Today we shall discuss and review the Palissy bag from Carl Friedrik (f/k/a Oppermann London, link). Like many of the brands I review, I have been keeping tabs on Carl Friedrik for a few years and have been asked about the brand by friends and readers. But unfortunately, until recently I had no personal experience with the brand so I could not speak accurately about Carl Friedrik’s products. The brothers who founded and run Carl Friedrik were nice enough to send me a bag of my choosing to review. So let’s talk about it.
As is becoming par for the course, I’ve filmed a video to complement this written review, if you would prefer to watch then please do so. The content in this post and the video are largely the same, but each does have some unique points.
Carl Friedrik was founded in 2012 by the brothers Niklas and Mattis Oppermann with the goal of delivering high quality minimalistic bags and leather goods directly to its customers. When it was founded, the brand was called Oppermannn, however, due to a legal dispute, the name had to be changed. Carl Friedrik is the name of the Oppermann brothers grandfather. The brand is based in London. However, the bags are constructed in Italy, where the leather and zippers are also sourced from. The hardware is designed in London but produced in China.
Upon speaking with Mattis, who heads up the design side of the business, it has become clear that he takes much inspiration from Scandanavian minimalism, which is similar to the Bauhaus school of design. This is a common thread across all of Carl Friedrik’s collections, and within each collection there is great consistency. In other words, you can tell a Carl Friedrik bag by looking at it and each of the bags goes well with the others. But if you cannot, all of their bags carry their signature blade logo. Admittedly, I am not a big fan of having logos or names on nice leather bags, but the logo is subtle and relatively un-intrusive, which is nice.
Partly because of the minimalistic style and its rigid structure, I view the Palissy ($519) to be a more formal briefcase. It mates very well with a suit, odd jacket or even the loathsome business casual dress; as you will see in some of the photos in this post. However, the bag does not pair well with less formal ensembles like chinos and a polo shirt or jeans and a t-shirt. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it looks great with more formal ensembles. Let’s move on and talk a little more about the bag and its construction. I opted for the navy and grey colorway, however, the bag also comes in black, cognac and dark brown.
As you should be able to see in the photo the lines of the bag are clean. The stitching is even and clean as well, I did not notice any miss-stitches on the bag or strap. There is a small pocket on the front side of the bag which is nice to hold wallets or phones in. The handles are a good size and can easily be held in one hand. The strap is removable.
Now that we are up close, you can see the leather quite well. It is very nice leather, soft and smooth, yet of a good thickness (vegetable tanned in Italy). The zipper, and all of the hardware on the bag, has a chrome like finish which compliments the more matte finish of the leather quite well. I particularly like how the silver color sits on the navy. The blade logo is also reflected in the zipper pulls.
The Palissy is about 15.5? x 11.5? x 2.5?, which fits my 13? Macbook without issue. The proportions are very well balanced, to my eyes. The depth is enough to also fit a journal, charger and a few other small things in the bag; which is very nice. From the above side shot you can see how the bottom of the handles curve so keep a slim line, its the attention to all of the little details that elevate the Palissy. One unique thing about the bag is that it will stand upright on its own, it may sound like a small thing but it is actually a really nice characteristic of the bag.
As previously noted, the bag is large enough for a computer and a few other items. You can see how the interior of the bag is sectioned off. The zip pocket is crucial, however, the divider has not provided much utility for me. I would prefer no divider at all, or one that properly fit a laptop, not just papers.
I’ve been using the Palissy pretty regularly the past few months so I feel pretty confident in saying that it is holding up well. The bag has also fit it quite well with my style. In fact, I expect the bag to last for years. It is well constructed with quality materials so there is no reason that it should not. The Palissy (and all of Carl Friedrik’s bags for that matter) is not cheap. $519 is a lot to spend on a bag and there are definitely leather bags that are less expensive than the Palissy. This will alienate some of you, which I understand. However, for those who are looking for a nice gift for someone, $519 is within your budget or you are looking to a lower priced alternative to some of the uber-luxury brands out there (Dunhill, Ferragamo etc) Carl Friedrik is actually a great alternative. The quality of the Palissy is certainly on par with some of the bags I have handled from the luxury houses but the price is humane. If you have questions about Carl Friedrik or would like to share your experience with the brand, please do so in the comments. Thank you for reading.