The Carl Friedrik Bag Review

The Carl Friedrik Bag Review

carl friedrik briefcase review

Today we shall discuss and review the Palissy bag from Carl Friedrik (f/k/a Oppermann London, link). Like many of the brands I review, I have been keeping tabs on Carl Friedrik for a few years and have been asked about the brand by friends and readers. But unfortunately, until recently I had no personal experience with the brand so I could not speak accurately about Carl Friedrik’s products. The brothers who founded and run Carl Friedrik were nice enough to send me a bag of my choosing to review. So let’s talk about it.

As is becoming par for the course, I’ve filmed a video to complement this written review, if you would prefer to watch then please do so. The content in this post and the video are largely the same, but each does have some unique points.

Carl Friedrik was founded in 2012 by the brothers Niklas and Mattis Oppermann with the goal of delivering high quality minimalistic bags and leather goods directly to its customers. When it was founded, the brand was called Oppermannn, however, due to a legal dispute, the name had to be changed.  Carl Friedrik is the name of the Oppermann brothers grandfather.  The brand is based in London. However, the bags are constructed in Italy, where the leather and zippers are also sourced from. The hardware is designed in London but produced in China.

Upon speaking with Mattis, who heads up the design side of the business, it has become clear that he takes much inspiration from Scandanavian minimalism, which is similar to the Bauhaus school of design. This is a common thread across all of Carl Friedrik’s collections, and within each collection there is great consistency. In other words, you can tell a Carl Friedrik bag by looking at it and each of the bags goes well with the others. But if you cannot, all of their bags carry their signature blade logo.  Admittedly, I am not a big fan of having logos or names on nice leather bags, but the logo is subtle and relatively un-intrusive, which is nice.

carl friedrik reviewPartly because of the minimalistic style and its rigid structure, I view the Palissy ($519) to be a more formal briefcase. It mates very well with a suit, odd jacket or even the loathsome business casual dress; as you will see in some of the photos in this post. However, the bag does not pair well with less formal ensembles like chinos and a polo shirt or jeans and a t-shirt. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it looks great with more formal ensembles.  Let’s move on and talk a little more about the bag and its construction.  I opted for the navy and grey colorway, however, the bag also comes in black, cognac and dark brown.

carl friedrik navy blue palissy bag

As you should be able to see in the photo the lines of the bag are clean. The stitching is even and clean as well, I did not notice any miss-stitches on the bag or strap.  There is a small pocket on the front side of the bag which is nice to hold wallets or phones in.  The handles are a good size and can easily be held in one hand.  The strap is removable.

carl friedrick zipper reviewNow that we are up close, you can see the leather quite well.  It is very nice leather, soft and smooth, yet of a good thickness (vegetable tanned in Italy).  The zipper, and all of the hardware on the bag, has a chrome like finish which compliments the more matte finish of the leather quite well.  I particularly like how the silver color sits on the navy.  The blade logo is also reflected in the zipper pulls.

carl friedrik palissy briefcase sideThe Palissy is about 15.5″ x 11.5″ x 2.5″, which fits my 13″ Macbook without issue.  The proportions are very well balanced, to my eyes.  The depth is enough to also fit a journal, charger and a few other small things in the bag; which is very nice.  From the above side shot you can see how the bottom of the handles curve so keep a slim line, its the attention to all of the little details that elevate the Palissy.  One unique thing about the bag is that it will stand upright on its own, it may sound like a small thing but it is actually a really nice characteristic of the bag.

carl friedrik palissy bag review openAs previously noted, the bag is large enough for a computer and a few other items.  You can see how the interior of the bag is sectioned off.  The zip pocket is crucial, however, the divider has not provided much utility for me.  I would prefer no divider at all, or one that properly fit a laptop, not just papers.

carl friedrik blue bag reviewI’ve been using the Palissy pretty regularly the past few months so I feel pretty confident in saying that it is holding up well.  The bag has also fit it quite well with my style.  In fact, I expect the bag to last for years.  It is well constructed with quality materials so there is no reason that it should not.  The Palissy (and all of Carl Friedrik’s bags for that matter) is not cheap.  $519 is a lot to spend on a bag and there are definitely leather bags that are less expensive than the Palissy.  This will alienate some of you, which I understand.  However, for those who are looking for a nice gift for someone, $519 is within your budget or you are looking to a lower priced alternative to some of the uber-luxury brands out there (Dunhill, Ferragamo etc) Carl Friedrik is actually a great alternative.  The quality of the Palissy is certainly on par with some of the bags I have handled from the luxury houses but the price is humane.  If you have questions about Carl Friedrik or would like to share your experience with the brand, please do so in the comments.  Thank you for reading.



Note: FYGblog was provided product and/or compensated for the production of this post.  Despite that, the utmost care was taken to provide an unbiased and objective review of the product and brand at hand.







  1. I don’t think even with the worlds compensation, you simply cannot justify a $500 bag from a new company and made in China. But hey hats off for trying. We just need to forget other 100 year old brands exist. We also need to forget their brand goodwill and large retail network.

    You as a review should kindly mention to these direct-to-consumer “brands” that pricing to even 50% of the establishment is a big if. Product has to be better AND cheaper. If that’s not possible don’t do it.

    • Dear Sam, How in the world did you came to such ridiculous lies and slanderous lies conclusions?!?
      You simply cannot publish such unfounded and slanderous lies! You as a harsh know-it-all keyboard warrior should at least get your facts straight before you go smearing around BS on the internet about a company.

    • many famous luxury handbag & its hardware are produced in China, I have been working in China represent office of serval luxury handbag companies, I know the handbag factories and hardware suppliers. thanks.

  2. many famous luxury handbag & its hardware are produced in China for sure, I have been working for serval famous luxury handbag companies respresent office in China, I know the handbag factories and hardware suppliers too, thanks.

  3. I bought the Palissy Weekend bag because it looked nice and I do many trips where I just need a weekend bag, although it is for workdays…
    Shipping is done by DHL which is good and as unreliable as with any other global shipping company like UPS.
    The bag is sturdy. I mean really sturdy. And heavy. It’s the moment that I realise that I didn’t do a good purchase. People who buy bags like these travel by car and do not need to carry it any further than from the car at the hotel entrance to the reception. It’s heavy. Why? It’s made of leather that might also be used to make a saddle.
    Unfortunately the handles are made of the same heavy leather which means your hand will adapt to the handles and not the other way around. The shape of the bag is not made that you could swing it over the shoulder to hold it with your hand on the shoulder. Here the hand and the back will hurt quickly. The design is mad in a manner that the size will not change if it’s empty. For product shoots this is perfect, for everyday use not as you will not be able to squeeze it into any corner when it’s half empty.
    Enough of the negative. The interior is nice and since I chose orange accents on the outside, the interior is lined orange. This is good because you’ll see everything in this indeed large and deep bag.
    Probably I’ll keep it as the import fees of DHL on top of the actual VAT are ridiculously high and As I will enjoy the looks of the bag – and hope that lifetime warranty doesn’t mean my lifetime…