This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Next Big Thing in Luggage

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. ( MainStreet) -- If you've paid attention while walking the airport terminal recently, you've likely noticed luggage no longer looks the way it did 10 years ago, let alone two. From larger metallic hard-sided traveling bags to carry-on trollies that glide effortlessly on four wheels, luggage trends seems to move at a swifter speed these days, like mainstream fashion. That could mean you'll be swapping out your luggage a lot more often in the future.

The arrival of Tumi (TUMI) on the NYSE drew attention to its highly versatile premium luggage, a staple of business commuters and luxury travelers. Long known for its utilitarian black bags of ballistic canvas, the brand has expanded its accessories to include wallets and sunglasses. It's also grown its aristocratic Townhouse Collection, originally designed by David Choo, to include the pricier Arrive. Arrive features chrome detailing, calfskin trim and HTLS Polyester fabric and can turn heads in a Holiday Inn without turning up noses at the Plaza Athenee.

A revived Mode Creation Munich, owned by Korea's Sungjoo Group, may be making fashion's new it bag.

Recently Tumi debuted its Dror for Tumi collection, designed by Dror Benshetrit of New York-based Studio Dror. It includes staple pieces from hard-sided packing cases and carry-ons to backpacks and messenger bags priced from $495 to $795. Its Dror Extended Trip Packing Case, available in onyx-colored polycarbonate, offers a four-wheel design with patented expandability via a series of spring hinges that can take the bag to 14 inches from nine. The bag appeals especially to business travelers who need a carry-on that can grow throughout a trip, avoiding the need for an entirely different bag.

Tumi has faced growing competition in recent years from Germany's Rimowa Luggage, a staple on almost any baggage carousel these days identifiable by its sleek aluminum and polycarbonate four-wheel design. With its price tag between $395 and $595, the bag has an affordable appeal with an array of designer options, including the super-lightweight Salsa Air, Salsa Deluxe, Topas and Bolero collections. The bags come in a variety of colors, from bubbly Prosecco to futuristic Ultraviolet and Titanium, and have limited five-year warranties and a unique hotel repair program in which select hotels worldwide offer 24-hour repairs right in the building.

Those looking to discover the next Louis Vuitton or Prada need look no further than MCM, the resurgent Mode Creation Munich brand (formerly Michael Cromer Munich) born in Germany in 1976 and once as fashionable and recognizable as the LV logo. A wane in popularity after its '80s heyday led its ultimate sale to Korea's Sungjoo Group, the manager of Asian licensee agreements with brands such as Gucci, YSL and Sonia Rykiel. Since 2005, Sungjoo has revamped the ailing MCM in a big way with its logo, inspired by King Ludwig I, and signature pieces recently sported by style icons from Dita Von Teese to Justin Bieber. It looks to be fashion's new it bag.

With more than 70 stores worldwide and U.S. outpost inside New York's Plaza Hotel, MCM has expanded to include not just hard-sided trunks and luxury travel goods but a full line of handbags, select apparel and handful of footwear options, including a showstopper men's high-top sneaker designed by Michael Michalsky. Look for additional seasonal standouts such as a chunky monogram backpack (updated with black leather trim and stud embellishment) or men's Jet Setter Weekender Bag (with generous sizing and monogrammed leather available in charcoal gray or brown) -- it'll put buyers a step ahead of the usual fashion names for 2012.

For those preferring more steadfast fashion labels, Louis Vuitton has no shortage of luxury bag options for the season, from its collection of hard-sided, rolling and soft-sided travel bags. Their collection of hard-sided luggage offers a timeless travel statement that, while perhaps the prettiest bag you'll find on the market, is also one of the priciest: It costs from $4,200 to $7,950. Their soft-sided bags, such as the Pegase 60 ($3,900), offer two color choices for monogrammed canvas, a two-position handle and an easy-to-attach protective sleeve that keeps the bag clean while in commercial airline transit.

And for those who scoff at any luggage piece that can be bought at your local high-end mall, there's Dutch-made Henk, available at Harrod's enviable Luggage Shop in London. Their bespoke bags include the Attache Case and made-to-order Travelfriend. They come with a choice of calfskin leathers imprinted in crocodile or ostrich motif and interiors ranging from zebra-print leather to Prussian horsehair and a high-tech fiber that can be polished off with a sterling silver accessory button (for an extra $1,543). With a price tag on par with a subcompact car (from $38,618, depending on your options), the luggage lives up to its promise to be "the ultimate carrying experience."

Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,491.79 -186.91 -1.06%
S&P 500 2,041.91 -15.18 -0.74%
NASDAQ 4,718.2250 -53.5380 -1.12%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs