Heritage Gear: Wearable School Pride at Luxury Levels

by | Sep 2023

U of M Tote from Heritage Gear

Photo: Heritage Gear

Heritage Gear is redefining wearable school pride with luxury accessories.

Nostalgia. It spurs us—to call a longtime friend to reminisce, to revisit significant places in our history or to purchase items that in one glance bring memories flooding back.

That feeling is at the heart of Heritage Gear, an Edina-based luxury accessories company focused on university and NFL-branded products.

“While many of us were only [at college] for four years, there’s lots of great lore and personal memories associated with that,” says Greg Heinemann, founder of Heritage Gear. “That’s really critical to the DNA of what we’re trying to create. People weave their own stories around the product.”

Heinemann has been in the business of building brands for decades. His foray into the world of accessories is reflective of his eye for fashion, interest in consumer research and connections to his own alma maters: University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Notre Dame, where his research into bookstore buying habits resulted in this enterprise.

“I was over at Hammes [Notre Dame] Bookstore, and I noticed there was virtually nothing that someone could buy that was special or nice or didn’t say Under Armour on it,” Heinemann says.

Along with several business partners—and after four years of research and development—Heinemann partnered with six universities to launch Heritage Gear’s licensed university accessories in 2021. “Notre Dame got behind it and put it in the bookstore, as did University of Minnesota, and it took off,” he says.

Heritage Gear is now licensed with the NFL and has partnered with nearly 40 colleges and universities.

“If I get on an airplane with one of our bags, people will ask me, ‘Where did you get that bag? Can I buy that bag? Can I buy your bag?’ and there’s a reason for that,” he says.

The company’s signature bags—all-wool and leather weekender duffels and totes—are made from sustainably sourced raw wool from American Woolen Co. in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and Horween leather. All bags are manufactured in the United States and find their way to Heritage Gear’s Edina warehouse before being delivered to their new homes.

“Sustainability goes right down to … the raw product itself and how it’s raised and taken care of, the manufacturing facilities and how they treat and manage labor,” he says.

The bags range in price from $300–$600 and are a legacy purchase, meant to be passed down through the generations. “This isn’t about fast-fashion. We build these bags to be able to create a patina around them over time, and it’s something you can hand down to somebody else,” Heinemann says. Other products include Merino scarves, candles and leather luggage tags—with more product sectors and partnerships in the works.

“We’re trying to create something that’s done really well with really good intent, that people feel great about getting and about giving,” Heinemann says.

Outfit your Student

Ski-U-Mah! University of Minnesota was one of the first universities to partner with Heritage Gear. Take a look at some of these legacy accessories.

University of Minnesota “M” Weekender – $595
This duffel bag is made with Melton wool, a classic chenille “M” patch, full-grain leather and double-lock stitching.

University of Minnesota “Ski U Mah” Tote – $295
This is the perfect bag for daily use. Made with sustainably sourced Melton wool and leather.

Maroon and Gold Cashmere Wrap – $250
Look and feel your best on game day with this 100 percent cashmere wrap.

Looking for Heritage Gear products from another university or team? Head to heritagegear.com to shop their current partnerships. Products also available at Twill in the Galleria and MartinPatrick3 in Minneapolis.

Heritage Gear
Facebook: Heritage Gear
Instagram: @heritagegearofficial


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