I have spent the last year or so living and working in the Philippines, traveling, designing, and becoming acquainted with local textiles and textile patterns. The design that we decided to use for our collaboration with JanSport is inspired by the sails of the "vinta" sailboats used by the Bajau peoples of the southern Philippines and eastern Borneo.
The Bajau live most of their lives on the water and in the past rarely set foot on land. They often live on their boats, or homes built atop stilts in the water, and use the lightweight vintas for the transportation of people and goods between islands. The pattern is a bold and vibrant symbol of these people who exist on the water – a concept counter to majority of the world's population. The pattern symbolizes a lifestyle of rugged individuality that spans centuries and disregards political borders – using the water as a territory in and of itself.