One of most popular must have travel accessories, NOTABAG founder Adnan Alicusic launched the brand about 10 years ago in Europe. The beauty of the ‘bag’ is it simplifies design functionality for adults and children with an active lifestyle.
Featuring affordable, compact foldaway tote bag designs in protective pockets, backpacks and duffel bags, the NOTABAG founder conceived the sustainable, hybrid design after realizing the design impracticality of tote bags when cycling.
Adnan’s styles have won numerous European Design Awards, and he has collaborated with Vitra, MoMA, The Guggenheim Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art. For his latest partnership, Adnan has just launched a Hello World collection for the Olympics with European creatives, The City Works.
Based in Frankfurt, we asked Adnan to take us on a dream shopping date through his city and to also share with us a few places around the globe where he likes to shop (including Tokyo) and gather inspiration for the brand, along with what you can always find in his suitcase, or in this case, his NOTABAG.
Above: Ginza, Tokyo
What are some of your favorite shopping cities in the world and why?
Tokyo: Getting lost in tiny side streets of Shibuya & Harajuku and discovering the little boutiques with products and fashion of local designers got my creative juices flowing. When it comes to high-fashion, Ginza is the place to be.
Chicago: Lately I found myself drawn to the Pilsen neighborhood – great place to dive into local art scene and good food.
Beijing: The 798 art zone, an old military factory turned into an art community with galleries and great shops, got me really hooked. I could spend hours there discovering local artists and getting inspired for the brand.
Paris: I love spending time in the Marais district, it’s one of my favorite places for brand inspiration.
Above: Paris shopping
Give us an example of a perfect shopping day in the city where you live.
For a perfect shopping day in Frankfurt, I would start with a nice brunch at Badias kitchen. It’s a café bar- restaurant within the Schirn Kunsthalle, a museum for modern and contemporary art. It is located in the newly renovated old town of Frankfurt. From there you can start exploring the historical sites, dive into independent galleries and local boutiques.
A few blocks east you’ll find the Fahrgasse street. The newly opened KIO – Kaufhaus im Ort is a unique concept shop representing mainly local and young brands. It’s a great place to pick up nicely designed accessories or gifts, as well as some of local spirits. For women’s fashion, the Maria Shop is a must. It has a tightly curated collection of independent labels.
Above: Adnan shopping in Frankfurt
From there, you continue toward city center. Close to the famous Goethe House (the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) you’ll find Ueberwart, a men’s clothing and sneaker store. For some more fashion of established and up-coming designers, you visit Listener.
To get an energy boost, you head toward Oeder Weg to Kukuvaia for a fine espresso. The good coffee and laid-back atmosphere will make you feel recharged and ready for a trip along the street to Men-Limited, a concept store with fine fashion, accessories and gadgets tailored for men. Further down the Oeder Weg street would be the Liebesdienste, a place to indulge for furniture and interior ideas.
By now, I’d call it the day and would head across the street to Super Bro’s for a delicious Neapolitan pizza – probably the best in town.
Above: Adnan biking in Barcelona
Do you have a ‘go-to’ for travel gear or accessories before a big trip?
I either buy something last minute online or I actually look for what I need once I reach the destination. I’m often surprised by unexpected finds.
What is one item or product that you can’t travel without?
Of course, Notabag. I always have a few of them when I travel.
Besides that, my notebook by Nuuna Being away from the daily routine gets me loaded with ideas, so they need to be captured somewhere. Pen and paper are for me still the best way to capture my thoughts.