He’s designed airline lounges, business class seats, speed boats and even space jets and personal body jets. So it comes as little surprise that famed Aussie industrial designer Marc Newson has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, the French luxury house that has built its name around the art of travel, on a series of rolling trunks suited to the 21st-century traveller.
Though the international release of the new luggage range is only slated for September, key markets (including Singapore) have begun selling the collection since mid-this month. Already, the likes of super blogger Chiara Ferragni, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner and the always dapper David Beckham have been paparazzi-ed with the Newson-designed luggage in tow.
What makes Newson the right man for the job (apart from a slew of design awards), is the fact that he himself travels every single week of the year. “What compelled me to join forces with Louis Vuitton was the challenge to design a great piece of luggage, because like a lot of people, I travel a lot and I feel that I am in many ways kind of uniquely placed to be able to do that, as a consumer more than a designer,” he says. The result is possibly one of the world’s most advanced luggage on the market.
Three innovations stand out. First is the use of a polypropylene composite shell, which is exceptionally thin, lightweight and shock absorbent. Second is its extendable cane that has been relocated from within to outside of the trunk, allowing for 15 percent more internal capacity and adding strength to the frame. Last but not least, a new built-in transversal side hinge (like those on Vuitton’s traditional hard trunks) allow for 180 degree opening.
Fans of the brand’s travel collection, will note that this marks the first time a Vuitton four-wheeled luggage has a completely flat interior — like the original trunks.
“I think it’s safe to say that we’re striving to break new ground in terms of developing a product which is one of the lightest on the market, and from a technical perspective is one of the most rigorously designed and engineered,” says Newson. “I’m obsessive about packing everything into a bag of a certain size which is why it was so important for me to design a product that could tick all of those boxes and be the kind of the perfect piece of luggage for a person like me that travels and won’t travel with anything more than is absolutely necessary.”
Launched in two sizes — Mini 50 (ideal for a 2-day trip) and Cabin 55 (maximum cabin size) — the suitcases feature cowhide-covered corners and handles like the original trunks and come in the Maison’s iconic Monogram and Damier canvases, VVN leather, Taiga leather and a rainbow of Epi leather.