Luxury Luggage Brand Rimowa Propelling Into a New Era Ft. Virgil Abloh

The Rimowa X Off-White collaboration is emblematic of a meld of tradition and modernity as Rimowa simultaneously turns 120 years old.

Jun 10, 2018 | By Lynette Kee

Luxury luggage brand Rimowa, particularly renowned among the celebrity jet-set crowd has been propelling LVMH’s digital strategy forward with the son of LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault, Alexandre Arnault at the helm of the luggage label. While the brand is best known for their aluminium suitcases, the younger Arnault is set to push their trope into new cutting-edge heights.

Luxury Luggage Brand Rimowa Propelling to New Heights With A Streamline of Collaboration, Ft. Virgil Abloh

Rimowa is hardly a stranger to high profile collaborations. First was the collaboration with Italian Luxury Fashion House Fendi, then came a partnership with Los Angeles based Anti Social Social Club. But it was the collaboration with the billion-dollar streetwear juggernaut Supreme that catapulted the luggage label into a new era of cultural attachment and relevance. And now, fully equipped with modern, streetwear-savvy sensibilities, Alexandre Arnault is going to launch a partnership with Virgil Abloh’s hautebeast streetwear Off-White.

Just as increasing numbers of luxury brands tap into the business model of streetwear to stay relevant to millennials, Rimowa’s collaboration with Off-White is emblematic of a meld of tradition and modernity as Rimowa simultaneously turns 120 years old.

The outcome of the collaboration: a pair of transparent polycarbonate suitcases. According to Virgil Abloh, the suitcase was made transparent to engage consumers in the designing process (also extremely fitting to the latest transparent fashion trend). By virtue, accessories and fashion statements reflect loudly of our inner desires or personal character. Just like how one would don a tailored suit to feel professional, transparent accessories have the ability to display one’s individuality by the things you put in it, a concept which Abloh understood perfectly.

The premise of the design has seemingly a full potential to blend into the streetwear style to which Arnault said, “Maybe there’s a bit of fatigue from customers of traditional brands and they’re excited by fresh products done in a different way and this is something that’s really well embraced by streetwear,” and “One collaboration in itself won’t be a key sales driver, but ultimately the social media value of them is extremely important for driving awareness and desirability.”

“people are willing to pay a premium if we know a product comes from a trusted brand with quality craftsmanship — that won’t change.”

That is not to say that the merge between luxury and streetwear will take away the entire focus of Rimowa’s brand identity. Arnault understands that quality will remain a long-term marker of authentic luxury goods: “The thing that changed is the way luxury goods are perceived, marketed and distributed,” he explained. “But people are willing to pay a premium if we know a product comes from a trusted brand with quality craftsmanship — that won’t change.”

That said, it is clear (pun intended) that Abloh’s ability to bring his streetwear-infused aesthetics to a luxury luggage brand, is proof of how a brand can remain one part luxury to the preceding generation and yet desirable to the next if done right.

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