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Built to withstand the harshest conditions


Photography by Rebecca Newman

The ‘Madigan’ is a bag that harks back to another era. It is a bag that evokes thoughts of a time where things were built to last, and a time before industrialisation, when products were made by a single skilled artisan, from start to finish, with the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the craft. Featuring a design inspired by world war two binoculars cases, and stitching techniques that cannot be replicated by machines, the ‘Madigan’ is a bag that radiates the passion for craftsmanship that has largely fallen by the wayside.

The name ‘Madigan’ was chosen as an homage to Cecil Madigan, academic, aerial surveyor, army officer, explorer, geologist and meteorologist.

Madigan was a great Australian explorer with many accomplishments and who led an extraordinary life. Madigan travelled to Antarctica with Sir Douglas Mawson, then led a scientific expedition over 500 miles through the treacherous conditions with many near-disasters. He was a Captain with the Royal Engineers in the trenches on the western front before being wounded at the Battle of the Somme. He later named the Simpson Desert. Then, on camelback in the last classic Australian exploration adventure, he was the first to traverse it in 1939.

He was a man who withstood incredible hardships, yet made it through some of the harshest landscapes on the planet. Like the memories of great Australians like Madigan, I wanted to create something that would stand the test of time. I wanted a strong, traditionally inspired design that was in itself unique. It also needed to use traditional techniques, be practical, good looking, dependable, and most importantly, built to last. I wanted to create a bag that wouldn’t look out of place slung over the shoulder of an explorer like Madigan carrying maps and documents for an upcoming expedition.

This product is a labour of love. Each bag takes more than 80 hours to complete, therefore, it is not cheap. But if you want a bag that will look fantastic, be a talking point everywhere you go, and become a cherished heirloom in a way that modern factory made bags just cannot do, this is the bag for you. Prices for the ‘Madigan’ start at $2100, and a $600 deposit is required to secure a consultation to finalise your exact requirements. The first five bags will come with a custom made wooden storage box. All bags will have a lifetime guarantee.

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