Last year around this time we showed you the inner workings of Chrome’s US bag production in California. Now, 70% of their bags are sewn in the US. Chrome has taken it one step further with in store production. You can customize one of their Mini-Metro, Citizen, or Barrage bags and have it sewn in store in just a matter of days. We recently had the chance to hang out at Chrome’s Portland hub and work up a custom bag sewn by Lara Kessler.
Thread the needle for details and images.
Chrome has launched retail hubs in San Francisco, Portland, New York, Chicago, and Seattle. While you can customize bags online, doing so in store affords you many more options. For instance, Chrome has sourced local fabrics where possible, patches are available, and seasonal colors can be found. Plus, the bag makers are genuinely excited about their job, and take pride in their work. I worked with Lara to design my custom Barrage. I wanted something pretty standard with a bit of a color pop. We went through some fabric options and settled on a mostly black bag with some very nice plaid Pendleton wool side panels and charcoal accents. The bag turned out awesome, and you can expect a full review soon.
Taking it even one step further, Chrome is using the in store production of custom bags to further extend their military salvage program. Since ’95 they have been making bags from salvaged and reclaimed materials. It started when they produced limited runs of messenger bags made from salvaged military fabrics. US Military personnel responded very positively, and inquired about having bags made from their personal items, such as duffle bags or fatigues.
With the Chrome Custom Military Salvage Program, veterans, military families, members of law enforcement, and firefighters are invited to bring in their material (uniforms, fatigues, tents, duffels, etc.) to any of the Chrome retail hubs. There, one of the bag makers will work with the material to produce a custom one-off bag.