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Freitag’s Zurich Headquarters

When you arrive in Zürich, you arrive with a few certainties: The trams will run like clockwork, the city will be spotless, and at least a third of the population, it seems, will be carrying a Freitag messenger bag. During my weeklong stay in Switzerland this spring, the Freitag bag — with its recycled truck-tarp shell, seatbelt strap, and inner-tube edging — began to seem something like a national accessory, strapped across the chests of everyone from students to curators to actual bike messengers. Founded in 1993 by Swiss graphic-design brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag, the company’s headquarters are now located in the middle of the city, near Zürich’s Hardbrücke station and just a stone’s throw from the tiny flat where the brothers sewed their first bag.