Inside The New Shopping Bag – Carlos van Hijfte

From time to time we ask users of The New Shopping Bag about their life. For this edition we went behind the curtains with Carlos van Hijfte. Carlos is not a very public person, yet he worked with a lot of names that you’re certainly very familiar with. As a booking agent and manager he belongs to the inner circle of artists that we love and respect so much, like Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead, Dinosaur Jr., Cat Power, Swans, Shellac, Butthole Surfers and fIREHOSE.

As a longtime user of our products and knowing what good gifts they make, Carlos has even used The New Shopping Bag as birthday present for some of these legendary folks. The idea alone of J Mascis sporting our stuff makes sure we rest comfortably at night. Carlos, take it away!

Describe yourself in three words.
Family Music Bike

Where are you now?
In my home work space/office, surrounded by eames, dinosaur jr, beefheart, quad, nikon, van lieshout, dylan, patti smith, kef, big black, apple, paul smith, brother, kim gordon, dual, gispen, garmin, sonic youth, monique, warhol, ing, levi’s, irma boom, munch, purple, cool blue, mojo, leitz, jacques brel and Susan Bijl.

Tell us something about you and The New Shopping Bag
They keep coming into our house, in our family we might have 20 by now. We buy them because we use (and love) them, we are limited edition snobs, we get and give bags as presents. A while ago Susan excavated a purple one from her archives to give to J Mascis for his 50th. I’m waiting for an edition that has the perfect shape for records.

Tell us something about Susan.
It’s the name of our youngest daughter… and I met Susan B when she was working on her first batch of bags in the old archive building in my street. She and a sewing machine in the middle of a huge space. Vincent worked on films related to music, he occupied another spot in the same bunker like environment. He contacted me because he knew Jim O’Rourke was a friend of mine. Later they opened a pop-up store around the corner on the Binnenweg, long before this concept reached the Coolsingel.

What ecological measures would you take if you ruled the world?
Replace the old school political system, it’s so slow and too cautions while big issues (like the environment) have to be solved now. My friend Rutger started to bring more power to the people, I think he (and Patti) has a point.

How do you brighten up your existence?
Make bike rides, play records, visit exhibitions, watch movies, meet people.

What part does colour play in that process?
Some years ago I decided green is my color, so whenever green is an option I go for it. I’m writing this sitting behind a green table sitting on a green chair. Same for my Pegoretti racing bike. And my favourite Susan Bijl bags have a slice of green. Saves a lot of decision stress.

Which music have you been listening to recently?
Dinosaur jr last night in the Paradiso, my ears are still ringing. Pentangle this morning downstairs and Aphex Twin has been on the stereo in this room for the last couple of days.

What is your biggest loss?
Recently my camera, a nice small Sony everyone seems to like, it was gone at the end of a bike ride between Rotterdam and Hoofdplaat. Same camera once drowned in a Susan Bijl bag, carrying a camera and a water bottle together is a bad idea. It proved the bags are pretty water proof.

What is your ultimate destination?
The hippie dream, a world with love, peace and understanding (Elvis is right).

Follow Carlos on Instagram.
Photography: Jan Bijl

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