An old high school classmate pointed me to an article in Wednesday’s New York Times about a question that we are seeing frequently in our store: where can I find a masculine iPad bag? It is not an easy question to answer. Laptop bags are too big, and anything barely big enough to fit an iPad is in that gray area which strikes fear in the eyes of many men: the man purse (a.k.a. the murse).
To be honest, we don’t have a great answer to that question now, although we have been peppering some of our vendors to make one (I repeppered this morning by forwarding the link above). As far as a bag for carrying the iPad goes, Martin Dingman’s Rudyard Collection Billet Bag
is the best option we currently have for someone that wants a bag to carry the iPad as well as some
papers, pens, headphones, business cards, etc. The lack of a handle
is a problem for some guys, but if you find that a feature rather than a bug, it’s definitely masculine in that "rugged
elegance" sort of way.
As far as cases go, at Wingtip, we have one in Twelve South’s BookBook for iPad. It hides away nicely in our bookshelf, while those that need to know what it is, just know. We’ve had a few members buy one for themselves.
We also seriously considered adding Parabellum’s kevlar-lined bison accessories to our assortment this year (and may in the future). They have a very sleek iPad case, although you pay for the bison, the kevlar, and the fact that it is made in the US (all good things in our book, just be prepared to pay for them). I don’t think anyone could call their interpretation "feminine".
I imagine most luxury leather goods companies are afraid that the iPad is going to change size or shape soon, and they’ll be sitting on thousands of cases that fit an obsolete model. That is what happened to some companies that invested in making cases for the Palm Pilot (remember those?) or the latest phone from Nokia (I think they’re still around). My guess is that while the iPad may get slimmer, it probably won’t change shape much, and the devices are so popular, they may as well go after it. In the meantime, I guess we’ll just stare awkwardly at the customer and ask, "What is this iPad thing you’re talking about?"