How did Rimowa manage to transform a piece of luggage into a lifestyle product used by celebs and anyone who likes to travel in style?
Well, the aluminium and polycarbonate suitcases look ueber chic and understated, they are super light and they last a life time. My mum bought her first Aluminium Rimowa 20 years ago, at a time when Rimowa wasn’t as hyped up as it is today. She still uses that one today, although she’s added a couple of new Rimowas to the collection over the years. The original case has not aged, apart from a few almost invisible dents. When I travel with my silver Rimowa suitcase, it’s always easy to spot on a luggage carousel in the midst of a sea of boring black.
Above: I’m at Cape Town airport with mine and Rebel’s Aluminium Rimowa cases. Excuse my grumpy expression, I just finished a 12 hour flight in coach!
Aluminium and polycarbonate are expensive materials, almost indestructible and extremely light. They have become so popular worldwide, that the Cologne based company had to open a new factory in Canada to keep up with the rising demand. A product placement agency ensures that you see the German suitcases in movies such as “Wall Street 2”, “Iron Man” or the “A Team”. Lufthansa for example gives out toilet articles packaged in Mini Rimovas to it’s 1st class passengers. These limited, unique suitcases are being traded on ebay for hundreds of dollars.
The only manufacturer that could viewed as competition to Rimowa is it’s American rival Zero Halliburton. Just like Rimova, they started their business with Aluminum suitcases and later added polycarbonate to their range. Zero Halliburton has one advantage over the Germans: They placed their product somewhere Rimowa will never reach: The “Atomic Football” is manufactured by Halliburton. The heavily guarded briefcase, which is always within reach of the US President, is used to carry the secret codes to launch American Nuclear bombs. You simply cannot get better advertising than that!