Tumi’s cre­ative di­rec­tor VIC­TOR SANZ talks air miles, sus­tain­abil­ity and how to get TWO weeks out of a sin­gle carry-on

Esquire Middle East - - IN THIS ISSUE THE EDIT -

The cre­ative di­rec­tor of Tumi on lug­gage as art

ESQ: You must have some se­ri­ous air miles…

VS: Ha! I have a fair few. I travel about six months of the year, and spend a lot of time in air­ports. What’s cool about my job is that I get to pro­ducttest ev­ery­thing. So when we de­velop new bags, I get to see what they are like in the real world. I’m in­ten­tion­ally rougher with them than the av­er­age user, be­cause I am check­ing to see if it is good enough. I tend to change out my bags ev­ery three days, and I travel with men’s bags, and women’s bags. It all has to pass the test. I lose loads of stuff too, by leav­ing it in those bags!

ESQ: So for you, stand­ing at the bag­gage carousel, is sort of like mar­ket re­search? VS: Ex­actly. I like to watch how peo­ple in­ter­act with their bags and what they are us­ing. I ob­serve the strug­gles that peo­ple go through, and I try to work out ways that we can make the pro­cesses eas­ier for peo­ple trav­el­ling.

ESQ: How cen­tral is sus­tain­abil­ity to Tumi?

VS: Es­sen­tial. When you have a prod­uct that is built to last for 20 years and be passed down gen­er­a­tions, that is al­ready a huge win. We don’t want them to end up in land­fills. We want peo­ple to take them in to be re­paired, so we looked at do­ing more and tak­ing the ma­te­rial to the next level. We in­vested a lot in cre­at­ing a fab­ric that

is made from re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als and still able to meet our tough dura­bil­ity stan­dards.

ESQ: Do you have a favourite prod­uct that you’ve over­seen?

VS: The 19-De­gree col­lec­tion. When I started my ca­reer I wanted to be a sculp­tor, but then I found in­dus­trial de­sign fas­ci­nat­ing. At Tumi I have been driven by the process of trav­el­ling and test­ing the prod­ucts, con­stantly ask­ing: ‘why can’t lug­gage be this way or that way?’. We cre­ated the 19-De­gree col­lec­tion, which uses in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ing but has been cre­ated in an

artis­tic way. It’s the clos­est I’ve come cre­at­ing what is es­sen­tially a func­tional sculpture. Yes, it’s lug­gage and use­ful, but it is also a thing of beauty too.

ESQ: How many days can you travel for us­ing a sin­gle carry-on?

VS: Eleven to 14 days, de­pend­ing on the weather. And that is with­out do­ing any laun­dry.

ESQ: Wow. What are the tricks to pulling that off?

VS: I use the Tumi pack­ing cubes, which help me keep or­gan­ised and keep things com­pact and tidy. I do lit­tle things like wear my biggest shoes on the plane, so there’s more space in the lug­gage. If it’s win­ter, then I carry my coat in my hand. When it comes to pack­ing, the main thing is to cut ev­ery­thing you have in half. Lay ev­ery­thing out, and then cut it in half. Peo­ple al­ways think ‘what if, what if, what if…’ but the re­al­ity is that you don’t need as much as you think you do. If you do need some­thing, then it’s al­ways a great ex­cuse to go shop­ping.

The new Tumi bou­tique in The Dubai Mall is now open.


Pieces from Tumi’s Al­pha Bravo col­lec­tion

AL­PHA BRAVO, Lon­don Roll Top Back­pack

NASSAU, Gus­seted Card Case

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