The Americans seem to love calling certain bags different names from us Brits. A purse to them is a handbag to us and the rude sounding name that the Americans use for a bum bag is, would you believe “fanny pack”, which just seems to be wrong on so many levels. This is the same for the humble leather wash bag, which they call a “Dopp Kit”. We thought we should do some investigation into this as we thought it’s so random that there must be a reason - and we were right…
Through a little research, we found that the Dopp Kit was first manufactured by a leather artisan called Charles Doppelt, who had come to the US from Germany in the early 1900’s. Rumour has it that it was actually his nephew, Jerome Harris, who developed the idea for a leather bag to keep toiletries in (where did people store their shampoo and razors before this time?) but as Doppelt was head honcho, he got to name it and so the “Dopp Kit” was born.
The Dopp Kit then got it’s military connections in World War II, when every troop was issued a Dopp Kit to keep them more organised when on the move and looking smart, which I guess is perfect for the army.
We at Vida Vida are specialists in hand-making leather wash bags, but could we transfer our skills over the Atlantic, and make ourselves a Dopp Kit, that Mr Doppelt would have been proud of?
Turns out, they are exactly the same as a wash bag so yes we could, but we made it by hand with thick tan leather, which has a wonderful characterful natural grain, which gives our Dopp Kit real vintage style. We also added brass metal fittings and a hardy top zip to complete the look. The result was actually so good we put it into production.
We were very proud of our “Dopp Kit Challenge” results so maybe next time we’ll take on the mighty “Fanny Pack”.
I think not.
In the meantime, if you would like to checkout our range of "Dopp Kits" then please take a look at our men's leather washbag collection.