When Marc Newson is brought in to collaborate on a product, rest assured design and engineering will be matters of utmost importance. Louis Vuitton’s carry-on rolling luggage, out this month, breaks technical barriers with its self-reinforced polypropylene composite structure, shock-absorbing properties, and its lightness and roominess.
The two sizes, a mini and cabin-size, are procurable in seven colors of Epi leather, Monogram canvas, Damier, Graphite, and cowhide leather. Just what makes Newson such a rock-star tech-head?
You’ve designed airplanes, space planes, jet interiors, cars, and boats. What’s the difference in designing luggage?
Marc Newson: I guess there isn’t much of a difference, really, at the end of the day. It’s the same skill set that I apply to whatever I’m designing. However, with this product there was a very specific set of criteria. So it was a very, very technically driven project. I really felt that the future and life of this product would be dictated by how well it performs on a technical level.
With airplane interiors, every gram of every material is important. This rolling trunk weighs just 5.15 pounds for the mini and 6.8 pounds for the cabin size. How did you achieve such lightness?
It was a bit like working in a Formula One setup; every little tooth on the zip was weighed. Every gram was considered; we’re talking 10 grams here and 25 grams there. I would say more than 50 percent of my drive and inspiration were devoted to making this a lightweight product; I travel an enormous amount and I don’t want to carry around excess weight when I don’t have to.
How do you think we will travel tomorrow?
I’d like to think that the process of traveling could be a little more elegant, a little more seamless and a little more enjoyable. Anything we can do to make the experience more pleasurable is a good thing, because I don’t know many people that enjoy traveling these days.
What is real luxury for you?
I think it has to do with quality and longevity. I love the idea of designing a product that will last for as long as it can possibly last, and it’s made as well as it can possibly be made, and that no stone has been left unturned in terms of how the details have been executed.