‘Edgy’ Australian bag brand Crumpler has filed for voluntary administration, citing Covid lockdowns and store closures as reasons for the failure, but as far as the popular Crumpler camera bag range is concerned, it’s ‘business as usual’.
Crumpler camera bags distributor, CR Kennedy explained that Crumpler Photo Bags are manufactured and distributed by a German-based company, Crumpler.EU (aka Bagmania GMBH) which licenses the Crumpler brand.
It’s the Crumpler Lifestyle Bag business (Crumpler Australia) which went into administration.
‘It’s business as usual for Crumpler photo bags, which is managed out of Europe,’ Marc Payet, general manager of the Consumer Division at CR Kennedy told Inside Imaging.
Expressions of interest in Crumpler Australia closed in late September. The administrators have indicated that there has been some interest in the internationally-recognised premium bag brand, and are hopeful of finding a buyer.
Perhaps if it hadn’t taken that ‘courageous’ step into retailing – it operated 11 Crumpler stores in Australia and others in Malaysia and Singapore – and stuck with designing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing its quirky, well-made, and popular bag range it wouldn’t have had to call the administrators: ‘The main contributors towards the cash flow situation are COVID-19-related closures of Melbourne and Sydney stores as well as a general downturn in the travel industry resulting in reduced demand for travel and business accessories,’ a spokesperson for the administrators explained.
However, the business hasn’t been trading well for a while, with significant losses in 2018 and 2019, according to the most recent financial report. It acquired the financially troubled swimwear brand Tigerlily in late 2020.
Crumpler was founded in Melbourne in 1995, initially to make bike courier bags. One of the founders, Stuart Crumpler, donated his surname to the brand. He sold out in 2011 to the other two owners, who sold the majority stake in the business to Crescent Capital Partners in 2015.
Crumpler bags are popular among photographers and are stocked by specialty camera stores such as Ted’s. The Crumpler camera bag range is among the most extensive available, and includes camera straps, pouches, backpacks, slings and toploaders.
…While the Crumpler brand was all colour and idiosyncrasy in the early days, it’s gone way more corporate since the founding trio sold up, even straightening out its distinctive logo (see above). The new kid on the gonzo bag scene is from British tripod maker 3 Legged Thing, with its new brand, Morally Toxic. It’s unclear why the marketing people at 3-Legged Thing thought Morally Toxic would be a good name for a range of camera bags – perhaps Ulcerated Septum was already taken!
The range so far consists of Valkerie backpacks (‘challenges conformity’) and Wraith messenger bags (‘made from our unique jacard fabric’). No word as yet whether 3-Legged Thing distributor Blonde Robot will bring the Morally Toxic range to Australia.