After months of hard work, endless sketching, dozens of repeat viewings (purely for research) and countless meetings; our biggest ever collaboration launched in-store and online. Star Wars X Crumpler, just in time for May 4th.
It was a momentous occasion for everyone involved, marking a new direction for the brand and setting the standard for the way we collaborate with other brands.
But most of all, it was a “great shot kid! That was one in million” kind of triumph for our design team. It was a long and exciting road but, as you can see, it was all worth it.
Having the entire Star Wars universe to help inspire our bag designs was both a blessing and a curse. Obviously, there is no shortage of amazing characters, locales, ships and artifacts to choose from when working with a franchise that has spanned four decades, nine feature films, countless video games, novels, toy lines and television series. But which one?
Do we go with a classic? A Darth Vader suitcase or Luke Skywalker baby carrier? Something obscure? An IG-88 backpack or Gamorian Guard fanny pack? Or do we try to un-sully a sullied character through the power of the bag? A Jar-Jar Binks messenger bag anyone?
In the end, two characters in-particular perfectly matched our April-June seasonal story of artificial intelligence – C-3PO and R2-D2.
“Our April, May and June seasonal theme looked to the AI revolution for thematic inspiration.” The design team explained. “So, in choosing which Star Wars characters to explore in the Star Wars X Crumpler collaboration, we turned to the iconic droids of the Star Wars story; R2-D2 and C-3PO.”
But it wasn’t just the relevance to the seasonal story which attracted design team to the loveable droids.
“R2-D2 and C-3PO are arguably some of the most timeless characters of the Star Wars narrative, and the only two to feature in all of 8 major film releases. They are trusted friends, and supportive sidekicks to the more central characters. They thanklessly aid their friends in a variety of different ways, always with a touch of comic relief – much like a Crumpler bag.”
This point was incredibly important to the entire design process of the collaboration. This range couldn’t waiver from what makes both Star Wars and Crumpler great.
Now that the characters were chosen, the design team had to decide whether to use pre-existing Crumpler styles or whether to make new styles from scratch to bring the collaboration to life.
The two hero pieces had to reflect the characters and the seasonal story in both look and construction. The easy choice was the new Algorithm totepack and The Chronicler messenger bag.
“The Algorithm backpack perfectly represents C-3P0 - the tall, lean, human mirrored robot, with his iconic circular-chested carapace which could be mimicked in the Algorithm’s bag face. And the Chronicler; a high functioning messenger bag with a squatter silhouette like the smaller R2-D2. Two classic Crumpler styles, the backpack and messenger, living within the two iconic droids of Star Wars.”
The Algorithm and The Chronicler are both part of the Recycled PET range which, as the name suggests, is made from recycled polyester and includes features like magnetized clasps, a weatherproof coating and laptop sleeves. They are work bags built to withstand the rigors of everyday use while their clever features and design ensures they still perform at a high level - just like our star droids.
The two hero pieces are backed up by four of our most popular casual styles – The Sirius backpack, Clam Chowder waist-pack, Crony 13” laptop sleeve and Mini Crony tech pouch. These feature the Crumpler X Star Wars limited edition prints on our signature base-cloths of 400D Full Dull Nylon and 150D Polyester Ripstop.
With the characters and styles chosen, now came the fun part - making the bags. And the design possibilities and potential to get creative were endless.
“The starting point was always to make Star Wars bags that appealed to more than just Star Wars fans. The print had to feel as at home in one of our stores as it would at a Star Wars convention.” The designers explained. “We never wanted to slap a picture of Darth Vader on our bags and be done with it. We wanted to go above and beyond.”
The feature print of the range shows a graphic tessellation of both robots, one in Veneer Yellow (taking reference from the colour of C-3PO’s golden armor) and the other in Crown Blue (from the blue of R2-D2’s face panels). That palette continues throughout the bags with Vislon zippers, nylon pull cords and webbings.
The Chronicler and Algorithm are made from our signature 400D Nylon, spliced with a shiny black tarpaulin base, creating the perfect textural backdrop for the futuristic world of Star Wars. And the hardwearing durability of the materials will enable the wearer to face the galactic wars of the everyday with confidence.
But it was in the trims and features of the range that the design team really strived to bring the characters to life.
The red silicone dipped rope zip-pulls and webbing sleeves conjure images of R2-D2’s flashing red lights. Piped seams nod to the exposed wires and inner workings of C-3PO. The reflective coated zips on the Chronicler’s top flap, talk to the technical shell of R2-D2’s domed body. The brushed metal buckles on of the Algorithm and Chronicler’s main closure shines like the chrome our robots’ suits. The internal linings of all styles are stamped with the graphic print, nodding to the authentic making of a Star Wars robot. And then, finally, all styles fly the reassuring face of our characters with a woven flag.
To check out the full range, hit this link - https://www.crumpler.com/au/starwars/