Behind the HYPE: How Rimowa Transformed the Travel Suitcase Into the Ultimate Luxury Staple

Rimowa transcends luggage with aesthetic and functional designs trusted by affluent jet setters.

Design 
11,640 Hypes

Across its collection of duffles, backpacks and suitcases, Rimowa’s subtle, sophisticated aesthetic — recognized by a unique, grooved shell — has transcended ordinary luggage styles, becoming a coveted accessory for discerning travelers.

Brought to you by the All-Electric Acura ZDX, the latest installment of Behind the HYPE investigates the rise of luxury luggage and travel brand Rimowa. Founded in Cologne, Germany, in 1898 by suitcase-maker Paul Morszeck and Heinrich Görtz, Rimowa started as a manufacturing company specializing in wood trunks.

In 1937, a factory fire compelled Rimowa to swap its wood construction for aluminum. Morszeck developed a range of sleek, compact aluminum travel cases, emphasizing their durable functionality and lightweight transport. Later, in 1950, Rimowa would introduce its now-iconic striations, a motif inspired by the world’s first all-metal passenger aircraft and a nod to a new era of aerodynamic travel accessories. The 2000s ushered in another period of innovation, as the brand launched polycarbonate cases — a hardwearing resin material, otherwise known as plastic — prompting competitors to follow suit.

For the average consumer, Rimowa offerings boast a hefty price tag (a standard luggage item starts at $900 USD and upward); brand loyalists, on the other hand, perceive Rimowa as an investment purchase, complete with a lifetime guarantee of repairs. Affluent jet setters gravitate to the Cabin, Check-In and Trunk silhouettes for their seamless mobility and proprietary multi-wheel system, swearing by the product’s ability to navigate airport-style mazes. Customization options and various colorways also cater to fashionable consumers looking to curate a distinguished travel set.

Rimowa has maintained its reputation as a purveyor of stylish, easy-to-transport luggage, adapting to consumer demands by reinventing signature designs with a modern visual language. The brand’s cool factor, in particular, is traced back to crossover collaborations in fashion, cementing its cultural cache and enviable status. In 2008, Rimowa and Off-White™ debuted a transparent carry-on suitcase at HYPEFEST, followed by a second collaboration including Off-White’s iconic yellow strap. Supreme’s Tomas suitcases stayed true to both brands’ DNA, featuring all-red and jet-black colorways stamped with white “Supreme” lettering; a subsequent collection debuted an all-over spider web graphic. Palace reinterpreted the Rimowa legacy through a printed suitcase and co-branded skateboard deck.

Another noteworthy mention is Tiffany and Co.’s collaborative jewelry and travel cases, released in 2023, which featured a visually stunning mirrored motif inspired by the cut of a diamond and interiors fashioned with Tiffany Blue velvet lining.

Rimowa’s svelte design ethos stands out across these collaborations, showcasing an ability to orbit in high and low fashion spheres as a canvas for some of today’s most notable streetwear brands. The Rimowa collection has been spotted in the wild by celebrities like Rihanna, New Zealand-Korean singer Rosé, former Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, British racing driver Lewis Hamilton and French footballer Kylian Mbappé.

In 2022, Rimowa established its presence in the art world during a moving exhibition titled “As Seen By,” which held public viewings in Shanghai, Miami, Paris and beyond. The showcase, including projects by artists Devon Ojas, Sean Brown and Nicole McLaughlin, debuted 60 artworks that reimagined the functionality and format of Rimowa luggage, from sculptural cases to speakers, chairs and shorts.

Learn more about Rimowa’s brand history in the video above. Tune into other Behind the HYPE episodes here for all news related to fashion and entertainment.

In other news, Acura introduces its most powerful SUV to date: the all-electric ZDX. Its precision cockpit design draws inspiration from Formula 1 and the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, delivering a modern cabin experience. The ZDX features a Bang & Olufsen® sound system, DC Fast Charging capability and a high-performing Type S model with an estimated 500 horsepower. Additional highlights include a panoramic roof, Jewel Eye® LED Headlights, AcuraWatch® 360+ Advanced Safety and Driver Assistance Technology.

Acura revs to the future with the electric ZDX, embodying the same design ethos that brought you electrified supercars and multiple IMSA championships.

To learn more about the ZDX, visit Acura’s website.

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