Video: Eagle Creek History

Interview with Ricky Schlesinger, EVP of Eagle Creek. Learn the history of Eagle Creek and their products. See great Eagle Creek bags.


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My name is Ricky Schlesinger, I am the, officially Executive Vice-President of Eagle Creek. And Eagle Creek started out, when I started with them in '79. We were a mountainpack company that was our concept.

This is the history of Eagle Creek from a product standpoint. This were some of the original logos & you can kinda see that we had a very sort of, outdoor oriented. We took eagle literally in our logo & there's the eagle in our original Eagle Creek. And there's Steve and Nona Barker in the original factory up there, there's pictures of them & actually making the stuff, we're our original manufacturers.

These are some of the mountainpacks that we've done. And this was probably the original product that they've conceived of which is an american corduroy mountain pack with " latigo" leather rough out & felt leather shoulder straps. So, this was their original inception & this was really what they love to do. And check out these straps, this is like wool-felt with full grain leather, incredibly comfortable a little antiquated for todays wilderness market. But this is what they were, this is, this was the original products.

We also did velcro wallets, we also did some day packs. And as a small company, by the early to middle 80's we really wanted to reconceptualize ourself. We really liked the idea of doing more of a travel products concept than an outdoor products concept.

 And this is really when today's Eagle Creek was conceived & these were in the middle late 80's. This was the Eagle Creek convertible and this is the 1st backpack converts to luggage. And the idea was that it had a horizontal profile, so it looked like luggage & back in the late 80's when we were still kinda all hippies, we wanted to walk into a hotel & get a room. So, we would want this thing to sorta look a little bit more like luggage but, we wanted the thing to actually have a legitimate backpack suspension. So, we zip the back, we conceived of this 1st & so that this all closes up & back in here you have a belt & suspension system, & an internal frame in here so it was a reasonably comfortable backpack. But in the hotel lobby, you'll look a little bit more like a traveller than a backpacker.

So we started making products out of, corduroy nylons, highly-durable industrial fabric. And we started designing products that were great to carry on your back but also great to travel. And that was how we originally conceived of Eagle Creek Travel Gear as opposed to Eagle Creek Mountainpacks. From there we moved into, people said " Hey! why don't you make a little more luggage stuff?". So we started, we made twill-corduroy instead of flat-corduroy & put some leather trim on & this was our Woodling collection. So this was our 1st attempt at legitimacy in the luggage business.This was in the late-80's.

Y'know as we grew in the travel business, & as we designed, conceived of & manufacture our own products, we started to think about functional products for travel. So now, we have evolved to a complete line of products for travellers. We call it a travel outfitting. So the idea is that you're gonna go on a trip, & we're gonna have any product that you might need regardless of the type of trip to outfit you. We listen to our customer, we watch the evolution of the travel environment, & try to create solutions for them.


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