Having an accessory addiction is certainly nothing earth-shattering. Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of “Sex and the City” knows that accessories are often far more valuable to a person then any single garment they may ever wear. As Carrie and her beloved, albeit often inconvenient footwear prove, however, you could end up consumed with an accessory far less useful than a backpack. No matter what you may have replaced it with over the years – a purse, a messenger bag, a hobo stick ‘n satchel – nothing quite compares to the convenience of loading all the things you need into a big compartment that you carry on your back. Brooklyn artist and backpack enthusiast Al Baio certainly provides a strong argument for never abandoning what she says has been wrongly pegged as the “juvenile” practice of knapsack-toting: “It’s just an elegant way to carry things. It’s almost poetic…Someone once called me an effortless Atlas …[because] I carry my world, but my hands are free!” Read More
Al’s passion for backpacks (she even has a backpack with its own backpack! Think about it.) is more than just a mode of convenience or an aesthetic conceit. It’s linked to her need as an artist to remain connected to the freedom and unbridled creativity of childhood, a pursuit that carries through the entirety of Al’s personal aesthetic, art and life. “Childhood is the most important thing to me as an artist and as a person, and getting a backpack was my first childhood memory.” I tried it and slinging your backpack over both shoulders does immediately bring those kindergarten memories and feelings of walking to the bus stop and running around the playground flying back into your consciousness. Seriously, you can’t act cool and just carry it over one. It’s a different sensation. You should try it and check out the video above for more of Al Baio and her cherished packs.