Campus Celeb: Ian McCuaig

Meet Ian, a 20-year-old Product Design student here at the University of Oregon. Ian was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where his creation of Krake Bags originated. Krake is a construction of Ian’s creativity and the name he gives to all of his pieces; it’s his trademark. Ian’s collection includes a variety of handcrafted messenger bags, laptop cases, backpacks, and purses.

HCO: Why did you choose to name your collection Krake? 

Krake is German for octopus and I come from a German background. I chose the word octopus specifically because the Pacific Northwest, which encompasses Oregon, is know for its surplus of octopi. I feel like we Oregonians have a lifestyle similar to that of an octopus, cold and wet. Thus, the name Krake came to be. All my bags are designed to be water resistant to survive the weather conditions Oregon bestows on a daily basis.

HCO: When was Krake established?

I did not come up with the name Krake until recently. I was first inspired though by my sister, I was a senior in high school. She was a product design student at the University of Oregon at the time and one of her projects motivated me. I just started designing and attempting to make a bag. It worked and I have been creating ever since. 

HCO: What material do you use for your bags?

I like to use a lot of reflective material for many of my bags. Oregonians are known for their ecofriendly transportation. There is a lot of biking, walking, and skateboarding throughout Eugene. I thought this addition would be really effective. All my bags are additionally made out of waterproof fabrics to keep valuables safe from the rain. Pendleton, however, is a fabric that I have really stayed true to. It is an Oregon-based company that has a lot to offer.

HCO: Do you sell any of your bags?

So far no. I am just creating for fun. I hand a lot out as birthday or Holiday gifts and even use a lot of my own products. You will actually be my first customer!

HCO: What is your dream job?

My dream job is to work for Nike completing product design. As for Krake, I am going to see where it takes me. I am having fun with it at the moment and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

HCO: Where can I, or anyone who is interested, take a look at your collection?

I have a tumbler that showcases all of my work. Check it out here.