New book unpacks the archives of Rimowa luggage

Cologne-based luggage company Rimowa has been making coveted suitcases and travel accessories since 1898.

Now the company known for signature aluminum cases has teamed up with Rizzoli publishing to create a book documenting 100 years of Rimowa’s products.

RIMOWA: An Archive, Since 1898 is filled with photographs, illustrations, and other vintage brand ephemera culled from the company’s archive.

And if you didn’t lust for this now iconic luggage before, you will after seeing some of these archival treasures.

The oversize 270-page hardcover book of Rimowa creations retails for $95.

That’s more than you’d pay for a set of Rimowa luggage stickers. It’s about what you’d pay for a Rimowa iPhone case. And far less than you’d pay for a piece of Rimowa luggage.

Snaps from a visit to an airport bag well

As part of research for an upcoming story, I spent two days visiting the ‘bag well’ at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport finding out what happens to your checked lugagge once you hand it over to your airline.

The short version: your bag travels on a freeway-like conveyor system that sends the bag to and through a TSA explosives detection machine and then back to the airline for sorting so can be sent to your airplane and loaded onto it.  The bag tag is scanned multiple times along the way to keep tabs on its whereabouts.

Here are some snaps from my adventure. Stay tuned for the full story.



Souvenir Sunday: a journey with “Luggage”

On my travels this week I’ve been toting a review copy of Susan Harlan’s book, Luggage, which is part of Bloomsbury’s charming Object Lessons series.

The slim book is travel-sized, but densely-packed and Harlan has stuffed it with stories and side-trips that touch not just on the actual history and development of suitcases, bags, trunks, carry-ons and valises, but on the role baggage plays in literature, art and films.

Remember Mary Poppins’ carpet bag?

“It contains all of her desires,” writes Harlan, and is a “powerfully enabling object” from which the nanny is somehow able to produce a lamp and a mirror (in the 1964 Disney movie) and, in the novel by P.L. Travers, everything from an apron to an armchair.

Poppins’ luggage was not only magical, notes Harlan, it gave her freedom. “She can come and go as the wind changes, which would hardly be possible with a steamer trunk,” Harlan writes.

In “Luggage,” Harlan tells us about her own collection of vintage luggage, a bit of how she and others approach packing and of her visit to to Alabama’s vast Unclaimed Baggage Center, which is not just a store but a tourist destination.

Along the way she unpacks the role and relationship baggage has to everything from home and gender to class, memory, loss and, of course, travel.

“The history of luggage is the history of travel: how we traveled, and why, and where, and what we have packed,” Harlan tells us at the beginning of this journey, “It is virtually impossible to think of traveling without luggage.”





Exhibit uses suitcases to explore ‘baggage’

Joel Ross – Room 28

Baggage Claims, an exhibition currently at the Orlando Museum of Art,  includes the work of 17 artists who have used suitcases, trunks and crates to create work that explores various meanings of ‘baggage” and “the impact of today’s vast global commerce and travel on contemporary life.”

Co-curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox, of, the exhibit will also travel, to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, in Greensboro, NC (January 27 – April 22, 2018) and later to Greencastle, Indiana and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Orlando Museum of Art was kind enough to share these images from the show.


Yin Xiuzhen – Portable City, Dunhuang


Avery Lawrence – Arranging suitcases


Kathleen Vance – Traveling Landscape


More new bags and gadgets

Because you can never have too many bags or gadgets, here are a few more items displayed at the International Travel Goods show in Las Vegas last week.


Taking off a belt before going through an airport metal detector can be a hassle and putting it back through your pants loops on the other side just wastes more time.

The Royce Fly Belt (MSRP, $75) tackles that problem with a metal belt buckle you can just detach from the leather belt before walking through detector and then reattach it on the other side.

6_Nuki front opening suitcase

No need to unzip and fully fold open a suitcase to access or repack an item with the Nuki line of front opening hard shell luggage.

Available in three sizes: 20″ carry-on (MSRP: $199), 24″ medium checked bag (MSRP: $249) and 28″ large checked bag (MSRP $299), and in four designs: Hounds tooth, rococo, black and silver.

7_Zensah - blue coffee bean socks

Zensah has a new line of environmentally-friendly Coffee Comfort Socks (MSRP: $29.99) made with yarn infused with coffee-bean shells, which help make the socks comfortable and odor neutralizing.

Available colors include sky, rosy, cloud and twilight — but not cappuccino.