Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, April 18, 2000
A26 messenger bag by XS Baggage has padded shoulder straps.
The line is available at Pocketbook Man.

Bags make a case for
hi-tech gadgets

By Cynthia Oi


IF it's not one thing, it's another. B.C. -- before cellulars -- making a phone call away from home or office was such a nuisance. First you had to have the correct change, then you had to hunt down a public phone that actually worked, then you had to wait for someone to quit yapping on it.

Now the technological gods have created cell phones, beepers and PDAs (see right).

But how do you keep that phone, beeper or Palm Pilot where you can get to it?

Witness the scene at Shirokiya last month. A trill sent a half dozen people into contortions. The men squirmed around, trying to get to beepers and/or phones clipped to their belts. One guy even showed skin as he pulled up his aloha shirt to locate his instrument. But it was the lone woman in the bunch who was being electronically summoned.
R16, modeled left, can be used as a waist pack or shoulder
bag. R18, right, has a phone pocket outside.

She rummaged through her droopy hobo bag, shook it and rummaged again. In final frustration, she emptied its contents on a table. Her cute little phone emerged from a pile of cosmetics, papers and envelopes, wallet, checkbook, keys and other necessities. Flipping it open, she put it to her ear, "hello-ing" repeatedly, but it was too late. Her caller had hung up.

It doesn't have to be this way. Where there's a need, there's somebody who's willing to fill it -- for a few bucks, of course.

Utility and body bags made with special pockets or slots for gadgets abound in stores and online retailers. And while many are designed and priced for youths, the more traditional, higher-end leather goods producers are also getting into the act.

Coach, for example, doesn't make body bags (sniff), but it has a phone case ($80), beeper case ($45) and PDA case ($80). All are made of the high-quality leather Coach is known for and come in colors that match its handbags, but they aren't hip.

For a heavy utility look, Reaction and XS Baggage brands at Pocketbook Man offer several bags, mostly in polyester and nylon ($30-$55). Aimed at the younger male consumer, they are armed with quick-release clips, webbed straps, Velcro, multiple zippers and compartments, built-in or separate phone slots and a lot of attitude.
D19 Greater Back Brief, left, and D17 Lesser Back Brief (book size).

Some are redesigned backpacks while others are meant to be worn over the shoulder and across the torso. A couple of models boast a phone compartment on the strap so that your cellular rests against your chest where you can feel its vibes.

Nine West offers many utility bags, designed primarily for women. Sold at Liberty House, Pocketbook Man, at the brand name store in Ala Moana Center and on line, they cost between $30 and $60. Styles vary from a slim-profile body bag in golden yellow to a more beefy model with two phone holders, a dual zip top, Velcro strap and clips.

If you must have the trendy hobo style, Nine West sells them with a separate phone holder attached to the shoulder strap. The bags come in vinyl, microfiber, leather and nylon.

Women with money to burn can choose pieces from Prada or from Miu Miu at Nieman Marcus. Miu Miu's thin body bags ($340-$440) tip more to fashion than utility, although they are equipped with the webbing, pack clips and other such hardware. With a phone slot on the straps, they come in baby blue, black and gray or black and taupe in combinations of leather, suede and canvas. Prada's offerings include a flat body bag with a phone case in a silvery hue and triangular and rectangular pieces with multiple zips and compartments ($330).

For the tech-teen, Agnes B contributes a clever modular set of three nylon bags in different sizes that slip on to a webbed hip belt ($82). If you have lots of stuff to carry that day, slide on all three bags and snap them together. If not, snug on just one or two, load up your phone, lipstick and credit cars and head on down the road.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin