Products

  • Meet the Artist: NOA-

    The NOA- Yalta is the newest addition to our Artist Series, and features the original artwork of Japanese, live-paint artist, NOA-. NOA- is as humble as he is talented. Typically using acrylic paint on canvas or wood, he's known for painting with a style that emulates Japanese line-making.

    We joined NOA- in an Oakland warehouse where he painted a piece specifically for Chrome. The piece was inspired by the phrase "Kuro Mu" which sounds like Chrome and means Black Fog. We used the print to create our New Limited Edition NOA- Yalta.

    Artist Series: NOA- Yalta from Chrome Industries on Vimeo.

  • Salvage Military Gift Bag. Re-usable. Resourceful.

    HOLIDAY_SCENE

    Better than red wrapping paper and a giant bow, our Salvaged GI laundry bags make great holidays gift bags. We found them in a warehouse, cleaned them (twice), and overprinted them with our Winged-Lion. Simple, versatile, and re-usable, each bag is unique. Once they held laundry, their new use is delivering holiday cheer. Our Salvage Gift Bags let you give an awesome gift from Chrome inside an equally awesome holiday gift bag.

    Features:
    Salvage cotton, general-issue laundry bag
    Drawstring top closure
    Screen-printed Winged-Lion

    Dimensions: 23” wide, 29” high

  • Warsaw II: An Iconic Messenger Pack Returns

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    We built the first Warsaw—our iconic professional-grade messenger backpack—way back in 2003. The bag was designed to take shoulder-strap bags to the next level by offering messengers the ability to carry bigger loads with improved ergonomics. Messengers were stoked on the Warsaw, relying on it for everything; they earned a living, won races, and traveled across continents with their bag.

    This year we decided it was time to remake the Warsaw. As much as bike messengering looks the same, a lot of things have changed since Billy Souphorse and the Godspeed crew got the first 10 Warsaw bags we made. When we made the Warsaw the focus had been shifting from delivering small items and mail, to larger documents and file boxes. Now the focus is shifting to meal delivery. Because the business of delivery is changing, we want the Warsaw II to be able to adapt.

    We sat down with friends, employees, and messengers to remake the Warsaw. We added to our collective experience with veteran riders like Billy Souphorse and Squid Bolger. The Warsaw II is still based on the original, so it’s large enough to carry a file box. Even though the Warsaw II is deeper, it’s slim enough to split traffic. We removed the yoke—separating the shoulder straps helps to improve load carrying, stability, and comfort. The Warsaw II’s strap retention system keeps excess straps out of the way until you need to expand the bag. We simplified the organization to make it easier to find small stuff. We also added a tool pocket to the bottom of the bag, now tools are quick to find—and accessible separately—without digging through your cargo. The side pocket is there so give you quick access to mail and FedEx envelopes. We moved the ID holder so that the flap prevents rain from soaking it. Finally the stash pocket, it’s still there.

    After multiple prototypes, we had a design which Squid, and crews across the country carried and worked with. After months of testing, the final version of the Warsaw II was approved. So after all the revisions, all the stories, and the decades of shared experience from riders and messengers, we’re ready to introduce the Warsaw II; a bag of epic capabilities for professional messengers.

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  • Meet the Maker: Chrome Portland's Bag Maker, Lara Kessler

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    NAME: Lara Kessler
    BIRTHPLACE: Outside Philadelphia, PA
    BIKES IN QUIVER:
    Track: Blue TR250
    Road: Veloforma F1R
    Commuter/ rain/ training: Giant OCR A1
    DAY JOB: Chrome Custom bag maker/ seamstress/ designer
    HOBBY: Riding or racing bikes and sewing at home. I never get tired of it.
    5 SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST AT RANDOM:
    Daft Punk: Get Lucky
    Black Sabbath: Changes
    Misfits: Skulls
    Lana Del Rey: Born to Die
    Beastie Boys: An Open Letter to NYC

    How did you get started sewing and making things?
    I'm all leg with a short torso. I wanted to start designing clothes that fit my body shape and were ahead of the times. It's also an under-appreciated skill that is taken for granted until a person actually knows someone that posses the ability and then all of a sudden, everyone has 500 things that need altering or repair. I like being that resource and making a little extra money in the process.

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    What was your favorite thing you’ve ever made?
    My wedding dress. And the Misfits Crimson Ghost Citizen Messenger Bag for Halloween 2012.

    You’ve been making custom bags at the Chrome HUB in Portland since it opened, what bags have you made that’ve been your favorite?
    Definitely that Crimson Ghost bag, the  Chicago Bulls Hip pouch, and the Shark Attack and Pendleton fabric Citizens, too.

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    Have you encountered any odd #ChromeCustoms requests? 
    I get asked regularly if I make custom knife rolls.

    What attracted you to work at Chrome?
    It's pretty amazing that I can say I'm one of four people in the world that holds the position of Chrome Bag Maker.  It's like running my own tailoring shop in the heart of the Chrome Portland store. I've met a lot of  cool people in the time I've been here.

    What’s your favorite off-the-shelf Chrome product and why?
    The Yalta Night Backpack and the Sotnik Duffel Bag. Yalta Night because I'm not normally comfortable wearing a lot of black on my bike, especially as PDX moves into the greyer months, and I know I'm very visible using this bag from that 3M reflective pocket on the front. Even better is that it's a subtle reflective coating and only extremely visible when light hits. If a car tags me from behind, I know it's entirely their fault. And the Sotnik because it's an amazing travel bag! You can carry it in so many different ways and no matter how much you pack in it, it will always fit in the plane overhead compartments.

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    You’re a Cat 2 track cyclist, been crushing it in time trials at Alpenrose Velodrome for the past three years. How's the season going for you?
    2013 was a transition from track to road for me. I wanted a different challenge on the bike and I had never focused on road racing -  I had only used it as leg speed work for the track. Road requires a lot more miles in your legs and it's also different muscle memory. My race season started really early this year and I went hard trying to get at least top 3 right off the gun. I was successful until about July and then my legs were pretty gassed, but I wouldn't quit. Harsh reality: I still have a lot of work to do with my development.

    What are your future racing plans?
    I will most likely return to the track in 2014, but still work hard racing road. My cycling team is road racing focused and it's a solid team that has developed pro riders. That is not my aspiration, but I'm going to try my hardest to be of that caliber.

    What’s your favorite place to ride other than the track?
    The Crater Lake rim!! Or Fairmount Loop/ Council Crest Climb in PDX.

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    What’s your favorite thing about living in Stumptown?
    After living in Chicago for 6 years where the only hills are overpasses, I'm extremely thankful to have so much varying elevation here. I love climbing hills on my bike and the views are gorgeous once you reach the top.

    What’s your favorite recovery meal?
    After all those hill climbs, I usually blend up some Chocolate almond milk, yogurt, peanut butter, banana, honey and some post-workout powder. And sometimes a shower beer.

    Great sushi is in abundance here so I prefer to treat myself to that when I can.

    Any shout outs?
    lil bub

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  • Meet the Maker: Chrome Chicago's Bag Maker, Caroline Borucki

    caroline2 NAME: Caroline Borucki
    BIRTHPLACE: Hinsdale, Illinois
    BIKE: Biria Citibike step-through in olive; her name is Laverne.
    DAY JOB: Chrome Chicago bag maker/seamstress
    SIDE PROJECT: My apparel & craft brand, self titled 'caroline borucki'
    5 SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST AT RANDOM:
    Lil' Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham & the Pharaoh
    Can't Hardly Wait - the Replacements
    Age of Consent - New Order
    Glass Figurine - Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
    Yekermo Sew - Mulatu Astatke

    Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get started making things?
    I was an avid thrift store shopper in high-school, so eventually I decided to alter clothing to my liking. After getting a good response from classmates, I decided to study apparel design in college.

    What was your first sewing project?
    I was captivated by fabrics with rad prints, so the fit and sizing of thrift items didn't impact my purchase. I know my first projects revolved around transforming long skirts into bubble skirts, and muumuu's into fitted dresses.

    You’ve been making custom Chrome bags in Chicago for a long time, can you tell us about some of the favorite bags you’ve made?
    My favorite bags have most definitely been the holiday bags I've done. I draft/cut out special patches that have resembled a reindeer, snowman, color string-lights, Frankenstein and jack-o-lanterns. The time it takes to create them is well worth it when it comes to Chrome Chicago visitors commenting on them. I get really excited about the holidays, so I'm pretty into perking everyone else up about them too.

    caroline1Have you encountered any odd #ChromeCustoms bag requests? Has there ever been anything really crazy?
    My favorite requests are from dedicated fans; I've done a few bags inspired by Zelda and sports teams. I assist with choosing the right color scheme and patch placement to make the bag perfect. From the day I began I have been asked by a multitude of people about firearm and rifle scope bags/accessory attachments. I give my input on how to go about it, but still waiting to see images of their final results.

    If you could have one stock Chrome bag which would you choose?
    My favorite bag is my Metropolis, but if we are talking about a bag I've been eying I would say the Sotnik. WHY? Only because I like wearing/using bags that I can fit into. Plus they are great in packing all my merchandise to events & fashion shows.

    Besides making custom bags at the Chrome HUB in Chicago, you also have your own line clothing, cards and frills, how do you create balance in your life?
    It's pretty tough, I'm lucky if I remember to eat throughout the day. I try to map out a weekly schedule of to-do lists, while making a habit of waking up at 6am to go to my workspace before Chrome. Never skipping my morning bagel & cream cheese is most important.

    Your clothing line takes inspiration from nature’s seamy underbelly – a decaying peach, intertidal sealife – what qualities inspire you? What is your process of getting inspired?
    I'm inspired by botany, mostly rooted in mycology and plants. The textures and colors associated within these topics is extremely inspiring for me, and I love to use new techniques to mimic the appearances. I try to classify each collection with a specific biological taxonomy, the goal is to learn as much as I can about science along the way of creating collections each season.

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    Your clothes are very sculptural, how did your education as a sculptor effect your design decisions?
    After getting experience in sculpture I realized how similar it could be translated into fashion. While in college I did a lot more sculptural fashion pieces, but when trying to branch into the industry I've had to tone down my ideas for wearability. I appreciate the one-of-a-kind mentality for art, so everything I produce is hand-crafted to be different. I've branched into a lot of 'craft' because having a variety of outlets allows for me to continually develop new skills.

    You got started out in fashion, what drew you to work at Chrome?
    Having life-time warranty products is a pretty rare occurrence, so knowing Chrome had such high standards for their products made me really want to be part of the team. I have always been a 'bag-lady,' carrying around a bunch of cheaply-made thrift-found luggage bags while making daily commutes. It wasn't until I made my own first Chrome bag that I realized I didn't need to invest in a new bag every couple months.

    Can we pick your brain a bit about Chicago? What’s your favorite thing about living in the Windy City?
    I've been in the Chicagoland area my entire life, so for me walking down the street and running into people I know on a regular basis is probably my favorite part. Witnessing Chicago's crazy weather is always exciting. Plus the food out here is fabulous!

    If you some have time off, but only enough for a bike ride where do you go?
    I ride around the forest preserve, specifically the Salt Creek Trail. I've been riding that trail since my brother led the way when I was in elementary school. Plus, hanging out with deer in the forest is one of my favorite things to do when I have the time.

    What's the best music venue in Chicago?
    It's not exactly a venue, but my favorite Chicago performance was at the Fourth Presbyterian church downtown. I saw Andrew Bird's holiday show there in 2009, and it was simply fantastic.

    Besides having fun at Third Thursdays, do you have a favorite bar?
    Hopleaf, it has the most amazing selection of Belgian beers, as well as delicious grub.

  • Chrome X Blue Lug

    Two iconic brands. Three unique bags.

    Blue_Lug_Blog_Header_OptimizedWe caught up with Tokyo's iconic Blue Lug bike shop Owner Toshihiro Ashikaga for a conversation about bike culture in Tokyo, the Blue Lug X Chrome bag collaboration, and why bikes, beer and girls are so damn important.

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    CHROME: What is the Blue Lug philosophy?

    TOSHI: Our ultimate goal is to support the cycling community of Tokyo; we hope by doing this we make everyone’s cycling life a little better.

    CHROME: What is unique about the shop and staff at Blue Lug?

    TOSHI: It sounds kind of funny to say, but our staff at Blue Lug is really one big family. Most of our employees were once loyal customers who eventually joined our team. Whether they were local messengers, or just cycling enthusiasts they are all avidly devoted to the cycling scene and are completely in love with bicycles.

    CHROME: How would you describe the bike culture and scene in Tokyo?

    TOSHI: Bicycles have been an important part of life in Tokyo for a very long time, however the type of bicycle people ride has changed significantly in recent years. For example, several years ago, like in many other cities, track bikes became exceptionally popular. The track bike phenomenon created a demand for shops like Blue Lug that specialize in unique bicycles. And while track bikes are still popular in Tokyo, the influx of specialty bicycles has increased the local cycling scene’s awareness of the global bicycle culture. Today, people in Tokyo ride everything from fat bikes to cyclocross to mountain bikes, and there always seem to be a great amount of excitement surrounding anything new and unique.

    CHROME: What is your favorite route to ride in Tokyo?

    TOSHI: By far my favorite ride in Tokyo would have to be through Shinjuku just before dawn. I love this ride because during the day Shinjuku in one of the most densely populated places on the planet, which makes riding a bicycle there nearly impossible. At dawn, however, you are alone with your bicycle. The streets are silent and empty, and the air is cool. You can ride as fast as you like without hesitation, which delivers an overwhelming feeling of tranquility and freedom. In my opinion there’s nothing quite like that sensation, and I would recommend that ride to any bike lover who visits Tokyo.

    CHROME: How did the collaboration with Chrome come about?

    TOSHI: We have always loved Chrome bags and have carried them in our shops for years. Our appreciation of Chrome was only strengthened as we began to make our own bags and realized just how well made and designed they were. Chrome bags are stylish but also extremely functional, something that every bag maker is, or at least should be, envious of. To show our admiration we humbly offered to collaborate on a bag with Chrome and were honored when they accepted.

    CHROME:  What were the ideas and main inspiration behind the bag collaboration?

    TOSHI: There are a few underlying themes with regards to design of the bag collaboration. The first and most obvious is the blue stitching, which is the official Blue Lug corporation color. The others theme, however, is a little less obvious. At the shop we always like to joke that the most important things in life are girls, bicycles, and beer, and we believe deep down everyone likely feels the same way. So, because we were a little hesitant, or perhaps shy, to say it directly we decided take a slightly more subtle approach and use a mirror image to express our love for girls, bicycles, and beer.

    The Blue Lug bag collection is USA Made and comes in three iconic Chrome silhouettes; Sentinel, Sotnik, and Victor. Although developed exclusively for Blue Lug shops in Tokyo, we’ve released a small batch stateside in each of our Chrome Retail HUBs.

    Find a Chrome HUB here >> 

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  • Chris Milliman Q&A — Limited Edition Messenger Bag

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    The Chrome Artist Series celebrates photographers, graphic designers, screen printers, and painters who inspire us. These collaborations are built in limited quantities and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

    Each season Chrome drops a limited edition of our most popular bags. This year we’ve partnered with Chris Milliman – renowned cycling photographer. Chris is best known for photographing the cycling industry including world-wide Cyclocross events and Road Bike races.

    This season’s Limited Edition Artist Series features four of Chris' iconic photographs: A local cyclocross race around an old castle in Belgium, the iconic industrial bridge structures overlooking the bike lanes of Chicago, a locals only watering hole of the same windy city, and the organized chaos of a bike shop. The inside of each bag includes an exclusive woven patch that references from old school photo processing.

    ALL PRODUCTS MADE IN THE USA

    What were you inspirations for the photos that were chosen for the Chrome projects?

    The photos are really different from each other, but they were all shot with the same thing in mind. I wanted to show the scenes with a graphic element. I was looking for a quiet, restrained mood, where the story wasn't obvious. In Chicago that was pretty easy, the city has so many converging lines and classic American structures. In Belgium it was a bit tougher, I had to integrate people into the photo more, which is never easy since they move more than buildings and bridges.

    • What has been your inspiration in your work in general?

    My overriding inspiration is to create images that are relentlessly honest. And for me that means trying not to repeat myself, mostly as it relates to what I shoot and to some degree how I shoot it. But at the same time, I think there's a balance for me between making honest images and maintaining a technical aspect to the shots. It's delicate, trying to maintain authenticity while also composing the images in a way that's pleasing to me. I guess you could say it doubles as an inspiration and a challenge.

    • How did you get stated in photography?

    My education was in writing, so I worked as an editor and writer before picking up a camera. I stumbled into shooting while on a writing assignment and it slowly developed from there. After a few years of learning what I thought I needed to know about photography, and not being totally satisfied with my progression, I knew I needed to pick either writing or photography. At the time shooting seemed much more interesting to me so I stopped writing and it was all in for shooting from that point on. I have no formal photo training, but had some important mentors and am always thirsty to learn more and get better.

    • What do you enjoy the most about your line of work?

    The best part about what I do is being able to have a creative outlet and working with other people who are doing things different than how I live. I've chosen to live in a small town in Northern New England. I love it, but it's pretty quiet and somewhat isolated, so going out working with a variety of clients in diverse locations around world keeps me going. I consider it a privilege to do what I do, I try not to take it for granted because I know it's really unique.

    Check Out The Milliman Series »

  • 415 Work Boot Debuts

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    Built with the stability and protection of a work boot and the mobility and comfort of a sneaker, the 415 Urban Work Boot is perfect for work, bike, skate, and moto. Chrome's designers saw the need for a boot that was lightweight and brilliantly utilitarian (not heavy and clunky), and the 415 line delivers, whether you're on your feet all day or always on the run. The 415 (the area code of Chrome's San Francisco HQ) is designed for superior out-of-the box comfort and year-round survival in the city.

    Built to last and offered in both waterproof-breathable STORM fabric and 1,000-Denier Cordura, the 415 features 100% vulcanized construction with a skid-resistant sole, a tight heel cup, and a slightly wider toe box for a better fit—and pain-free pedaling when you're on the bike. Other design highlights include a padded ankle collar, a reflective heel pull-loop for night visibility, and a low-profile design for great looks and easy toe-cage compatibility.

    The STORM 415 combines Chrome's waterproof-breathable STORM technology with oiled full-grain leather, which weathers and distresses well over time while providing abrasion resistance and defense against the elements. Constructed with a breathable neoprene membrane that lets heat out while preventing water from getting in, the STORM 415 is a truly innovative work boot that outperforms any other in its class. With a comfortable, flexible, athletic fit, the STORM 415 is made to be worn all day, every day.

    Like all Chrome footwear and apparel, the 415 Work Boot comes with a 365-day warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

    RETAIL AVAILABILITY: 3/5/13 in Chrome HUBS in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Portland—and online at chromeindustries.com.

    RETAIL PRICE:
    Cordura 415 Urban Work Boot: $120
    STORM 415 Urban Work Boot: $150

    CHROME INTEL
    Chrome Industries makes bombproof bags, footwear, and apparel for people who live in and ride the city. Since 1995.

  • Chrome Storm

    Chrome is known for making useful bombproof bags that protect your gear from the elements. From the beginning, Chrome has made apparel that provides the same level of utility. ChromeStorm™ Outerwear extends that tradition. It provides bike-specific functionality with market leading technical performance without looking like you just came down from the mountains.

    Chrome Storm™ is the core technology behind Chrome’s rain gear. Fully-taped 100% waterproof breathable construction. Bike-specific fit & features. Built to ride.

     

  • Meet The Makers: Chrome Footwear

    MEET THE MAKERS: A DISCUSSION WITH LARS MACLEOD

    A behind-the-scenes look at how we design and build our shoes. Told by Chrome’s chief shoe developer, Lars MacLeod. Our brand new TRUK sneaker is the latest in our Pedal Series. A proven silhouette built to resist the harsh demands of living and riding in the city. 25x stronger than canvas. Stiffer soles for more power.

     

    Chrome has been making bags + apparel for over 17 years. This started out as necessity: we needed gear built to survive the city, but such gear didn’t exist. What can you tell us about the origins of Chrome footwear?

    We wanted to build Chrome shoes like we build our bags: bombproof. So we took the same bag material (PU backing Cordura) & applied it to shoes, since it’s a proven material for us. Typical canvas sneakers always wear down too quickly. Also, we wanted to use sneaker silhouettes that had some heritage – but build them with new materials. This sparked the creation of Chrome footwear.

    Our shoes are 100% Vulcanized. Without getting too technical, what does this process involve & why does Chrome use it?

    It’s basically taking uncured rubber & attaching it to the upper of a shoe. Then, we place this into an auto-clave oven, curing the rubber directly onto the shoe. This process is over 75 years old & is still one of the most durable shoe constructions available on the market today.

     

    What makes Chrome footwear different from other brands?

    - First, the fit & comfort of the footbed. It comes down to a Polyurethane footbed (CHROME) vs. a generic compression-molded EVA footbed (Canvas sneakers).

    - Then, the durable upper materials we use (Cordura). It’s 25 times stronger than canvas.

    - Third, our unique mid-sole construction. Board-lasted with the Pro (Flex-Plate™), Pedal (3/4 Propulsion Plate), & All-City (comfort latex wedge) series.

    - Finally, we make 100% Vulcanized, water-proof sneakers.

     

    How do you approach fit when designing a Chrome shoe? What do you place as a premium?

    When it comes to fit, we develop our own lasts & footbeds. These are the two most important things to first get right when you start building a shoe. We then work on developing new design ideas to create urban performance footwear which needs to work on and off the bike.

    The Chrome TRUK is a classic, proven silhouette. We’ve made it 25x stronger than the standard canvas sneaker, but what else makes this shoe special?

    Bottom line: There’s no other shoe like the TRUK out there today. ¾ Powerplate, board-lasted soles, reflective hits on the back. Bombproof.

     

    Check out the New TRUK sneaker & watch Chrome Familia member Massan ride it into the ground:

     

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