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Aviate is a Birmingham lifestyle apparel brand built on the idea of community—our inherent love of home and place, even as we embark upon faraway adventures. Now the company is expanding, and it’s doing it in the most community-centric way possible: through partnerships with small, like-minded Southern brands. Check out Aviate’s latest product line, a collaboration with Hunker Bag Co. out of Nashville.
The Getaway Duffel and The Nomad Dopp Kit, a toiletry bag, both by Hunker Bag Co., mark Aviate’s second product collaboration of 2018. This past August, the Birmingham company teamed up with Maho Shades of Orange Beach to introduce the limited-edition Sundance Kittyhawk Sunglasses with 24K gold frames.
1. More Than Just A Hat, More Than Just A Bag
Part of what makes Aviate a Birmingham success story is the philosophy behind its brand. Yes, Aviate’s signature line of 3-letter airport code hats, along with the hats in its Festival and Jet Setter Collections, are really good, comfortable hats that will quickly become one of your wardrobe standards. But the hats also capture who we aspire to be: people who embrace the Aviate motto, “Play hard. Travel often.”
“The brand itself emotes a feeling. It gets you missing your home. It gets you wanting to go somewhere, check something off your bucket list. And it just happens to look good.”Randall Porter, director of brand communications, Aviate
Hunker Bag Co. products evoke a feeling, too. Its travel bags are “designed to last a lifetime and to grow in character and meaning for their owner over the years.” That makes for killer bags, but it also speaks to our innate desire for a life well lived. When the opportunity to partner with Aviate arose, Denton Hunker, Hunker Bag Co.’s owner, designer and maker, immediately saw the potential.
“I have been a fan and a customer of Aviate for a long time now, and when the opportunity to do a collaboration came up, I for sure jumped right on that! I feel like Aviate and Hunker Bag Co. go together so well because we both create quality goods, believe in good style and appreciate the adventures that life offers—and feel that you should always be prepared to go on those adventures looking and feeling your best! The bags that I designed for Aviate embody that sense of adventure and style.”Denton Hunker, owner, designer and maker, Hunker Bag Co.
The Getaway Duffel and The Nomad Dopp Kit fit Aviate’s brand philosophy to a tee. And though Hunker Bag Co. is based in Nashville, products that help a local business like Aviate grow are good for Birmingham, too.
2. Focus On Community, Focus On Quality
If you own an Aviate hat, t-shirt, tank or towel, you know Aviate is a local Birmingham company with a commitment to quality and community, which it supports through philanthropy. Aviate fulfills more than 500 product and sponsorship requests a year. (Plus, check out how Aviate brought the local love at this photo shoot on Morris Avenue in Birmingham.)
When teaming up with other brands to expand its product line, Aviate searches for partners who are equally committed to quality and community. Case in point: every pair of Maho Shades, Aviate’s other recent collaborator, is handmade in family-run factories using high-quality polarized lenses and frames. Hunker Bag Co. meets an equally high standard.
Hunker Bag Co. designs and produces its handmade bags in Nashville from locally and ethically sourced, high-quality Horween leather, TexWax waxed canvas and all brass hardware. The Getaway Duffel and The Nomad Dopp Kit, specially designed for Aviate, also feature Manila rope handles.
3. Smart Growth
Partnerships with like-minded, Southern brands like Hunker Bag Co. and Maho Shades enable Aviate to test new products without taking attention away from its core line. It’s a smart, collaborative approach to business that’s mutually beneficial to other small businesses in the lifestyle apparel and accessory sector.
“With these products, we’re testing to see what’s going to be the next big thing. We didn’t know hats were going to be the next big thing, and four years later we have a company. We know what we want out of a good travel bag or a pair of sunglasses, so that’s what we offer our customers. And we hope they respond.”Randall Porter, director of brand communications, Aviate
Details: The Getaway Duffel
- Price: $349
- Dimensions: 13 inches wide, 24 inches long
- Materials: 18 ounces waxed canvas filter twill, English bridle leather handles, 10-ounce cotton engineered stripe lining, brass hardware and Manila rope handles
Details: The Nomad Dopp Kit
- Price: $99
- Dimensions: 6 inches wide, 10 inches long
- Materials: 18 ounces waxed canvas filter twill, brass hardware and Horn Latino leather
All bags are handmade to order in Nashville. Please allow 1-3 weeks for production and delivery.