Black Ember, a lifestyle brand specializing in obsessively designed and crafted backpacks for the active urban nomad, names rygr, an integrated marketing firm, the company’s public relations agency of record in the United States.

A direct-to-consumer upstart rooted in San Francisco, Black Ember deals with the intersection of urban lifestyle and technical backpack design. Black Ember backpacks are inspired by the outdoors and built for life in the city, blending clean, modern aesthetics, premium performance textiles and intuitive functionality. Collectively, Black Ember designers have been building performance softgoods, hardgoods and technical equipment for over 60 years.

“Design innovation is Black Ember’s driving force, so we’ve always hedged success against the quality of our products,” said Grace Hwang, general manager at Black Ember. “While that bet has largely paid off, rygr’s communications expertise will amplify the Black Ember brand by helping us reach new customers in expanded markets.”

In 2014, Black Ember successfully launched production of the company’s first backpack model, with the help of 1,200 backers on Kickstarter. Black Ember remains committed to crowdfunding and direct-to-consumer sales, most recently launching the all-new CITADEL collection, which has eclipsed $150,000 in pre-sales, smashing the funding goal of $25,000.

“Black Ember has cultivated a devoted following on the strength of its attention to detail in design and construction,” said Brian Holcombe, principal at rygr. “Partnering with Black Ember offers rygr the unique opportunity to work with a young, high-quality brand to capitalize on healthy momentum and actualize its potential.”s