It was a hot and humid day in Kuala Lumpur, signs that it was surely going to rain. And rain it did—so hard that we couldn’t even cross the street from our hotel to the Pavilion mall, where Tumi had set up the presentation for their fall 2018 collection. From the top of the steps leading down to the luxury shopping center’s atrium, it was a surprise to see what appeared to be a huge makeshift rustic shed outfitted with shelves and furniture that displayed all kinds of bags, from pouches and totes to backpacks and suitcases. And at the very back was a raised platform with a casual living area complete with couches, a coffee table, and a fireplace (albeit a faux one)! Welcome to the Tumi Scandinavian Lodge.
On hand to welcome guests into the lodge was Adam Hershman, general manager of Tumi in Greater China and head of regional distribution and travel retail sales. Before the evening’s big launch party, he toured the group of Philippine media and discussed the new pieces in the, yes, Scandinavian Collection. “Every season, our creative director Victor Sanz and his design team in New York City are inspired by different places in the world,” begins Hershman. “Last season, it was California. This season, the inspiration is Scandinavia.” He points out that the lodge is a physical representation of that design inspiration—the structure itself, the architectural elements, the furniture, the colors, and, of course, the products. “When you come into the lodge, we want you to experience the products and the inspiration behind it.”
The Scandinavian aesthetic is marked by simplicity, functionality, and minimalism, features found in the new collection. However, the pieces are also true to the Tumi DNA of travel bags that combine high design, high function, and high performance. “Tumi has always been focused on making products for people who are often on the go,” states Hershman. “What we provide consumers meets their needs—both design and aesthetic needs, as well as functional and performance needs.”
To emphasize this, Hershman picks up what appears to be a typical backpack until he explains its unique features. “One of the great things about Tumi is that we continue to innovate and elevate the things that we do. Take, for example, our Tahoe collection, which has a more youthful and fashionable inspiration, but at the same time doesn’t lose any of the qualities from a functional and performance standpoint,” he says, while unzipping a bottom compartment to reveal a water-resistant rain cover. “In this part of the world it rains a lot, so people are excited about this feature.” He also shows off a reflective strip, which becomes necessary when going out at night. “This technology is similar to those used by running companies for their active wear.”
A line worth noting is Voyageur for women. “We’re relaunching this collection with updated designs to make them more contemporary and more fashionable, but without losing that high quality standard,” says Hershman. The fall assortment, ideal for daily commutes, weekend getaways, or long trips, gets an unexpected jolt of pink, as well as an edgy yet feminine floral print. The spacious backpacks feature organizational slots, zip pockets, padded compartments, and a quick-access phone pocket. Plus it has a locking zipper pull for extra security, a must especially for travel, and playful details such as studs and chains (also found in select crossbody bags).
A line just launched in the region is Latitude. “This is the lightest luggage collection that Tumi has ever made. This carry-on is only 2.8kg,” says Hershman, as he easily lifts the small silver suitcase. “It’s design-oriented but at the same time is incredibly light and scratch-resistant. The material is special—it’s a proprietary material to Tumi called SRPP ballistic, a polypropylene-based material that is very unique.” Even the wavy-patterned texture of the suitcase is reminiscent of the ballistic nylon’s weave. The 19 Degree collection also has a similar texture and comes in exciting new colors and prints.
Tumi is located at Greenbelt 5, Shangri-La Plaza, Solaire Resort & Casino, Ayala Center Cebu; and is available at select The Travel Club stores. For more info, follow @tumitravel on Instagram