The Grateful Dead Rises For A Bag Collection We’re Absolutely Loving

Each era unknowingly makes its own contribution to the world either through music, fashion or politics.

The sixties were a time of rebellion and liberal expressions, then came the eighties and that was a time of grunge and the tech boom. Although both eras are two very distinct time periods, the Timbuk2 team and Kei Hirosawa of BEAMS Japan, collaborated to bring the spirit of the 1960s alive through three limited edition Grateful Dead summer backpacks. 

On June 3, Timbuk2 launched their BEAMS Grateful Dead Collection. The collection includes three limited edition backpacks with funky prints that are sure to reveal the  ‘DeadHead’ spirit inside of you. All three bags incorporate some sort of vibrant-psychedelic tie dye pattern that will instantly transport you back into the sixties. 

“The collection is rooted in the global youth revolution of a bygone era, but reimagined for today’s generation of optimistic youth,” said Andrea Chynoweth, Timbuk2 Global Creative Director. The collection includes three bags that uniquely share the Grateful Dead Collective Backpack, a Grateful Dead Tote Rucksack and a Grateful DeadLaunch Backpack. All three bags are perfect for transporting items in style through the streets of San Francisco. 


Both the Timbuk2 creative team and artist Hirowasa from BEAMS had been wanting to collaborate on a project. During their meeting to discuss a potential collaboration Chynoweth noticed a ‘Steal Your Face’ skull pendant on Hirowasa. That immediately sparked inspiration for the Timbuk2 X Beams Grateful Dead Collection. 

Both Hirosawa and the Timbuk2 team wanted to create something unique with the collaboration. 

“When you enter a collaboration, the actual goal is the collaboration,” said Chynoweth. “You don’t necessarily know what the outcome is going to be and that’s why you collaborate in the first place.” 

The Timbuk2 and the Grateful Dead collaboration are symbolic of two distinct eras merging together, however the two have a lot in common. Both The Grateful Dead and Timbuk2 have very close ties to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Grateful Dead emerged from the sixties and rose to fame from its counterculture community — which began in the  purple Victorian house located at 710 Ashbury St. in San Francisco. During the summer of love in the sixties the Grateful Dead challenged social norms and established their rockstar careers.   

“Not only have the Dead stayed relevant over the past fifty years, but have continued to grow and attract a younger audience of audiophiles and style junkies, whom we believe this collection will speak to,” said Chynoweth. 

Timbuk2 however emerged in the late eighties from a San Francisco garage in the Mission District. The brand also pushed through and paved the way for their unique commuter backpacks. Since then they have become the ultimate commuter brand for San Francisco city dwellers. 

“The Grateful Dead is the epitome of West Coast culture. Instead of designing a traditional bag, I wanted to create a line made for the city commute, which is why I immediately thought of Timbuk2,” said Kei Hirosawa. “With this collection, I took my love for the Grateful Dead to create a line of bags I’ve never seen before,” 

// You can find the Grateful Dead Collection on the Timbuk2 website and at any Timbuk2 retailer store. Photography courtesy of Timbuk2.

The Grateful Dead Rises For A Bag Collection We’re Absolutely Loving
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