Behind the design: Origin. Inspiration. Details.


To us, a bag is never just a bag. What is the meaning and influence behind the design? What is the solution it provides? How is it carried? We think deep when we concept a new bag, and we never include a feature that doesn’t serve a purpose when we create it.

At the heart of the Kanso Convertible Brief is the specific design principles it was created upon. From the outset, our intention was to create a carry solution that focused on versatility and simplicity—two elements that seem to contradict one another, yet the Kanso achieved it.



Here’s how we made it a reality:


Since the moment we began concepting the Kanso Convertible Brief, we focused on versatility. The modern city commuter sees a variety of types of transportation and environments throughout the day. Having a bag that can easily make those transitions with them would make a world of difference every day.

We looked east, to Japan, for inspiration and to keep a global perspective. We found that convertible bags were widely used in the metropolitan areas—a style that would fill a void, while fitting right in, here in the U.S.

The three carrying options we landed on with the Kanso provide the sophistication of a brief for the office, while the shoulder and backpack options are perfect for navigating the city.

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"Kanso is a Japanese word that means simplicity or elimination of clutter"


Incase was built around Dieter Rams Ten Principles for Design. Kanso takes its inspiration from the sixth principle: Good design is honest. And we named our design Kanso to complement the aesthetic—“Kanso” is a Japanese word that means “simplicity” or “elimination of clutter”. We interpret this as a product expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. It reminds us to not think in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential.

By taking this style approach, especially the internal organization, we created a bag that is timeless and versatile. We also analyzed the function and needs of the user to bring clarity to the organization of the bag, which in turn creates clarity of use. The bag’s internal compartments are logical and easy to use, as well as being adaptable to a variety of carry needs—all intentional design decisions.

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Design, organize, protect. Our designs always hit all three. And the user is always at the forefront of our designs. Extensive testing and trials went into every touchpoint when designing the Kanso.

From first grab, each handle went through multiple types of webbing and foam padding to ensure a secure and comfortable grip. Since zippers are a point of constant use and stress, we decided on metal for the zippers and hardware because of its inherent strength, durability and how it wears over time—the metal hardware will slightly change aesthetically over time, but the function won’t.

Lastly, the tight weave of our weather-resistant Flight Nylon shell allows the bag to blend into any environment and still have excellent durability.



Jennifer Suarez