The singer liked a backpack company from his hometown so much that he's not only an investor, but he's now a designer for them as well. While his face
won't be on the Ful (pronounced fuel) line, his name will be associated with at least one new model, called the JT.
The latest line of Ful backpacks won't be in stores until the end of the year (the target date is December 31 to coincide with Timberlake's tour). But to give the line some advance buzz, the company placed the Beale Street "flow bag" in the movie "Hustle & Flow," since it was filmed in Memphis. Timberlake isn't slated to do any ads — yet — but he's going to debut a special collection called "powered by Ful" at his William Rast fashion show in Los Angeles on October 17.
Timberlake has been involved with Ful since the company's inception, when one of the company's founders, Al Gossett, supplied the cars for Timberlake's "Down Home in Memphis - One Night Only" TV special in 2003. Gossett, who later became the brand's managing partner, wanted to create a backpack that was technologically savvy and fashion-forward. The company's motto? "Create quality bags ... for individuals who believe in living life to the fullest."
With Timberlake's input, then, one variety became more like a briefcase or a messenger bag, with laptop protection and audio ports, while another is more like a gym bag with water-bottle sleeves and basketball/soccer ball storage. And yet another comes with a vertical board carrier, for extreme athletes.
Whatever the make within Ful's four collections — Core (which includes the Beale Street and JT models), Urban (which converts to a messenger bag), Active (sports) and Extreme (extreme sports) — Timberlake wanted the backpacks to create less stress for their wearers. He especially liked how the back-panel cushion combines airflow pockets with a rigid EVA foam padding, which offers protection for electronic devices. Every model features contour shoulder straps and compartments for other essentials, such as CDs, MP3 players, organizers, cell phones and laptop computers.