In bag design, it is a real challenge to reduce forms and shapes to a minimalist range while still focussing on highly engineered usability, versatility and rigidity. One of the few brands that manages to balance all those demands perfectly is Paris based Côte&Ciel. Especially their backpacks seem to be inspired by outdoor activities and urban nomadism when it comes to functionality, but by minimalist high fashion when it comes to design:

As its name suggests, Côte&Ciel is an homage to the productive collision of forces you’ll find at the meeting point between coast and sky…Designs work in tandem with the human body, creating forms inspired by tradition, technology and the interplay between the natural and manmade worlds.

No wonder Côte&Ciel manages to position itself comfortably at the name-giving fine line between two elements. The brand’s founders work closely with Apple and fashion designer Damir Doma, while collaborations boast such formidable names as Commes des Garçons, Attachment or Mykita.

I still remember the first time I saw a Côte&Ciel Isar backpack on a passenger boarding a train right in front of me. From looking at it, I simply couldn’t figure out how this geometrically shaped, beautiful accessory might work. That made it quite desirable. And I was even more impressed when I realised that the inside of that same bag was constructed to be as intuitive as an Apple user interface. If it’s both edgily minimal and highly functional, it’s probably Côte&Ciel.