POSTMAN’S BAGS : ICONIC MESSENGER BAGS BY BLEU DE CHAUFFE
Urban myth, founding myth, the Postman’s Bag leaves a lasting impression.
Inseparable from Bleu de Chauffe’s own story, the origins of this bag are intertwined with those of the mail service and the men who worked for it – messengers, letter carriers, and postmen who have been criss-crossing France for more than two centuries.
Since the inception of Bleu de Chauffe, we have endeavoured to put these magnificent 20th century French craft bags back into the spotlight by reinterpreting them and thus adapting them to 21st century uses and needs. We have thus created new versions of the former postman’s, plumber’s, physician’s, reporter’s, and writer’s bags.
Among our reinterpretations of craft bags, the Postman’s Bag, which has become the iconic Bleu de Chauffe bag, is especially dear to us. Not only is it the first line of bags we created, (even though we have since developed numerous other lines), it remains to this day our most popular.
FROM THE 20th CENTURY TO TODAY: THE REASONS FOR SUCCESS
The Postman’s Bag is inseparable from the image of the 20th century French letter carrier, who was much more than a simple distributer of daily mail, but rather the only social connection for isolated people or for those living in hamlets. At the time, the letter carrier was an employee of the PTT (Postes, Télégrammes et Téléphones). He roamed throughout cities and the countryside, either on foot or bicycle, with his leather bag slung across his shoulder and filled to the brim with letters. The choice of providing letter carriers with messenger bags was based solely on the functionality of the bags, for it was necessary to be able to access the contents quickly and easily.
This practical feature subsequently made the messenger bag (not only the one used by letter carriers) very popular for all kinds of use. For several decades, the messenger bag, in leather or canvas, used for practical purposes or as a fashion accessory, has known a great ongoing success. Always extremely functional and practical, the messenger bag suits all styles, shapes and sizes for both men and women. Yet few among them have succeeded in matching the understated beauty of the Postman’s bag.
Years have passed, and the “letter carrier’s bag” has constantly been revised and reworked. Nevertheless, it still conserves several distinctive features tracing back to its wandering past: a large flap with two leather closure belts, a shoulder pad reinforced with felt, and a shoulder strap allowing it to be worn across the body.
The Bleu de Chauffe's Postman's bags
The Éclair postman’s bag, launched in 2010, was the first bag created in our workshop and helped to established the foundations of the Bleu de Chauffe universe: quality, style, and respect for man and the environment.
The assortment of Éclair bags are now available in 3 sizes. The messenger bag Éclair, size M, remains our most purchased and popular bag. In terms of size, this bag most closely resembles the original Postman’s Bag of the 20th century, all the while being perfectly adapted for today’s use. Just like all Postman’s Bags in our collection, it contains a felt sleeve for a laptop computer or iPad. The Éclair, size L, comes with detachable straps allowing you to use it as a backpack. The Éclair, size S, which can be used by all, is ideal for women. The Éclair L, M, and S can hold 15-inch, 13-inch and 11-inch computers respectively.
The Irving business bag is the largest of our Postman’s bags. It is a 48-hour bag which is sufficiently spacious for a 2-day getaway and can also contain a 17-inch computer.
The Telegram bag is a reinterpretation of the 1940s’ postman’s bag. Its minimalist and elegant lines allow the Bleu de Chauffe man to freely claim ownership of it in order to express his individual personality beyond fashion trends and across generations.
A more ethical and sustainable craftsmanship
Making use of artisanal techniques from start to finish, such as hand-stitching or use of vegetable tanning, Bleu de Chauffe has opted to preserve an exceptional savoir-faire by remaining loyal to the original processes used in the production of letter carrier bags. The Postman’s Bag, just like all Bleu de Chauffe pieces, tells the story of working men and women: the mastery of the handicraft and the personality of the artisan are reflected in every last detail.
Bleu de Chauffe bags and accessories are exceptional in several respects. Each and every one of our bags is made entirely by hand by a single artisan who is responsible for the piece she or he creates. The bags are not mass produced on a production line. Every artisan has his or her own way of working and constructing a bag. Moreover, the signature of the artisan, written on a label inside the bag, is the sign of a unique hand-made piece, and of a timeless high-end object.
Furthermore, by having everything take place in the same location, from the creation and production processes, quality control, to customer relationships, we are able to perfectly control all steps of our operation.
Quality control takes place daily at every step of production and is particularly stringent for finished products. Not a single piece leaves our workshop without having been examined in detail, thus guaranteeing its future owner a flawless and durable French bag.
At Bleu de Chauffe, we have always been concerned about the environmental impact of our business. The leather goods industry is often highly polluting due to the use of chromium and other heavy metals when the leathers are dyed. We have therefore chosen to use exclusively European leathers made from vegetable tanning. The leathers are dyed thanks to natural agents from trees and plants: oak, acacia, chestnut, mimosa, etc. Consequently, pollution due to heavy metals is avoided and the leathers do not provoke any allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Moreover, they naturally acquire a patina over time and age beautifully.
The history, the look, and the legacy of the postman’s bag has always inspired Bleu de Chauffe.
More than an accessory, thanks to the expertise of Bleu de Chauffe artisans, the Postman’s Bag has become a life companion and the image of an authentic lifestyle - free from all constraints.