Gavin Lodge: Designing a Diaper Bag for Dad

Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists


Gavin Lodge, a Broadway veteran, stay-at-home-father of two boys, and writer, recently founded E.C. Knox, an accessory company that designs baby gear for stylish dads. He and his partner worked with Worldwide Surrogacy to finalize the surrogacy process with their first son ?now a happy, healthy first grader.

The Ellison Diaper Bag is now available for pre-order at Barneys New York.

Parenting is always an exercise in dealing with unexpected challenges; gay parenting is that and more. Thank goodness being a gay father today is less a novelty today than ten years ago. Hats off to the pioneers who paved the way.

Nevertheless, there are unexpected assumptions people make that could easily get my dander up. Quite often, I'd have my kiddo hanging from my chest in a Babybj��rn while at the playground, doctor visits or mid-day grocery runs and people would smile and admire that I was giving my wife a break. "Oh, what a cutie. Is it Mom's day off?"

At first, I was annoyed and defensive in these circumstances. But I got over that. It's an innocent assumption to make.

It might sound strange, but a diaper bag, and reclaiming my sense of style, helped me get through these encounters. Let me explain.

Around the time Vicki was helping to finalize the adoption of my son (conceived through surrogacy) with my partner, I really wanted a diaper bag that established me as a proud father fully engaged in his new role, but still with a sense of style (despite the exhaustion evident in the bags under my eyes).

I figured some designer had to have a slick diaper bag that would appeal to me. But, no?not even Jack Spade had what I sought. We had to compromise with a bag instead that said, "This is the most masculine design I could find that wasn't quilted or flowery."

It just wasn't my aesthetic. I wasn't proud to carry it around, and it didn't represent me as the proud parent I really was.

I wanted to declare to the world, "I'm a proud new papa, and I've got style. I care about how I look on the playground and in a business meeting."

After a few more years, and a second child's birth, I finally decided that I might as well just start my own company.

So I did. I designed a diaper bag.

ellison diaper bag ec knox gavin lodge
ellison diaper bag ec knox gavin lodge 2

Whether you're a mom or dad, or expecting to be one, find that thing that gives you confidence and helps you remember your identity. To me, that's part of being a confident parent. Designing, and wearing my bag, now picked up by Barney's, helps me tell everyone I meet, "I love being a parent with style and pride." 

I hope to impart this sentiment to my children; if there's nothing already there that fits who you are, then make it yourself.

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