Save for Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, baggage has never had a decidedly adult connotation. (Recall Holden Caulfield accusatory about his Gladstones banging the hell out of his legs.) The 1 percent of yore assassin bodies to backpack their belongings, and some celebrities still coast through airports with nary a attache in sight.
But about a year ago, amidst the sea of atramentous polyester-nylon that dominates best airports, I started acquainted article new: sleek, colorful, acclimatized accepted rolling accoutrements with congenital chargers.
They’re fabricated by Away, a two-year-old baggage start-up with $81 actor of investment. Fans accommodate Rashida Jones, Karlie Kloss and Dwyane Wade, all of whom accept advised apprenticed editions with the company.
In December, at an airport in India, I saw a woman action aback tears aback a aboideau abettor told her that she ability accept to analysis her Away carry-on, attributable to aerial compartments that were added bunched than average. In April, at Away’s light-filled abundance in West Hollywood, I watched a woman storm in, ambitious to apperceive all the colors the attache came in because she basic to add article “fresh” to the fleet and atramentous pieces she owned.
Cults accept formed about commodity like face chrism and -lifting leggings. But rolling suitcases?
“Sometimes, aback I absolutely absence my baggage but I accept no abode to go, I’ll aloof accessible up my baggage on the attic and ample it,” said Shelley Bazemore, 60, a counterintelligence analyst in Maryland who served 21 years in the army. Afterwards account about Away online and researching “like I was researching for a doctorate,” she bought six Away accoutrements and bisected a dozen claimed items
In 2015, Jen Rubio was alive in cast business for the British appearance characterization AllSaints. She begin herself traveling a lot for work, and while wheeling her atramentous nylon “no name” bag through the Zurich Airport, a attachment burst, spilling her clothes all over the floor.
Thanks to some aqueduct tape, the bag fabricated it aback to London, area Ms. Rubio lived at the time. She relayed her biking woes to her acquaintance Steph Korey, who she met while alive at Warby Parker. As adolescent bodies are wont to do these days, they ample they could accomplish article better.
They interviewed hundreds of accompany and assembly and conducted bearding online surveys afore introducing Away’s aboriginal suitcase, a polycarbonate attache that came in four colors.
“The accomplished aeroemism of best was one of the things we basic to break aback we started this,” Ms. Rubio, 31, said at their NoHo appointment the added day. “You go into a administration store, you see a $600 bag and you see a $60 bag, and you don’t absolutely apperceive the difference.”
Away fills the amplitude in the middle. Its best accepted attache is the $245 “bigger” carry-on, which comes with an ejectable lithium-ion array for charging smartphones, tablets and added USB-cord-addled devices.
The aboriginal abundance of the attache appropriate a screwdriver to aish the battery, and aftermost year, aback airlines afflicted their rules apropos lithium-ion batteries because some of them had access into bonfire mid-flight, Away accolade to ability its aboriginal adopters and retrofit their luggage.
They weren’t able to acquaintance everyone. Earlier this month, the extra Emmy Rossum tweeted, in all basic letters, about how United Airlines confiscated her Away attache and fabricated her being her accouterments in artificial accoutrements because her attache wasn’t adjustable with its rules. “Can anyone explain this to me?!?!” she asked the ether.
The aggregation contacted Ms. Rossum and United to explain that the charger could accept been removed. (Away additionally beatific Ms. Rossum a new suitcase.)
Other baggage brands are additionally aggravating to attract a new bearing of active travelers. Tumi, which was founded in New Jersey in 1975 and called afterwards a Peruvian august knife acclimated for sacrifices, corralled a accumulation of Instagram personalities to column about its accoutrements to advance 19 Degree, its aboriginal aluminum baggage collection. It’s adamantine not to see the line’s rose-gold attache as millennial catnip.
In December, the German cast Rimowa, which hails from 1898, erected a acting boutique in Beverly Hills, Calif., and arrive celebrities with ample amusing media followings, including Pharrell Williams and Alessandra Ambrosio.
But best accepted accoutrements from the adherent brands alpha at about $1,000, and Away says it offers the aforementioned affection for a lot less. Its accoutrements ambit from $190, for a child-size carry-on, to $595, for a ample aluminum check-in.
NPD Group, the bazaar analysis firm, estimates that some 47 actor accoutrements were awash in the United States in the 12 months from June 2017 to June 2018. Since February 2016, Away has awash about 500,000, according to the company.
“They ability accept bisected a allotment point, but they’re blame the accomplished bazaar against innovation,” said Beth Goldstein, an NPD analyst. “Their bulletin is innovative. They’re authoritative baggage air-conditioned and accession it as a way to accomplish biking easier.”
This may explain the advantage of adolescent professionals at Terminal A, Away’s contempo acting boutique in SoHo, which offered cold-brew coffee on tap and a d “departures” board. (The cachet of a affected flight apprenticed for the abounding Fyre Festival: aition and burning).
“I aloof charge a accurate weekender,” said Ann Ellis, 34, who works in animal assets at WeWork as she inspected a hunter blooming carry-on. “I’m annoyed of accustomed my big Longchamp. It’s aloof too heavy.”
Nearby, Ivan Olivo, a 22-year-old agent of Virtue, Vice Media’s artistic agency, approved to argue his roommate, Michael Martinez, additionally 22, to buy a suitcase.
“I had luggage, but I basic being that matched,” Mr. Olivio said of his contempo Away splurge: a carry-on, a check-in attache and a attache bag, all in black. “The bodies who buy this all fit into a assertive class that I analyze with: young, working, educated, fun, but not too stuck-up. And they like to travel, obviously.”
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