It’s been a whole 80 years since Rimowa revolutionised the world of travel by using aluminium for the first time to craft lightweight luggage.
Inspired by the early days of aviation, the emblematic Rimowa aluminium luggage has become a travel icon. So to mark the 80th anniversary of its design, Rimowa has released a campaign retracing the history of the case and the stories of well-known owners who never leave without it.
They even produced this intriguing video showing exactly how a Rimowa luggage case is created – showing how it takes some 205 components and over 90 work processes to make each case at the Cologne factory:
Out of the ashes
Chance and circumstance combined to give birth to the Rimowa aluminium suitcase in the 1930s. After a fire at the Rimowa factory, the only surviving material was a piece of metal, sparking the idea of designing a piece of luggage made of lightweight, robust aluminium.
The instantly-recognisable design released in 1932 was subsequently produced in a smaller model, becoming a must for travellers the world over. In 1976, waterproof cases were developed, protecting delicate equipment from water, humidity, heat and cold, making Rimowa a favourite among filmmakers, photographers and all manner of adventurers.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary in 2017, the brand created the colourful case design we have featured at the top of this story, inviting friends of the Maison to present their own personal aluminium luggage and share stories of their travels.
Among them are designer Karl Lagerfeld, director David Fincher, journalist Carine Roitfeld, three-star Michelin chef Massimo Bottura and Virgil Abloh, creator of the Off-White brand.
The documentary film was shot by Dan Tobin at the Rimowa luggage headquarters in Cologne, Germany.
Rimowa is now a subsidiary of Louis Vuitton.