With sustainability one of the biggest trends influencing luggage design of tomorrow, Globetrender speaks with Victor Sanz, creative director of Tumi, about how the company is turning plastic bottles into yarn, and why he takes design inspiration from aerospace and automotive industries.

What are the most innovative suitcases Tumi has released in recent times?

With every collection, we set out to find innovations that will resonate with our customers. With some of our most recent launches such as Latitude, we set out to provide the lightest weight collection to-date, while continuing to maintain our rigorous standards of quality and durability.

Additionally, sustainability is a concept that has always been woven into everything we do at Tumi, and with the introduction of our recycled materials such as plastic bottles that have been melted down and spun into yarn, we are taking the next step in pushing that agenda forward.

We constantly seek out new opportunities to increase the sustainability of our products by using more responsible and environmentally-friendly materials.

What exciting new materials are you working with?

Tumi prides itself on being a leader in the travel lifestyle category not only through the products we create but also through the materials we use, such as SRPP (Self-Reinforced Poly-Propylene), aluminium, ballistic nylon and carbon fibre.

We are constantly looking outside of our own industry, such as the aerospace and automotive industries, to incorporate the latest and greatest materials into our products.

What are travellers of tomorrow demanding from their luggage?

Travel has become fashionable again in recent years. It is a standard in business and in life, so customers are looking for those pieces that become an extension of their persona and serve more than just a utilitarian purpose.

Customers have also been interested in super lightweight pieces, which we’ve answered with new travel collection launches – Latitude in 2017 and, most recently, V4.

What kinds of tech innovations can we look forward to?

Tumi products are built to last so we are always ensuring that the technology we incorporate into them is the most modern technology available. For example, we’ve incorporated power into our Alpha 3 Collection via an integrated USB port that can be connected to your own powerbank.

How long does it typically take to design and bring a suitcase to market?

Typically, 12 months or less but it is really dependant on the collection. At times, we need to create new manufacturing processes in order to bring our designs to life, so that may take a bit longer from initial design to point of sale.

How many different design projects do you have on-going at any one time?

Too many to count. We are constantly being inspired through our travels and by the people we meet to create new designs, collections and techniques.

What is your best-selling case?

The Alpha 3 Continental Dual Access Carry On.

What are you looking to bring to luggage design in the new decade? Where is Tumi heading as a brand?

As we look forward, we always keep our customers at the forefront. Understanding how their lives are changing and evolving, and how best we can bring products to market that can make their journeys as seamless as possible. We never stop challenging ourselves, thinking of new and creative designs.

Who is your target audience and has this changed at all in recent years?

For us, our target audience is anyone that is on the go. We want to ensure that our products can be enjoyed by multiple generations and distinct lifestyles. Over the years, the business traveller has evolved and changed, and we have evolved with them, providing more fashion forward products while continually providing a fully featured assortment.

What three trends do you think will have the biggest impact on travel in 2020 and beyond?

Sustainability – not only from a materials standpoint but also from a longevity standpoint, plus  lightweight materials, and the seamless integration of tech and fashion.

What do you always make sure you have in your suitcase when you go away?

I always travel with my design kit, sunglasses, wireless ear buds, Tumi powerbanks and packing cubes.

Download Globetrender’s free 2020 Travel Trend Forecast here.