Two beloved Minnesota heritage brands, Duluth Pack and Minnetonka Moccasin Company, are joining forces this fall for a line that merges both of their homegrown styles. The limited-edition capsule collection of handcrafted moccasins and bags are destined to become collector’s items.
Founded more than 130 years ago, Duluth Pack is the oldest canvas and leather bag maker in the U.S. The Duluth-based brand manufactures its high-quality bags, packs, and outdoor gear in its century-old factory, and offers a lifetime guarantee on its products. Minnetonka Moccasin, a fourth-generation, family-owned business now based in Minneapolis, was originally founded in Minnetonka in 1946 as a purveyor of souvenirs to roadside gift shops, and now is known around the world for its moccasin-style footwear, boots, slippers, and sandals.
According to a press release, the collaboration “embodies the hearty northern spirit, deeply rooted history, and unwavering commitment to craftsmanship that both brands represent.” The collection features four styles—two moccasins and two bags—that utilize Duluth Pack’s proprietary olive canvas fabric and Minnetonka Moccasin’s signature suede and sheepskin materials. The men’s and women’s sheepskin hardsole moccasins are detailed with rugged edges and leather ties. The men’s Scout Pack has a chocolate suede flap with a Minnetonka signature hand-laced cross-stitch accent and leather buckle straps paired with an olive green pack base, while the women’s Deluxe Shell Bag features fringe suede detailing and a solid canvas body with chocolate leather straps.
The collection, which launches today on both Minnetonka Moccasin’s and Duluth Pack’s ecommerce sites, will retail from $70 to $80 for the moccasins and $110 to $170 for the bags. In Minnesota, the collection will also be sold at the Duluth Pack flagship store in Duluth, the Christmas Point Wild Rice boutique in Baxter, the General Store of Minnetonka, Lundrigan’s Clothing in Walker, Nokomis Shoes in Minneapolis, Shorter’s Gifts in Petoskey, Annie’s Trading Post in Roseau, Zaiser’s Souvenir & Gift Shop in Nisswa, and Bender’s Shoe & Sport in Grand Rapids.
I spoke with Tom Sega, president of Duluth Pack, about how the collaboration came about, what unites the two brands, and the creative process that went into the collection.
a bag from the duluth pack x minnetonka moccasin collaboration, Courtesy Duluth Pack
How did the collaboration come about?
Number one, our retail store sells Minnetonka’s apparel and footwear. We began thinking about two Minnesota heritage companies and the possibility of working together, so our team here at Duluth Pack reached out Minnetonka Moccasin.
Duluth Pack and Minnetonka Moccasin are both Minnesota heritage brands. Was this a big part of the consideration to join forces?
Absolutely it was the consideration. We are two iconic Minnesota heritage companies that have stories to tell and sum of one plus one equals more than two when it comes to heritage storytelling.
What was the inspiration behind the look and style of the product line? How did Duluth Pack and Minnetonka Moccasin marry their respective aesthetics?
The goal was to keep the collaboration simple. It was to integrate both companies DNA into both product lines—the bags and the moccasins. It was to use Duluth Pack’s legendary olive drab canvas material with Minnetonka Moccasin’s leather and fringe materials and marry the two together. The two companies created a collaborative logo that is showcased across the entire collection.
Courtesy Duluth Pack
Can you walk me through the design and production processes that went into creating this line? Were they manufactured by Minnetonka Moccasin or Duluth Pack’s facilities?
We wanted to keep it simple, so we paired it down to a men’s and women’s moccasin and a women’s top-selling cross-body purse and a unisex pack. We didn’t want to create custom products, we wanted to create inline items while utilizing both companies raw materials. The moccasins were manufactured in Minnetonka Moccasin’s factories and the bags were handcrafted in Duluth Pack’s facility.
Where were the materials sourced?
All of the canvas and hardware for the bags was provided by Duluth Pack’s normal sourcing channels. The leather for the bags was sourced directly through Minnetonka Moccasin. The canvas for the slippers was sourced and shipped to Minnetonka Moccasin by Duluth Pack. The leather and the shoe material was sourced Minnetonka Moccasin. Both companies worked directly together to give the aesthetic and functionality that both brand’s customers expect and want.
all images Courtesy Duluth Pack