x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Graffiti-chic shakes up stodgy luggage

The Life: Have bag must travel is an old concept, now a company is cutting a niche selling 'the' bag for business travellers.

US-based manufacturer, Tumi, recently launched a range of business travel suitcases adorned with colourful graffiti, designed by New York urban artist John ìCrashî Matos. Photo courtesy Tumi
US-based manufacturer, Tumi, recently launched a range of business travel suitcases adorned with colourful graffiti, designed by New York urban artist John ìCrashî Matos. Photo courtesy Tumi

If you are a regular business traveller, "graffiti" and "suitcase" are probably two words you do not envision in the same sentence. It is possible that a valet has never uttered the words: "May I carry your graffiti-chic suitcase, sir?"

That is, until now. Tumi, a US manufacturer of luggage, backpacks and bags, recently launched a range of business travel suitcases adorned with colourful graffiti designed by the New York urban artist John "Crash" Matos.

Crash grew up in the South Bronx and began his art career at the tender age of 13, spray-painting subway cars and dilapidated buildings. His art has been described as a "visual link" between street life and the rest of society.

Aside from the irony of having someone called Crash design suitcases for travel by planes, trains and cars, does the business traveller want to turn up to that important meeting looking as if he had a run-in with paint-wielding vandals?

Tumi clearly thinks there is a market here. The company's launch of the graffiti suitcases coincided with its support of Art Dubai in March. Crash has designed four suitcase styles, and only 1,000 pieces of each style have been produced, as well as a one-of-a-kind iPhone case.

"The professional business traveller is seeking accessories that will seamlessly combine the ultimate in functionality, quality and design," a spokesman for Tumi said.

Whether you are going off on a long holiday, a weekend or a day-trip, the company has the graffiti-adorned case for you. The collection includes a 20-inch international carry-on, a 25-inch medium case and a 29-inch extended-trip case.

They do not come cheap though, with the smallest size packing a punch at Dh2,385 (US$649).

Lucky then, that no one is likely to steal it.

The Quote: "People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish. But that’s only if it’s done properly." artist Banksy

rjones@thenational.ae