Globe-Trotter Permanent Style tote bag

: Thanks for sales so far. A handful are left, and sales will close September 9th  

Our one-piece leather tote bag, made by Globe-Trotter in Hertfordshire, England, is now available to order. This run will be limited to 20 pieces.

Dimensions are 40cm tall x 37cm wide x 10cm deep

I was really impressed when I went to see the new leather facility at Globe-Trotter last year. The materials and the workmanship are first class. In some areas such as the inking, I don’t think there’s another facility in England that can produce the same quality. 

We were inspired that day to design something together, and I decided on a tote bag. This was partly because it was quite simple (always a good idea when starting on something from scratch) and partly because I have never seen a slim tote I like.

Designer versions are usually a bit over-designed, or a bit flash. This would be simple, classic, practical and made to the highest standards.

Key points:

  • Made in England
  • One piece of veg-tanned leather
  • Exceptional level of inking and finishing
  • £745 + VAT
  • Available to preview at Trunk
  • Reserve by emailing [email protected]

Globe-Trotter Permanent Style tote bag3

L1009098 copy

Key to the aesthetic of the Globe-Trotter facility is this beautiful leather. Vegetable-tanned – in class English tan – it is thick and natural, with the odd stretch mark across the body.

If you like leather and the way it ages, there is nothing like a big, wide piece of tan leather.

We deliberately made it out of one piece of the leather, so there is no seam on the bottom. This makes the bag more expensive, and certainly no cheaper manufacturers would ever bother to do it. But I feel it’s the kind of thing Permanent Style readers appreciate.

There is a nice external ‘cloche’, pictured above, which has key rings inside to put keys on, and which then loops around the handles. There is also a separate metal loop inside, in case you want to loop up anything else and be able to recover it easily from the bottom of the bag.

L1009109 copy

Globe-Trotter Permanent Style tote bag4

As mentioned, I was impressed by the high level of finishing at Globe-Trotter. The inking on the edges – shown above – is thick and waxy, created by building up six layers on top of each other.

The importance of good inking is something I have emphasised in lots of pieces, from my articles on Hermes to the guide to buying bags. Cheap inking often has a line down the middle, still showing the two pieces of the leather that have been joined together. It is untidy and will inevitably crack and pull apart. 

The lining of the bag is another thing that attracted me to the Globe-Trotter work. Made from a herringbone cotton, it has none of the stiffness of a synthetic-mix lining, but has a thin surface treatment to make it stain- and water-resistant.  

The aesthetic of the cream lining and neat white stitching, against the veg tan leather, I find particularly appealing (perhaps a little redolent of Hermes). 

Globe-Trotter Permanent Style tote bag lining

Globe-Trotter Permanent Style tote bag inside detail

Other features include:

  • Two internal patch pockets made out of the same leather as the outside, one sized to fit an iPad
  • One zip pocket inside to keep things secure
  • A flap that fastens the top of the bag (I particularly like this detail) and tucks away behind a leather loop when not in use
  • Handles that are comfortable to hold in the hand, at the side; but in extremis, if you need an extra hand free, can be temporarily looped over the shoulder
  • Square rings on the handles so they fold down neatly on either side
  • Soft leather side gussets 
  • Four metal feet that enable the bag to stand up, despite its curved one-piece construction

There are several design aspects specific to the range, such as the propellor-shaped pull on the zip pocket and archive Globe-Trotter logos embossed on the inside and outside. Each bag will also have a serial number indicating its number in the range.

L1009118 copy

L1009100 copy

If any readers in London want to see and feel the bag before ordering, Trunk Clothiers in Marylebone has our final sample on display. Feel free to go and have a look. 

As mentioned at the top of this piece, the price is £745 + VAT and shipping. Payment and fulfilment will be done by Globe-Trotter, but reservations should be made through me at [email protected]

Orders will be taken now and then go to the Globe-Trotter factory in Broxbourne, where they will be made and ready to ship to customers at the end of September

Globe-Trotter Permanent Style tote bag2


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Hi Simon! This seems to be a lovely piece! May I ask if you plan on expanding your collaboration with Globe-Trotter in the future? Although a tote bag of this quality and style is definitely an interesting piece and will be sold in a heartbeat, I think a lot of us would also be interested in different kind of bags (a holdall or a briefcase). Of course, this might be more tricky, but you could just make a survey if others would be interested as well. But back to the post – superb work by Globe-Trotter! The quality of the inking looks to be impeccable!


Will it be accompanied by a subscription to NYRB?

Adam Jones

I have seen this in person and handled it. I can say the quality of this bag is exceptional. I wish I had a use to justify it.

It will definitely be a lifetime piece for 20 lucky people.


Not for me but a superb-looking piece of craftsmanship and a great colour too.


This is machine stitched, right? Is there a reason why it would be done by machine for this type of bag other than cost?


Simon, this is a beautiful bag,but has a very close resemblance to a woman’s handbag, or so it appears to me. Please educate me, as one of your less sophisticated readers, on why this is not the case.


is it deep enough to place inside a 13/15 inch laptop and still be able to zip close the bag?

facebook_Tim De Rosen.10153020919771711

Simon-this looks very nice indeed and is attractively priced. My only concern is that this type of leather scratches easily. Clearly a tote is not everybody’s cup of tea but I guess you’ll easily find 20 takers.

Lawrence spivack

Quite a nice bag, but what does it weigh? I’ve got too many stylish carry-alls that seem to weigh far more than the contents.

Charlie S.

This is a question that is more generically applied to all briefcases/bags.. but do you think a colour like this can be used with black accessories? It seems the most common colour, but seems strange to me in the context of a navy suit and black shoes, as one might wear in London, if doing finance.

David Craggs

Have you any news as to when Globe-Trotter will be shipping?
I contacted them a couple of weeks ago but the silence seems to be deafening.
Regards, David

David Craggs

Please do.

David Craggs

Dear Simon,
It’s arrived – thanks for your prompt action and I have to say, it is truly beautiful and exactly what I need for my life style.
My wife has kidnapped it until Christmas but providing it wears as good as it looks there will be only compliments.


I’ve been using this bag for six months and I have to say I have been bombarded with compliments.
Sometimes it’s quite embarrassing – people stopping you in the street – asking you where you got it etc.
But independent of that it is the most practical, useful bag I’ve ever owned.
Bravo to you and Globetrotter.
I also think that you should do periodic reviews on these types of collaborations .


By periodic reviews I mean how it has aged, has it lived up to expectations, how practical has it proved to be etc..
Of course, products that deliver and wear well will doubtless lead to further business opportunities.
On another subject, have you done anything on Trench Coats ?


I think you should investigate the Trench Coat.
I bought a beauty from Zegna in NYC about 15 years ago.
It is as light as a feather,storm proof, breaths really well and has great style and colour.
It’s probably seen more action than any other coat I’ve got and given are global warming should be poised for more action.
That said, it is getting a little worse for wear but when I look around I can’t find anything the same weight or remotely as stylish.
A great trench should be a staple.


Hello Simon,

do you have an update on whether the bag is still made and can be ordered?



What a gorgeous tote bag and exactly what I have been looking for!

Unfortunately I know I’m way way way too late to the game.

I wonder though, if you could kindly recommend a similar bag from another brand of high quality?

I love the simplicity and practicality of your design. Just right for every day City use but not too bulky like a messenger bag or too causal like a nylon backpack that most Gentlemen in London wearing suits seem to carry these days. (As far as I observe on the tube)

Thanks a lot!


Hi Simon

I checked out Frank Clegg tote bag, they have few different sizes and styles since you bought yours some years ago. Which size is the exact one you bought? And which colour? American name their colour rather differently than the Brit.

Which size of their tote bag would you say is best for daily use for University students? And/or office work?

Regarding the unlined version, my Hermes message bag is also unlined, but bit of fibre from the leather always comes out and sometimes got onto my stuff put inside. Is that normal with unlined leather bags? Is there something I can do to make it less annoying? Should I brush it with a suede brush for instance?

Do you have the same issue with the unlined Frank Clegg tote? I know lose fibre might be tiny matter to some people, but it’s really bugging me as I’m a bit OCD.

Thanks always for your great input.


I’m going back to University in Sept, rather than a polyester backpack, I think a tote bag would look more stylish and I’m 31yo so don’t wanna look like other 18yo.

The Tall tote bag lined version seems like the best option for students?




I’ve been searching high and low for a similiar tote to this. The more square angles and shape is a nice contrast to the more rounded angles found on most totes. As this particular feature – the “squaredness”- is hard to find in totes by other makers, my tote purchase is ever delayed. Frank Clegg and Dunhill don’t offer any similar totes, sadly. Have you stumbled upon any makers that produce a leather tote with a similar shape, lately?