What does it take to make the ultimate classic bag? It’s a complicated premise. It has to be durable. It needs to be functional. And most of all, it needs to look timelessly cool. For Tanden Launder and Thrux Lawrence, they’ve been tackling this goal since 2012. The consensus thus far? They’re on the right track.
Walking in the shoes of Thrux Lawrence’s creator is a fun concept. He hasn’t had what you would call an orthodox life path. Launder was exposed at a young age to the world of Americana and antiques by his mother and uncle. Classic goods and old machines – what many of us take an interest in as burgeoning adults, Launder was learning about ten years earlier. He’d see more of the world than many as well, living in Ethiopia for a year and then traveling around Europe. Before he was old enough to drink, Launder had an old man level antique collection, and before long he was part of a network of people who would serve as mentors, such as Rising Sun and Runabout Goods creator Mike Hodis.
From Collecting to Making
Eventually, he saw that the opportunities of the vintage world were going to stagnate and pivoted to making goods. Initially, Launder looked into making jeans, but the initial overcomplicated pattern was a failure. So, surrounded by a plethora of vintage bags spread out around him, Launder picked apart what he liked from each and made Thrux Lawrence’s first product, the Thrux Pack.
Brands reflect their owner’s interests and personal history. For example, Launder said, Tanner Goods’ design choices are dictated by the feel good ease and design of the 60s and 70s. Launder, old soul that he is, is drawn to an earlier era; when the West still had its romantic ruggedness.
The Dispatch Brief and aforementioned Thrux Pack headline Thrux’s offerings. The brief has a classic leather flap design akin to a messenger bag, fastened down with two straps. Meanwhile, the pack stretches things out vertically – storage goes from 19 liters to 28 – and features adjustable backpack straps and a drawstring top. On the inside, you’ll find laptop and document sleeves, pen and pencil pockets, and bulk storage. And an ID holder garnished with original black and white photo and build numbers are branded on every leather bottom.
While similar designs have been seen available from other companies, Thrux Lawrence excels in the details.
The Heavier, The Better
The heavier, the better, Launder says. And that’s the first thing you’ll notice when picking up one of the Heritage Line. Thrux Lawrence isn’t messing around. Their goal was to make the most durable bag possible, so they pushed the leather and canvas weights beyond what anyone could expect. Horween typically recommends around 5-6oz. leather for people to use in their bag products. Thrux Lawrence is using 8-9oz. leather. Their canvas? An anti-mildew, hefty 24oz. – twice the weight of many companies in the same class.
But they’ve kept going. Skirting the romantic notion of using vintage Talon zippers, Launder has opted for high-quality #10 YKK zippers. A mind-numbing amount of hand-hammered #9 brass rivets hold the bag together at stress points, along with a combination of single and double-needle stitched heavy gauge waxed thread.
A significant change, however, is on the horizon. Despite Horween’s undeniable quality, Thrux Lawrence will be bringing in Seidel Tannery leather for its products. Launder cited Horween’s importing of cattle and tanning ingredients, in addition to rising costs and delays, as reasons for turning to the Wisconsin tannery. Seidel, among other things, can certify the pedigree of the American cattle it gets its leather from while providing high levels of quality. Because of dedication to a “Made in America” ethos, Thrux Lawrence sees the deal with Seidel as apt.
The youthful Thrux Lawrence has caught the eye of those in the know. Launder was featured on the cover of Clutch Magazine last year. Members of Horween have bought Thrux Lawrence to use personally. Freenote Cloth came and featured Thrux Lawrence in its American Made series. The kings of denim over-engineering, Iron Heart, chose Thrux’s pack and duffel to use in collaboration.
This clearly isn’t some Los Angeles or New York hipster brand. Based in Coeur D’Aleine, Idaho, Thrux Lawrence is surrounded by the people who have used these sorts of heavy bags for years.
“All of our grandfathers were badasses,” Launder said. “We grew up on their stories.”
Industries such as timber still have a significant place in the local milieu. Launder and his team aren’t going around and partying. If they’re not out camping, catching bullfrogs with nephews, or riding around on motorcycles, they’re working and designing. There are no distractions, just the goal of making shit better than you can and will pass on to your kid.
In addition to the Dispatch Brief and Thrux Pack, a duffle bag, dopp bag, tote, and purse can be found in the canvas/leather combo, full leather, or a hair-on-hide grizzly model. Thrux also offers smaller leather goods: Stetson Hats, a collaboration with Whites Boots, and will be launching a jean in the future. And for those in the Northwest, keep your eyes peeled for Thrux Lawrence’s first satellite retail location, coming soon to Seattle.
Thrux Lawrence is internationally distributed and can be purchased directly on their website.