When most Americans think luggage, they picture soft sided wheelie bags made from ballistic nylon. Nothing challenges an American’s preference for soft nylon bags more than a trip through customs at NRT. It happens quickly, only takes one trip to Japan to make a yank jealous of the ubiquitous Rimowa hard-sided cases that are the travel norm in Japan and the symbol of enduring German design.
Founded in 1898, Rimowa transformed itself from classic trunk maker into a modern metal case company that has stood the test of time. In our normal fashion, we reached out to the people at Rimowa and asked to see exactly what hasn’t changed and we were delighted with all of the historical reference material the company sent back. Light and strong have been the order of the day at Rimowa since the beginning, a philosophy that has continued to this day. It started with wood, eventually became aluminum and when technologies were pushed the company introduced a polycarbonate case to the world.
The formative history of Rimowa:
The first case was produced in the year 1898 – in the case factory in Cologne. At the time, the name of the company was Kofferfabrik Paul Morszeck. At the turn of the century, the cases were made of wood but the Cologne factory is already creating a great story with a design that is as lightweight as possible. Within a few years, Rimowa’s large wardrobe and steamer trunks have become the representative travel companions of high society.
In the 1920s discerning globetrotters are delighted by the elegant cases produced by the company. In 1937, Richard Morszeck, the son of the company founder, brings the first steamer trunk made of lightweight metal onto the market. This is only the first of numerous brilliant innovative ideas upon which the global success of Rimowa is based. The brand name RIMOWA was derived from Richard Morszeck (Richard Morszeck Warenzeichen).
In 1950, the first case was made from aluminium with the typical contour structure that has since made Rimowa products unmistakable. The great thing: The design combines minimum weight with maximum stability. Among the international jet set the contour cases quickly attain the status of cult objects.
These archival Rimowa images illustrate the fact that styling and design have largely remained the same over the past hundred or so years, much to our pleasure. It truly is an amazing story of enduring form and function. The Rimowa story encapsulates nearly everything we stand for here at ACL. Classic enduring design with equal amounts of function. All day, everyday. [RIMOWA]