Travelling is one of the best ways to relax. But at the beginning of every vacation is the dreaded task of packing your luggage! In this interview, TUMI's Creative Director Victor Sanz supplies us with some words of wisdom on packing and choosing the right suitcase.
How do I choose the right luggage?
You should really start by looking at where you are going and what you’re going to be doing there. If it’s strictly for business, your needs are going to be different than if you’re going there to experience the city, the culture and do some shopping. You should not only think about what you’re bringing there, but what you’re also going to bring home.
I travel a lot, but I’m often on a budget. What's the worst that can happen if I choose a poor quality piece of luggage?
The worst thing that can happen when you’re going on a trip is to have a bad experience. You always want to make any trip an adventure and you always want to make sure that it is a positive and happy experience. We at TUMI strive to create products that make travelling as pleasant and efficient as possible; we retest our products and we continue to push the envelope on how to perfect your journey so you don’t have to worry about issues with your luggage.
How do you adapt your designs to appeal to different audiences e.g. age, location, lifestyle?
We spend a lot of time looking at our current customers and potential new customers on a global level, not just from one region. What we have found is that customers are becoming more globalized than ever before, as are the trends, so we strive to make sure our products appeal to the largest group of people and ensure we are meeting their varied lifestyles and needs.
I'm hopelessly disorganized. What are your best packing tips?
In many of our Core products, such as Alpha 2 and Alpha Bravo, we take a lot of the stress of organization out of the picture by offering many pockets with different features —whether it’s for a water bottle, a phone, a laptop or an iPad, we help to organize your life with our products. We have also developed packing cubes, which help you to organize your daily outfits or simply separate delicates from heavier items.
What's the most important aspect to consider when designing a piece of luggage? What is your thought process?
The most important aspect is always the customer—who is going to be using it? We always think about their needs first—how they’re travelling, what they’re going to be carrying with them, what their pain points are and how to mitigate those. That’s where we start every design process. And from there, we just create the best product we possibly can.
How do you choose the right material and design to create a strong and long-lasting piece of luggage?
Innovation has always been a hallmark of TUMI, and we are always looking outside of our industry for the latest and greatest material. We’re looking for the lightest and strongest materials that are going to make great travel goods. Whether its SRPP material, aluminium, polycarbonate or ballistic nylon, these are all the types of materials that we know are going to withstand the rigors of travel.
Does TUMI have security measures in place to keep my case and belongings safe? How do security issues impact your design work?
We always strive to make the most secure product—we work closely with the TSA to ensure we meet size and weight regulations, and we’ve incorporated TUMI ID Lock lining into our bags to protect against identity theft. We also designed pockets that allow for easy-access by the wearer, but are difficult for anyone else to access.
What makes luggage fashionable? What stylistic touches have you added to your collection?
The current trend with luggage is that it is becoming more of a fashion accessory than just “a bag” - customers want to be able to use a product that is both fashionable and functional. Each season we develop a colour palette and set of prints inspired by a destination, and fuse these graphics into the various assortments that make up the TUMI collection. We’ve also incorporated innovative materials, such as aluminium, into designs for a sleek new look.
For my inner geek: how do you design? i.e. hand sketch, 3D modelling, 3D printing, digital simulations, etc.?
All of the above but the fastest way is still pen to paper. As the world develops we develop with it, so we use the best technology we can for the design process.
If you are in the dilemma of choosing the right suitcase, then drop by one of the TUMI shops. Chances are you might find the perfect luggage that'll take some stress off of the packing process.
TUMI Shop List
Shop B6-7, Basement, Landmark, Central
(852) 2869 7488
Shop 2010, Podium Level 2, IFC Mall, Central, HK
(852) 2790 1912
Shop 142, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
(852) 2918 4688
Shop 323B, L3, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
(852) 2113 2704
Lane Crawford, Times Square, Causeway Bay
(852) 2113 2602
Shop 5-20C, 5/F, Sogo Department Store, Causeway Bay
(852) 2831 3996
Unit G-30, Festival Walk, Kowloon
(852) 2157 0251
Interviewed by Vivien Au