Welcome to the design studio.
We are a tiny team that creates products for the modern mobile lifestyle that we love. We call Atlanta home and we work from a beautiful creative space when we are in the city, but a lot of the time you won’t find us anywhere near Atlanta. We steer clear of “business as usual” or anything routine, and we have a lot of fun in the process. As we say: Work doesn’t have to look like work.
Read on to meet the team, see the design process, and learn about the adventures that inspire us.
Thanks for visiting!
(that’s pronounced “travel-sized”)
Malcolm Fontier and his wife and brand co-founder, Gabrielle Kennedy, form the entire full-time team behind the brand. The couple knew early on that they wanted to shape a business that worked with their mobile lifestyle. Thanks to modern technology, and some serious seat time on trans-pacific flights, they’ve been able to grow the business while remaining small.
They compliment each other well with Malcolm handling all the design and creative tasks while Gabrielle handles business operations and marketing. In the beginning, they did literally everything on their own, from sitting down with factory managers to building their tradeshow booths. As the business has grown they have built a network of great resources all over the world to help out where necessary.
This modern business model sticks to their original vision of workplace flexibility and allows for plenty of the adventurous travel that inspires the line.
Malcolm’s unique style, and his creative approach to life in general, form the foundation of our line and our fun studio environment. Malcolm’s style is hard to categorize with its modern, yet approachable aesthetic. His multi-cultural upbringing, eclectic interests, and a love for pushing the boundaries may tell part of the story.
Our products are a fusion of his unique perspective and practical problem solving industrial design background. His boundless energy and thirst for adventure fuel the studio and set the pace.
Malcolm seems to be on a personal mission to explore every corner of the world and meet all the characters he can along the way. He recently rode is motorcycle from Atlanta to Halifax, Nova Scotia and then across the country to Seattle. Next stop … Mexico!
We call Atlanta home, but our business and our design process– appropriately for a line of travel accessories– spans the globe. We collaborate with great local teams as well as others around the US, Europe, and Asia. The initial ideas for the line were hatched over drinks in France, sketched out on long plane flights, researched in Hong Kong, and refined through more travel. The design of this version of our website was actually laid out on a flight from Paris to Kinshasa, Congo.
To keep the scenery fresh and the energy new we love to work from other places whenever we can. We have set up shop in Brazil, the San Juan Islands, and recently, in Hawaii.
Malcolm’s favorite way to travel is by motorcycle. He works on the road using his mobile office: his gadgets packed in his Entertainer which fits perfectly into a case on the back of his bike.
When you do find us in Atlanta you will find us in our lively downtown studio. Here are a few shots from home base…
We didn’t initially set out to design a vegetarian line. In our quest to push the boundaries every step of the way, we were anxious to find the best new materials out there. Once we discovered great materials, like PU coated canvas that performed as well as traditional materials like leather, and don’t contain the harmful PVC component used in other synthetics- the choice became obvious. After all- a modern and responsible approach is part of everything we do.
•PU(polyurethane) is a polymer that is less harmful than PVC.
•The exterior of our bags are either PU coated canvas or waxed canvas. Both are beautiful, high quality Italian fabrics. The coated canvases are weather resistant, durable, soft to the touch and wear a lot like leather- softening with use.
•All wallets and bag accents are made of a heavy, durable PU with a leather-like feel.
“A ground breaking film with a thong load of surprises, a few very attractive wallets, and a whole new attitude toward travel” -us
We are not the type to settle for “typical”, nor do we shy away from some good clean nudity. So, we decided to celebrate the launch of the latest version of our popular Mojito wallet with a short movie that truly captures everything the Mojito stands for: Travel light and light-hearted!
This groundbreaking film manages to pack a lot into its 30 seconds of excellence. Expect naked cyclists, indecent thieves, a few very attractive wallets, and a whole new attitude toward travel.
With the Mojito’s new movie role it has also become a lot more visible- dare we predict “celebrity status”?
Custom Artist bags.
As a company we are dedicated to creative lifestyles and professions and we always look for opportunities to collaborate with like-minded people. As part of our ’09 product launch, we reached out to 7 talented artists that share our modern go-getter approach to work and life. Each artist had free reign to apply his or her signature style to one of our bags. The results were amazing! The clean yet distinct Malcolm Fontier styling proved to be the perfect foundation for the artists’ to express their own styles-creating a totally new, and functional, display of their talents.
All bags were sold through a silent auction at our NYC launch party with every dollar going to the Dress for Success non-profit organization that helps under served women prepare for the workplace.
We jumped at the invitation to get involved with the Atlanta based organization Art at Work. This awesome organization introduces young people that are interested in the arts to different creative professions through an after school program. The students apply for the limited number of openings where they are paid to create different art and design projects. The organizers mix in educational field trips to visit a range of creative studios. We hosted the group at our studio and gave them an intro to industrial design and a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of our accessories line. We then donated overstock bags to Art At Work . The students customized the bags with their own designs and produced some great work!
The Malcolm Fontier fan community is an extension of our studio. We love hearing your feedback and adventure stories. Whether you’re into wandering the world, or more into exploring the corners of your own city, we want to hear about the finds.
Where in the world is this Malcolm Fontier bag?
Drop us a line here or head over to our Facebook page. Our page is becoming a fun resource for trip ideas, travel tips, or simply bragging that you’re on a beach while others are working. Best of all, you’ll know everything comes from other like-minded, fun-loving travelers that share a love for getting off the beaten path, and doing it with style!