As Jerry Delgado sees it, there are two problems when it comes to guys and bags. On the one hand, there are the minimalists—“I see guys going to work on the subway with their hands in the pockets, and think, where is all their stuff? How do they go to the gym after work? Where are their phone chargers?” On the other hand, there’s the “open abyss” of work, gym or travel bags that are great at helping you schlep sneakers and a water bottle, but do a terrible job corralling smaller items like earbuds. Not to mention, what are you supposed to do when you’re at an event and need mints, hair cream and sunglasses?
Delgado saw an opportunity—and in early 2018, Delgado NYC, was born.
When he was growing up in Texas in the ‘80s, Delgado got an early education in fashion from his mom and grandmother, watching them sew and joining them at the local fabric store to pick out material. He toyed with the idea of studying design in college, but, for “a boy growing up in a small town in Texas, it wasn’t an accepted career path,” he says. So he ended up majoring in advertising and working in financial services marketing—yet his love for art and design stuck. Years later, he asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. The first thing he made: a bag.
The rectangular pouch—about 8″ across—was ideal for stashing Delgado’s “daily junk,” and, with its bright colors and stripes, was a fun contrast to the larger, more conservative-looking bag Delgado carried around (he stashes his pouch inside the bigger bag). It was also a conversation piece, and as the positive comments ratcheted up, he started making similar bags for friends. Finally, last March, he officially set up shop and started selling—a move that’s been both a creative outlet and side hustle.
Delgado NYC’s collection now includes 27 pieces, most of which are 7″ or 9″ zipped pouches, aka Gado Bags. They’re sleek and simple, with colors ranging from army green to neon pink. And Delgado combines an assortment of fabrics and leathers with high-quality zippers to make the bags durable and dependable. The most popular bag is the Camouflage Leather Gado bag, an all-leather camouflage bag with bright orange liner. Thanks to a significant number of orders coming in via Facebook and Instagram, Delgado has a good idea of who his customers are: they’re aged 25 to 45, and evenly split between male and female.
It’s not surprising that the bags are also a hit among groomsmen, who are often responsible for holding onto some very important items, like print-outs of speeches and vows, rings, tissues, antacids, ibuprofen, you get the idea. Delgado says he’s spent hours searching online, and has found similar bags, but most are missing at least one of three key features: style, quality and a reasonable price (Delgado’s bags range from $78 to $148).
Although he started out in New York, where he lived for 15 years, Delgado now lives in Dallas. He’s currently making all the bags himself in his home studio; however, he plans on expanding locally by employing passionate sewing professionals to make bags in the comfort of their own homes. Delgado’s husband, Christopher Donnelly, helps with the business end of things.
What’s new this season? Responding to customer requests, Delgado recently started selling a “Chest Bag” with a strap, which can be worn a number of ways (even as a fanny pack). And a tote bag is coming soon. Delgado NYC bags can be found on Amazon and at DelgadoNYC.com), making them a smart gift for groomsmen. Because in the end, everyone’s got daily junk—whether it’s just another day at the office, or, yes, your wedding day.