Design Thinking and the Production of AvidUnion's First product - The Rib!

I am an Artist, Designer, and Marketer.

My passion is to build partnerships and processes that are redundant and rigid enough that it can sustain inspiration, improvisation, and creativity. One of my favorite accessories is bags and for the longest time before AvidUnion, I haven't been able to find something that is a better version of the fanny pack.

The Inspiration:

There are days when you just want to go out with the essentials - wallet, cell phone, headphones, keys, and maybe a pen and a small notebook. But even the most functional fanny bags that can fit the essentials are usually aesthetically unattractive.

This idea of mine has been brewing in my mind ever since I lived in New York City after graduation whereby some of my best times would be walking the streets alone or with friends in the middle of the night with, unfortunately, a bigger bag than needed. Keeping all these items on yourself have always been an issue and walking around the city with a fanny pack is just not kosher, at least not in my book.

The Design Idea:

There is a good reason why police officers globally place their holsters right at their Ribs. It's convenient and safe from anyone who might want to go after your most important items. This would be the foundation on which I built upon the Rib.

Everything has to be considered, from the kind of stitching for the strap for wear and tear to which material to use so it would be weatherproof, light and durable. Since the Rib is mainly sitting at your ribs, having a large pocket makes it easy to reach for your items quickly as well as making it very safe and comfortable.

Prototyping and Production:

Many, many iterations of the Rib were developed as we needed to speak to the manufacturer to streamline the production process. This was the first of its kind to be manufactured thus adding to the challenge. 

Ultimately, the first generation of the Ribs was made from a waxed canvas which ticked all the right boxes for weight, weatherproofing and, wear and tear. 

Ultimately, the first design looked more like a holster. The design had to have enough style to stand on its own but also able to connect with a variety of different tastes. 

The Functionality:

When is it too much or when is it not enough was a real issue. I needed to draw a clear line of how many objects a person should be able to put into the Rib. AvidUnion's core is "Travel with Technology" which meant that the Rib needed to be able to hold the essentials for trips, however long or short.

  • wallet - main pocket with patented RIFD lining with secure zipper and double magnet for added security.
  • cell phone - large pocket with heavy duty magnet clip to always be
    secured with convenient accessibility.
  • keys - never poke yourself again with keys in your pocket.
  • pen - never have spilled ink in your pockets
  • headphones - organized and easily accessible
  • ID (passport) -  maximum security for your passports in main zipper pocket
  • iPad mini or a small notebook? - yes, it'll fit :)

One main pocket that can be zipped with a magnetic clasp.

The inside of the Rib has multiple pockets that can securely hold your phone, pens and or headphones. 

We launched the Rib on Kickstarter in 2013 and got funded for $24,120 with a goal of $18,700. Since then we have made 2 more upgrades from our learnings over a 5 year run of this product. 

I changed the strap from a holster design to one that was over only one shoulder. This with the fast release clip made the comfort of wearing and taking it on and off the rib much more comfortable. 

The main pocket is now lined with an RFID protection fabric to give maximum protection to your credit cards and passports.


The Future:

Now, I am looking for better materials that feel and look more premium and wears even better than the waxed canvas. More compartments to segment the items in the Rib for faster and easier access. I am still currently testing the latest Rib 3.0 prototype so stay tuned for the launch! 

Sincerely yours,

Steven Yu | Founder and Executive Creative Director | AvidUnion

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