Sure, you can get Timbuk2’s signature messenger bags at REI, EMS, and plenty of other outdoor-gear stores. You can even order your own customized bag online, choosing from fabrics designed by the likes of Hella Jongerius, Paul Smith, and Charles and Ray Eames. What you can’t do without visiting this Hayes Valley flagship, though, is buy any of the one-of-a-kind artist-decorated bags stocked here. Look for the bright geometric patterns of New England design team Gluekit, or the bold woodcut-esque imagery of Hong Kong artist Thorina Rose—and when you see the $300–$400 price tag, remember: the proceeds go to charity.
Tip: If you’re into buying local, be aware: while the custom Pro Series and Market Tote bags are, as advertised, made in SF, almost everything else is imported.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.