A Look Inside Albert Chu’s Bag
Every last thing he totes has a story.
Since his Gameboy days, Albert Chu has been carrying around a pouch to store his essentials. He might have moved beyond Tetris, but he turned his fondness for a little carryall into a hyper-high-functioning bag line Otaat. Take a look at what Albert’s got with him on a daily basis.
“I carry this 10 euro note with me everywhere. A couple summers ago, I met my family in Istanbul, after a layover in Frankfurt. On the plane, I sat next to this wonderful German lady who grandmothered me—i.e., made sure I was well-fed on the plane and nicely yet firmly scolded me about not being prepared with snacks. As we deplaned, she asked whether I had any cash to buy lunch at the airport. I replied that I was fine and could use my credit card. ‘Credit cards charge fees! It’s a waste of money!’ she said. Next thing I know, she grabbed my hand and placed this 10 euro note in my palm and disappeared! Two takeaways: 1) There are amazing, generous people, and 2) I must have looked terrible to warrant such welfare!”
“When I was in Paris, I was carrying two big pieces of luggage with me and was lumbering through the Metro, and a pickpocket stole my wallet, a beautiful Dunhill with green kidskin lining and marbled exterior. I replaced it with this Dunhill wallet, which I’ve carried for about eight years now. It’s ridiculously huge! Probably the biggest bi-fold wallet I’ve seen. When it’s full—of receipts—it’s a monster.”
“One should always eat healthily, right? That’s why I carry fruit—typically an apple, orange, maybe some carrots—in my bag. And, even better: It’s from my Farm Fresh farm box.”
“I always have my car key and my key chain, which I was gifted upon graduating from high school (whoa). The key chain is a simple, stainless steel ring with a tag that’s monogrammed with my initials. And now to make it L.A.-specific: I always keep my car key separate from my key chain because it makes valet parking that much easier.”
“Though perhaps not the most effective sunnies on the planet, I still love this Benjamin Montoya pair because they are super light, have a fun shape, and have a subtle gradation. Plus, it makes for a good ice-breaker when people ask whether you’re wearing Transitions lenses.”
“A good friend went through a phase where she used disposable cameras to scout locations, document randoms, and take beautiful photos. I copied her. I love these cameras because you take photos that are not delete-able and get fun reactions from photo subjects.”
“The Ninja Pouch is my breakaway pouch—like how Roller zooms out from Optimus Prime. I typically use the Large Ninja Pouch as a folio where I store documents, papers, notepads, and my iPad. I’ve been using it for a while now, so it’s worn-in and even softer than when it was new.”
“I always carry the Flap Card Holder for my business cards—always be prepared, right?—and a series of sketchbooks. I burn through sketchbooks and like carrying multiple—recently a coverless Japanese one from OK, a Moleskine, and a Muji.”
“There’s so much sun in Los Angeles, and that’s one reason why I really enjoy it. But sometimes, I just want some shade, and so I always have a hat with me. Recently, I’ve been carrying this one by FairEnds. Not only does it block the sun, push back my hair, and help me think (yes, I use it as a thinking cap), but this railroad-stripe pattern also reminds me of my favorite pair of childhood shorts that my mom and sister got me from Printemps back in the day. I think I wore those shorts for two years straight.”