To mark RIMOWA’s 125th birthday, Roger Federer has donated his favourite piece of RIMOWA luggage (dents and dings and all) to be displayed at the iconic luxury luggage brand’s travelling exhibition, “SEIT 1898”, which heads from Tokyo to New York in September (8th to 17th) and then to the company’s hometown of Cologne in May 2024.
Featuring over 100 cases from its archives and friends of the brands like Patti Smith, Takashi Murakami, Pharrell Williams, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Billie Eilish, the retrospective showcases how the brand’s evolution.
Diorama displays are the centrepieces to the touring expo’ which also features collaborations with brands like Off-White, Porsche and Dior, pop culture artifacts like the briefcase from Mission Impossible IV and special purpose pieces such as poker sets, wine carriers, Stradivarius violin and tennis racquet carriers which have made RIMOWA into “a cult mobility brand.”
RIMOWA was founded on the recognition that great ambitions demand resilient companions. In 1937, RIMOWA introduced aviation-inspired aluminium into the manufacture of its suitcases, an idea that revolutionised the industry and resulted in their iconic grooved aluminium design.
In 2000, it debuted of a polycarbonate suitcase. In 2017, RIMOWA joined LVMH and, three years later, it launched Never Still, a collection of bags. RIMOWA combines a legacy of craftsmanship with the rigours of modern technology.
Emelie de Vitis, Senior Vice President of Product & Marketing at RIMOWA, says:
“It’s an example of the power of consistency over time. From the beginning, it was upheld that RIMOWA would be meticulous in its craftsmanship, and that it would simultaneously be an innovative brand that adapts to changes in travel habits no matter how expansive. That’s unique.”
SEIT 1898 highlights century-old designs (that were originally conceived by the company’s founder, Paul Morszeck, for car travel) next to recent, hyper-modern concepts, such as an aluminium case reimagined by the artist Fabian Bergmark Näsman with a thicket of polished, protruding “horns.”
The Bergmark Näsman piece is part of Rimowa’s “As Seen By” series, in which creatives are approached to interpret Rimowa items or raw materials as they wish, and which, as well, has its own dedicated section in the show. While the pieces from “As Seen By” are editorialised and not exactly practical for “travel habits,” they make for engaging artworks.
One diorama is dedicated to polycarbonate, the lightweight and tough (and more affordable) composite the company believes to be a well-suited material for our evermore interconnected world. De Vitis adds that, where alloy and plastics are concerned, SEIT 1898 serves as a deep wellspring for innovations and activations that lie ahead.
“We’re making considerable efforts towards sustainability at RIMOWA. Among them is our pre-loved luggage program called Re-Crafted, a circular model that focuses on reusing, repairing, and recycling suitcases.”
For more information on RIMOWA luggage, please visit: www.rimowa.com.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photograph courtesy of RIMOWA