The Beauty of Hlaska

If James Bond had a laptop case, this is the one he would use

I’m on a mission to make geeks look good. Last week I posted an article about Rickshaw Bagworks, whose laptop bags, inspired by San Francisco’s urban cycling culture, can make anyone look cool and edgy.
But what if you want to convey a more sophisticated, urbane persona? Not to worry. Hlaska, a boutique on Fillmore Street in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, sells gorgeous fabric and leather laptop bags, briefcases and wallets for men (although I don’t see why women wouldn’t find them attractive and buy these items for themselves).
Hlaska, which is based in Burlingame, was launched in 2008 by Anthony Mazzei, a San Francisco native who has been designing bags for over 12 years. They are industrial designers (not fashion designers) whose goal is to create bags that are beautiful and above all, functional.
Hlaska fills a sweet spot in the market. Many men will not shell out over $500 for a designer laptop bag (after all they don’t want the bag to cost more than their MacBook), but they want to move beyond drab sub-$100 bags. Hlaska’s laptop bags cost between $175 to $200. They're not too flashy, but have just the right finish to convey a distinctive style and quality.
Hlaska also sells briefcases and briefbags, which have enough space for a laptop, documents and gadgets. Their most luxurious item is an elegant, wood-grain Italian leather briefcase that costs $795; it’s made in Canada at an artisan atelier.
Right now Hlaska is holding a sale with up to 50 percent off on certain items including women’s bags (which they are discontinuing after this season), wallets and briefbags. They also sell watches and cufflinks. You can visit their boutique on Fillmore Street or order online.
Hlaska, 2033 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. (415) 440-1999

Esme Vos is the founder of .

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