What does it take to be the Creative Director of one of the world's biggest travel brands? Probably lots of creativity... among other technical and vision-y things... and lots of hard work... right? Honestly, we have no idea so we reached out to TUMI's Creative Director, Victor Sanz, to see if he could answer some of our hard-hitting questions (they're pretty philosophical, actually).
Psst, if you're someone who's into design and travel, this one's for you:
Rhea: What is your philosophy on luggage and its relationship with traveling?
Victor: While the travel landscape continues to evolve, we see that luggage and travel pieces are increasingly becoming fashion and lifestyle accessories. Comfort and style are the main attributes that our customers take into consideration, and thus, these factors play a key role in our designs. We want to ensure that our customers are enjoying their trips and not worrying about their luggage.
What does luggage represent to you?
First and foremost, luggage should be functional and stylish. At TUMI, we firmly believe in using innovative design to creatively provide travel solutions to make life easier, more convenient and more enjoyable. Furthermore, as luggage is evolving more and more into a fashion accessory, comfort and style are primary features that customers take into consideration before purchasing a piece of luggage.
What makes 'good' luggage?
We believe the best-designed products make life easier and at TUMI, we aim to create beautiful, world-class products that are designed to uncomplicate and upgrade all aspects of our customers’ lives on the move. Before any TUMI product goes to market, it’s put through a series of rigorous testing, including drop and tumble tests, to ensure it will maintain longevity for our customers. We build items to last.
What scope does luggage have to be innovative?
In a world of sameness we are striving to stand apart. At TUMI we are always perfecting the journey and pushing the boundaries, inspired by new developments in other industries such as architecture, technology and sportswear. As a design-driven brand, we are always looking to improve the product so that our customers have the best experience possible. If we can make it better, we will.
What is the best material for a carry-on / check-in piece of luggage?
With so many different materials being used for luggage, all with unique properties, I firmly believe the choice of material completely depends on each individual customer. For me, it depends on the trip I am taking. If I’m doing a quick business trip, I may stick with my trusted 19 Degree Aluminum Carry-On. But, if I’m taking an inspiration trip with loads of shopping, I use an Alpha 2 Short Trip Packing Case, which expands, so I can bring home all the extra goods.
What does TUMI represent to you?
We are committed to bringing customers the best product offerings of the highest quality. Since its inception in 1975, TUMI has distinguished itself as a leader in travel and business with a reputation for being the “best in class.” The success of the brand and how we approach every aspect of our business can be traced back to these founding principles: Superior Quality, Design Excellence, Technical Innovation, Functional Superiority and World-class Customer Service. The brand is known for superior product quality and durability, and the classic silhouettes never go out of style. We focus on the needs of our customers and their ever-changing lifestyles.
What is your vision/direction for the brand?
My overall goal is to continue pushing the brand forward and create inspirational products. I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of all of the innovation that we’re engaging in, and continuing to push our premium and women’s collections forward. I think there’s tremendous opportunity for us to surprise our customers with new and exciting products that are both fashionable and functional.
What is your daily routine like as Creative Director?
My “daily routine” varies depending on the day! The Design team and I are always looking to develop new and innovative solutions that make our customers’ lives easier. Some days I may have zero downtime; but when I do, I take advantage by brainstorming and sketching new design ideas for future products with the team.
Which items do you own and use yourself?
Over the course of my tenure at TUMI, I’ve accumulated bags and accessories that span all of our assortments. Also, being a designer of the product affords me the luxury of using so many different pieces of luggage and bags, so my preferences change. While I like traveling with our new 19 Degree Aluminum International Carry-On, you can usually find me with a new prototype in hand when I travel.
Visit tumi.com to learn more about the 19 Degree collection and discover other new TUMI products.
All images courtesy of TUMI. Some answers have been edited and shortened for clarity.