Reading: RIMOWA – Upwardly Mobile

RIMOWA – Upwardly Mobile

Suitcases so stylish your significant other will want the excess baggage.

We sat down with Franco C., the store manager of the recently opened RIMOWA store in New York City, to talk about design, luxury and real New York. (Warning: Reading this article will result in a serious case of wanderlust).

What makes a RIMOWA suitcase the ultimate luxury?

The quality and workmanship that we put into each piece is unrivalled. The colour selection and the unique design successfully address accessibility and convenience. People always tell me that they get stopped at the airport because fellow travellers want to know where they got that bag.

What should people look for when investing in luggage?

Travellers have diverse requirements: some people need the lightness that polycarbonate offers and for that we recommend our Salsa Air. Then there are those who want the strength of and look of aluminum. They need the solidness of our Topas series.

There are also the people that haven’t travelled as much and worry about checking in their luggage For the first-time RIMOWA customer I recommend our original carry-on.. My personal favourite is in the Topas series in size 53 because it works as an international and domestic as a carry-on piece.

Why is New York City the perfect location for the North American RIMOWA store? What has the response been like?

NYC is the epicentre of travel: The cultural diversity that New York City offers, the arts, the food, the welcoming spirit of the city is the perfect platform for RIMOWA, its heritage and long travel history.

People are glad to see us here; they appreciate the 5-star on-site service and feel more secure purchasing direct from Rimowa than from a third party.

How do the stores design reflect the aesthetic of RIMOWA designs?

The store design mirrors the streamline, sleek design of our products. Our bright open space reflects that vast expanse that travelers come and go to on a daily basis. The brightness at the beginning of the store opens up a world to of destinations. When you travel to the VIP area, the light dims for those searching for relaxation, and a higher level of exclusivity.

Who are your high-end neighbours?

IWC, Links of London, Fendi. Within 2-3 blocks you’ve got some of the best design houses in the world.

Sounds like you’re in good company!

Describe the “typical” New York City shopper and how do they differ from your other locations?

The diversity of clientele and the true New Yorkers that shop at RIMOWA know what they want and when they want it. New Yorkers can be a bit more demanding because they appreciate quality and expect a high level of service. It’s a matter of satisfying them and ensuring that our service is on point

How do you see the brand expanding in NYC over the next 5-10 years?

As Frank Sinatra sings, “If you can make it here, then you can make it anywhere!” The stiffest competition is here in NYC: It is important to solidify RIMOWA as a top luxury brand and our new flagship location raises the bar for everybody. Just the fact that we’re in New York City, one of the greatest city’s in the world if not the greatest city in the world

Spoken like a true New Yorker!

I was born in Jersey but grew up here so I know this city inside out.

Where is the ideal “RIMOWA” traveller going?

From the Amazon to Paris, it’s not one person going to one location. It’s diverse- a nice mix of eclectic, eccentric, fashionable. The ideal traveller really travels worldwide.

How do you adapt/stay ahead of the trends and keep RIMOWA innovative?

We listen to what people want, what people need and their ‘luggage desires.’ We are constantly aware of the travelling trends, such as changes in airline storage facilities, increase in checked baggage fees, etc. We have a new collection coming out soon which is called Onyx, which is part leather part polycarbonate: a truly innovative and luxurious piece, even for the traveller with the entire RIMOWA collection.