The Next Big Thing in Luggage
Tumi has faced growing competition in recent years from Germany's Rimowa Luggage, a staple on almost any baggage carousel these days identifiable by its sleek aluminum and polycarbonate four-wheel design. With its price tag between $395 and $595, the bag has an affordable appeal with an array of designer options, including the super-lightweight Salsa Air, Salsa Deluxe, Topas and Bolero collections. The bags come in a variety of colors, from bubbly Prosecco to futuristic Ultraviolet and Titanium, and have limited five-year warranties and a unique hotel repair program in which select hotels worldwide offer 24-hour repairs right in the building.
Those looking to discover the next Louis Vuitton or Prada need look no further than MCM, the resurgent Mode Creation Munich brand (formerly Michael Cromer Munich) born in Germany in 1976 and once as fashionable and recognizable as the LV logo. A wane in popularity after its '80s heyday led its ultimate sale to Korea's Sungjoo Group, the manager of Asian licensee agreements with brands such as Gucci, YSL and Sonia Rykiel. Since 2005, Sungjoo has revamped the ailing MCM in a big way with its logo, inspired by King Ludwig I, and signature pieces recently sported by style icons from Dita Von Teese to Justin Bieber. It looks to be fashion's new it bag.
With more than 70 stores worldwide and U.S. outpost inside New York's Plaza Hotel, MCM has expanded to include not just hard-sided trunks and luxury travel goods but a full line of handbags, select apparel and handful of footwear options, including a showstopper men's high-top sneaker designed by Michael Michalsky. Look for additional seasonal standouts such as a chunky monogram backpack (updated with black leather trim and stud embellishment) or men's Jet Setter Weekender Bag (with generous sizing and monogrammed leather available in charcoal gray or brown) -- it'll put buyers a step ahead of the usual fashion names for 2012.