STATE’s New Star Wars Backpacks Blend Fashion, Function, and the Force

Carry the dark or light side wherever you go.

STATE, founded in Brooklyn in 2013 by husband-and-wife team Scot and Jacq Tatelman, rose quickly thanks to its understated-yet-stylish backpacks and bags. (As a former Brooklynite, I must also give big props to STATE for naming a bag after my native neighborhood, the oft-forgotten Kensington.) But that’s only part of the STATE story — the company also donates one bag to children in need for every bag sold.

Today, STATE’s story continues — a little outside Brooklyn — in a galaxy far, far away with the launch of a beautiful new Star Wars line. The bags look cool and very Star Wars (stormtrooper lining, anyone?) without overdoing it, and even have some clever hidden details. To mark the collection’s release, caught up with Jacq Tatelman over e-mail to discuss bringing droids, Sith, and stormtroopers to backpack design. What I love about the STATE bags is how they combine really fashionable design with a sense of fun. For example, open up the gold-and-black C-3PO bag, and there’s a still image of Threepio and Artoo in the Tatooine desert, with an embroidered tag that reads, “R2-D2, where are you?” It’s just a nice surprise! What can you tell us about how STATE developed this style and tone?
Jacq Tatelman: Well, you captured the essence of our brand right there in that first question. We design all our bags with the intention of combining fashion, sophistication, and fun. We love to make the end user smile, be proud of their bag, and designing Star Wars was no exception to that. We had a great time conceptualizing these bags and how STATE would ultimately do Star Wars. First, we came up with the idea of creating each collection in friendships, since thats such a huge part of both of our brands. Each “friendship” is tied to each other by matching lining and the editorial patch as well as other small details like glow-in-the-dark labels or zipper pullers. We pulled fabrics from our library that really spoke to each classic character and we designed a custom knit fair isle to cover the front of some the bags. We felt like that was something no one had done before. Also, we didn’t keep the focus to just the outside, since we’re constantly talking about what’s on the inside and how important it is for product and people to radiate from the inside out. Just like we do with the mainline STATE collection, we take such pride in the idea that we have taken a dinosaur product, the backpack, and given it personality and, of course, heart. It’s interesting how some of the bags make use of iconic images — the Imperial cog or Darth Vader’s helmet — while others are much more minimal. Did you intentionally want the line to feature different styles and celebrate Star Wars in different ways?
Jacq Tatelman: Yes! For some of the bags we wanted the design to be subtle but still speak to the Star Wars lover with the little things. No fan would ever walk past our Johnny bag that’s covered in a custom fair isle with the Imperial crest fully repeated on it and not notice. While for others, like C-3PO, we thought about that woman or man who wants to represent that character and do so in good taste. So, instead of draping the bag in all gold we covered the top portion to represent his body or shell, but added the red and blue bottom strap sliders to represent his wires. We felt those details were beautiful and cool and whether you’re a mega-fan or not, you really notice the bag. Can you tell us about your own love of Star Wars, and what this line of Star Wars bags means to you?

Jacq Tatelman: Growing up as the only girl in a close crew of cousins, I loved nothing more than being with the boys. I liked to watch what they watched, play sports with them, laugh at their jokes, and fall in love with Star Wars. We used to sit and watch the movies together. I remember it all so vividly…fighting over lightsabers and costumes. So when we were approached by your team, all the excitement came rushing back. Diving back in with the classic Star Wars characters was super nostalgic for me. I loved reinventing their spirit as I see them now — as an adult with kids of my own. I’m so incredibly proud of this collection, and have been counting down the weeks, days, and now hours for it to launch. My nephews have been calling every day for the last six weeks wondering if the bags are ready to ship. I’m thrilled to contribute to the happy feelings everyone has for this franchise and give them the ability to wear their memories and love for Star Wars on their backs.

See more of STATE’s Star Wars collection in the gallery below!
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content writer and editor of the blog. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

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