Brand round-up: Rubinacci, CQP and Carl Friedrik

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A slightly smaller set of reviews in the brand round-up this month, with more focus on the details.

Rubinacci suit carrier, £1200

First up is this leather suit carrier - or garment bag - from Rubinacci, being offered by The Rake on their online store.

The key aspects a suit carrier requires to be practical, in my experience, are lightness of weight and flexibility of use.

As a suit carrier must be carried in the hand all the time, it cannot be that heavy.

Most are not made in leather for that reason, and when they are the skin is often split so thin that it loses the leather’s natural appeal.

This Rubinacci version manages to find a good balance, being light in weight yet using a nice, veg-tanned leather.

I have used it to carry suits to and from the office and never felt it is too heavy.

The lining is not as appealing, being made from a slippery synthetic. And the method of inserting the suit is original but perhaps a little fussy (it involves four flaps, four straps, and eight button options). It can also realistically only carry one suit at a time.

But the carrier does have a large variety of internal and external pockets that make it highly practical.

Most of the time it’s worth avoiding carrying much more in your suit carrier than a single suit. If you don’t, the whole thing becomes heavy very quickly.

It’s nice to have the flexibility to put in a shirt or tie if you need to, however, and this Rubinacci version has four pockets of various sizes, a big zippered outside pocket, and a sleeve to enable the bag to be attached to the handle of a rolling suitcase.

Both black and burgundy deerskin are nice, although I like the richness of the burgundy.


CQP Racquet sneakers, £240

Regular readers will be familiar with my love of Common Projects sneakers. (Or trainers; I must stop reading so many American sites.)

While I can't see myself switching fundamental allegiance to another brand, I'm always interested in alternatives - for context if nothing else.

Most white trainers don’t offer anything different to Common Projects.

They are either simply cheaper in materials, more expensive for no reason other than brand, or have various designer bells and whistles. (Actually, studs seem to be the current fashion.)

Swedish brand CQP, however, does. Its Racquet sneaker is very similar to a CP in terms of leather and construction, but is unlined, making it softer and lighter.

This feels lovely, as you have a much closer connection to the soft leather and the way it moves and moulds.

However, the downside is that the upper is less smooth and smart (less of a problem with suedes) and offers less support to the foot.

The last shape is also stubbier than a CP Achilles, making it more a casual court shoe than a dressier, loafer-substitute sneaker.

CQP’s Tarmac model does have a longer last and is lined - but it’s also more of a mid-top.


Carl Friedrik Palissy 25-hour bag, £441

The Swedish brothers behind Carl Friedrik have had an interesting few years in menswear.

Originally their brand was called Oppermann, and it made classic leather bags in Asia that were distributed through wholesale to various stores.

After a while, they became frustrated with the wholesale model and wanted to do retail themselves - going direct to consumer and spending more on production.

So they moved manufacturing to Italy and began selling online.

Then earlier this year, a trademark dispute over the name Oppermann forced them to rebrand - to Carl Friedrik. (Their grandfather’s name, away from their own surname.)

Fortunately, the product is strong. It is decently made from Tuscan veg-tanned leather, in Naples, with Raccagni zippers and a nice water-resistant lining.

I particularly like the cognac colour, as it is the least treated of the leathers and therefore ages the quickest - in a similar fashion to the Hermes Barenia leather (though not of the same fineness).

There isn’t much to designs in bags and small leather goods. (And shouldn’t be, really; who wants an odd and unusual briefcase.)

But I would highlight the way the Palissy 25-hour bag is designed to increase its capacity.

It is slightly taller than most briefcases, but not much wider, and narrows toward the top. This makes for a bag that could easily cater to a single-night trip, but doesn’t look too out of place commuting to the office.

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Serious question – Does your suit come out of the carrier smelling of leather?


DIdn’t you do a review on the Troubador leather suit carrier a while ago? I can’t find it on their website anymore but I seem to remember it was lined with suede.

Was it a better piece overall than the Rubinacci do you think?


Does the Rubinacci mean you are no long using the Troubadour suit carrier (I don’t think you ever did a review). I always fancied that one, but wondered if that leather (although beautiful) would be too heavy.

The perfect suit carrier for travelling (rather than commuting) is such a difficult thing to find and the prices seem to keep going up and up the longer it takes me to find the perfect one! I’ve been looking for a suit carrier which can do a two night business trip with a (large) briefcase and no other bag, but its difficult because that means a pair of shoes need to go in the suit carrier so it becomes heavier and bigger. Anything out there I am missing?


I’ll look forward to it.

Any news on the timing of the pale denim shirt…

Nick Inkster

Whilst is does not fit the luxury/artisan category Simon, I can recommend you take a look at Gate 8. They have a folding suit carrier which does the job well and has ample room for shoes.


Can some suit carrier’s make materials such as wool bobble?


I am sure the Rubinacci carrier is a work of art, but it is totally useless as a suit carrier.

To protect a suit, or suits, and to be kind to the contents, a suit carrier needs to be soft, supple and flexible, otherwise it will actually put unwanted creases into the content. So leather just doesn’t work.

Canvass or cotton, quite loose in fit around the suit, will do a much better job.

You wont get the luxury, nor will you pay the ludicrous price of this example, but you will get a far superior outcome.

Be sensible and ask yourself what the product is supposed to do, and you will easily come to a better outcome than spending £1200 on something as useless as this.


I can also vouch for the Palissy, which I purchased in dark brown (chocolate) back in its Oppermann vintage. Its size makes it quite unique at its price point (when I shopped around in 2015)—competitors are usually smaller and unsuitable if work involves carrying documents in addition to a laptop. It’s construction has held up to weekly use (many flights) over the 1.5 years since its purchase.

They also hold a generous sale around Thanksgiving w/ an economic VAT policy for US customers.

(Another) Ben

Do you know of anywhere in London where I can see CF bags in person?


Hi Simon – how can one remove a toothpaste stain (don’t ask) from a wool/silk/linen summer blazer? I’ll swing by the dry cleaners first thing tomorrow, anything else I could to in the mean while? Thanks & cheers. M

Hui Wen

Thanks Simon for the recommendation of Carl Friedrik & Ben for the heedback from a user’s perspective. Looks very good & pricing is reasonable. I definitely appreciate their transparency in sourcing/supply chain information.


Hi Simon,

Do you find that Carl Friedrik’s general quality is very good? I’ve always loved their ‘minimalist’ design. I’m looking at purchasing the Vallance in black but not read too much in the way of reviews. Cheers, Marco.


I can second the positive comments about the Palissy 25, and CF generally having now also bought the Valance. Their pop up in Royal Exchange carries a good supply of examples in most if not all colours. And as for the trainers, an interesting alternative if the common projects are too, er, common is Zespa. I’m not a fan of the coloured versions but I still love my plain white and plain black ones, although the latter pair don’t get worn at all these days sadly.


Have to say I’m a little surprised you’re still so enthusiastic about Common Projects. Their shoes have become outrageously expensive over the past few years, and there seem to be plenty of alternatives like Kent Wang, Gustin, and even Massdrop (I’m waiting for my pair to be delivered). I’ve no problem with paying for quality but do you really think CP are worth 3x the price?


Good to know! My Gustin ones did get trashed pretty quickly now I think about it, although I blamed myself as I wore them on a night out. You’ve mentioned before that most manufacturer margins are pretty standard, so I’m curious about the reason behind the massive price hikes. I’m not seeing big splashy CP marketing campaigns / fashion shows all over the place. Obviously it’s difficult to say for sure, but it kind of feels like they’re just charging more because they can…


Hi Simon,

Have you ever come across the trinity bag by Sage Brown? Wonder what you think of their products in general and whether they are good?


Hi Simon – do you take the same size in CQPs as you do in Common Projects?


Hi Simon,

I was interested in the Rubinacci suit carrier. Do you use the carrier on business trips particularly when travelling on a plane?

You mentioned its quite a unique method of inserting a suit. Do you by any chance have any photos of how the suit is to be inserted or what items can fit in the pockets? Its difficult to see from the pictures as to what sort of internal storage there is so what it looks like with a suit inserted.

I read on the Rubinacci website that the interior is silk lining whereas you mentioned it was more like a cheap synthetic. Is it possible to confirm what the interior material is?

Would you recommend other suit carriers of similar design? Its hard to find a high quality suit carrier with the traditional bi-fold and full perimeter zip in high quality materials. I believe Frank Clegg has done one in the past but not sure if they currently offer a garment carrier. Any other quality recommendations would be great.

One final question if I may. Do you use the Bennett Winch SC Holdall to transport suits as well? I am still not sure if its ideal because when the holdall is full and you are transporting the bag in say the overhead compartment of a plane, the weight of the bag is pushing down on part of the suit given the garment bag is wrapped around the holdall. Surely the weight concentrated on part of the suit would not be good for its longevity. This is why I have tended to prefer the style of the Rubinnaci that can be folded and laid on top of a bag or hung up in a cupboard if available.

Thanks in advance for your advice.



Thanks Simon.

So you mainly use the BW Suit Carrier these days for short trips?

Can the suit carrier component be used separately? And is the holdall substantial enough in its structure to use separately on a regular basis?

Do you prefer the canvas or leather version?

Thanks again for your advice.


Thanks Simon.

Given the Bennett Winch SC Holdall was released about 2 years ago, are you aware of any plans to launch an updated version in the near future?


Hi Simon,

Thanks for the post, in previous posts, pertaining to high/low dressing and casual chic you’ve referred to leather trainers as a good an appropriate shoe. However, other footwear recommendations you’ve made are suede loafers (both unlined and belgian) and espadrilles, all of which have a relatively deconstructed design. My question is, for use other than a casual court shoe, why is it important, for the sneakers to have more robust construction but the deconstructed style of loafers and espadrilles is ok?

Thank you!


I would love to know if you have any opinion on Carl Friedrik luggage. I have noticed a lot of youtube ‘influencers’ are plugging them currently. With a lifetime warranty i would imagine that they are fairly robust.
Searching the permanent style site, I have not come across many recent articles on carry-on or check-in luggage which I find surprising considering the amount of time that you must spend travelling (pre-covid). I would find an article featuring this topic very interesting indeed.
Keep up the good work.