Tech-Integrated Backpacks Are Making Their Way to Streetwear—Is Promo Next?
Luxury leather brand MCM announced last week that the brand collaborated with WizPak to create a second limited-edition backpack that should be on everyone’s radar. The idea of having a backpack morphed with a stereo is nothing out of the ordinary, but there is something to say about the reasoning behind the creation of this particular one. The MCM x WizPak collaboration was designed as a “celebration of the 45th anniversary of hip hop and MCM’s legendary relationship with music,” as mentioned on MCM’s website. This could take all current—and future—backpack trends to the next level.
The collection campaign video was released on MCM’s Instagram page and featured model Yovanna Ventura alongside rapper Swae Lee, famous for “Black Beatles,” “No Flex Zone” and “Guatemala.” The last collaboration between MCM and WizPak caught the eye of many celebrities including Miley Cyrus, Jamie Foxx and 6LACK, to name a few.
The luxury backpack includes a 40W 2.1 stereo speaker system with 3D surround technology, wireless Bluetooth connection, up to 14 hours of playback, a rechargeable battery and a laptop pocket, as noted on the website. The collection is also available in two sizes (small and medium) and seven colors with a range of prices between $1,850 to $3,050. It’s obvious that this backpack does not come at a small price, but at least it includes neat tech features, right?
WizPak is known for stylish backpacks that include technology features, in contrast to typical streetwear backpack brands you normally see. The brand has definitely made a name for itself, and it's big on the idea that music should be able to go where you do and it doesn’t have to stop playing when you take your headphones off.
The backpack is only available via retail channels, of course, but it speaks to an emerging trend that's worth keeping an eye on for promo: tech integration. In fact, on a recent episode of the Promo Marketing Podcast, Dan Jellinek, executive vice president of The Magnet Group. mentioned this very trend as one he was seeing more of recently, particularly at the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair.
“In regard to bags, which is another big category—and I will answer this also in terms of color as well—where we’re used to seeing black backpacks all over the place, grey seems to be the next hot color, when it comes to backpacks, for example,” Jellinek said. “You’re seeing technology playing a bigger role in a backpack. What I mean by that is you will have a plug inside your backpack to plug in your power bank, and then you will have a USB outlet on the outer of the bag. So you’re just connecting your cable to your phone from the outside of the bag.”
With seven colors total in the MCM x WizPak limited-edition collection, it was cool to see grey as one of the featured colors, especially since Jellinek mentioned seeing so much of it at the expo. Luxury brands like WizPak are creating tech backpacks—with the main focus being stereo-based—and we’re now seeing the promo industry including tech features in backpacks. These promotional backpacks might not be completely music-related, but they already feature built-in tech, like power banks and USB ports. Speakers might not be far behind, especially because we're already seeing them in drinkware and other items.