRINGE itself is being used, abused and subjected to untold meanness before we dare to release it in July.
Below you can see pics of the Movie in the works.
What do endless roads, gas/food/lodging exits and fuming eighteen-wheelers have in common with bike riding messengers, design awards and white washed museums? Let’s rewind a bit.
1993 in Zurich: Markus and Daniel Freitag had a problem. They were looking for a bag to wear on a bike. And because they lived in Switzerland, not California, the bag had to be rain-resistant.
We all know what resulted from their solution: bags for everything and everyone – sportsters, yuacs, DJs and it-girls, but also for toiletries and iPhones. High time to remember their origins: DRAGNET, DEXTER and TOP CAT. The ones in the museum.
FREITAG uses nothing but used truck tarps. New tarps are a taboo and recycled beer tents would give everyone headaches. The truck tarps are washed, dried, cut and then sewn together with bicycle inner tubes and car seatbelts to create street-wise FREITAG bags.
But what is the secret behind the success of F12 DRAGNET , F13 TOP CAT and F14 DEXTER ? Their robustness, some say. Others quote design. Masses buy them for their individuality. Maybe it was just Zurich’s hard Hardbruecke. If we’d been socialized in the banking district, who knows, we’d have started making mini skirts from the soft tops of convertibles.
Every Jersey boy still has these words on his lips when he crosses the Hudson. Only FREITAG just crossed the Atlantic. Which doesn’t make the quote quite as pathetic. Hey, they’re Swiss.
In New York City, ambitious store concepts come and go. But the track record of FREITAG is pretty straightforward: Wherever they’ve opened, they’re still open. Keep your fingers crossed – but the cocktail of hand-made, recycled products with reduced design and mass individualism seems to work wherever it is mixed.
The FREITAG experience is that the bigger the selection, the more likely people will fall in love with one of the individual bags. With 1'000 different bags on display in the (equally prize-winning FREITAG V30 Skid storage system), chances are high, you’ll be helplessly sold on one of the designs.
On April 12, we launched the strictly limited edition of the Fake Snake bag in green/grey at our FREITAG REFERENCE pop-up store in Milan. The temporary store located within the "10 Corso Como" shop will remain open until May 22.
After that, we can’t guarantee that one of the ten REFERENCE fake snakes will still be hanging around for you, but thanks to the FREITAG Roadkill installation, you can create your own unique species from used truck tarpaulins.
At every FREITAG Store (except NYC) there are NOW five Gorilla fixed gear bikes, TSG helmets and FREITAG Bags for you to borrow for your individual tour of the city. For free!
It’s not an April joke. On April 1 we opened our first flagship store in the schnitzel capital of the world. Whoever visits the store at Neubaugasse 26 in the city’s 7th district will be spoilt for choice. Over 1,600 one-of-a-kind bags await you in the drawers of the award-winning, modular V30 FREITAG SKID shelving system.
The FREITAG REFERENCE FAKE SNAKE proves craftsmanship still matters. Just lacing a FAKE SNAKE shopper needs 648 pieces assembled by hand, with hopefully the right colors at the right place. The pouch, with 266 pieces is a bit quicker to make. The result is where the name comes from: Far from rough and scaly, FAKE SNAKE is smooth and seductive.
Life was easy when all FREITAG had to do was hunt down trucks, look for the most individualistic cutout and turn it into a bag. With FREITAG REFE RENCE, the company takes months to collect enough unicolored tarp-snippets to even think of bringing a certain color into the line. Still, FREITAG likes REFERENCE and is proud that SS11 – only the second REFERENCE line – comes out in two new colors and with new cutting-edge craftsmanship, various already-classics and at least one soon-to-be classic.