Image Credit: Rimowa
Those iconic grooves, the timeless aluminium shell, the prestige that comes with owning one of the most recognised suitcases in the world – is it any wonder Rimowa is coveted by celebrities, film crews and the crème de la crème of travellers across the globe?
The symbol of the international jet set, Rimowa luggage signifies luxurious travel. Even the older, battered styles have become a cool icon for wanderlusters and adventurers across the globe. Just how did the Rimowa suitcase become so iconic? And what makes them utterly irresistible?
We explore the company’s history, craftsmanship and key collections to understand how it evolved into the esteemed brand it is today.
From vintage wood to high-tech polycarbonate, Rimowa has spent over 120 years perfecting its suitcases.
Established in Cologne, 1898, this small, family run business managed to progress into one of the most sought-after travel brands in the world.
Crafting its first designs from hardwearing yet lightweight wood, the company’s mission echoed that of today's: to create luxurious and lightweight luggage with superior quality.
The First Aluminium Luggage
In 1937, the founder’s son, Richard Morszeck, broke boundaries in the luggage world by creating the first ever aluminium suitcase, which solidified the brand as a pioneering leader in the travel industry.
At this point, the brand as we know it was born and renamed Rimowa – an abbreviation of the guy himself who started the aluminium revolution – Richard Morszeck.
Get Into the Groove
It’s the 1950s and Rimowa is about to make waves, or ripples, once more with its distinctive groove design. Inspired by the golden age of aviation, the Rimowa luggage reflected the cool ridged design of vintage aircraft, a signature look that has stood the test of time.
Nearly 70 years later, it’s these unique grooves that make a Rimowa suitcase one of the most famous pieces of luggage in the world.
Image Credit: Rimowa
Next Level Protection
In 1976, Rimowa creates the Tropicana collection. Waterproof and extreme temperature resilient, it soon becomes the luggage of choice for professional travellers around the globe.
Its durable aluminium and magnesium shell are specifically engineered to protect sensitive equipment, such as electronics and cameras, making it a lifesaver for the likes of media workers, scientists and explorers.
The First Polycarbonate Luggage
In 2000, Rimowa evolves its product offering to include the world’s first ever polycarbonate luggage. Not only can this innovative material withstand extreme temperatures, like the Tropicana range, but is additionally light as a feather whilst staying tough as nails.
Nimble, yet resilient, this new, pioneering polycarbonate luggage was a breath of fresh air for serious travellers.
Handmade Meets High-Tech
As the millennium rolls over, Rimowa continues to perfect its product with features such as the Multiwheel system, which ensures all eight wheels move like silk and in a 360-degree motion, as well as TSA locks, a globally recognised system that allows your Rimowa luggage to open up easily for security checks.
Rimowa, The World’s First Electronic Suitcases
The brand’s most ground-breaking modern feature has to be the addition of electronic tags, fitted on to select pieces of the company’s most popular designs.
Not only does this brilliant technology allow you to check-in your suitcase whilst still at home, in the hotel, or on the move, but also allows you to track the bag from your phone.
Because when you own a Rimowa, you don’t want it to go walkabout…
Materials and Craftsmanship
The pinnacle of German design and engineering, all Rimowa suitcases are crafted in the brand’s state of the art workshop in Germany, Canada or the Czech Republic.
Dedicated to working with only the highest quality materials, each Rimowa suitcase is made from either premium aluminium or polycarbonate.
The material that defined the brand, aluminium is the DNA of Rimowa’s core ranges, such as the Classic Flight and Topas collections.
Naturally corrosion resistant, the brand’s particular blend of aluminium-magnesium alloy features an additional high-end anodization layering procedure for a tough as nails finish. Ethically made, the aluminium used in Rimowa luggage is fully recyclable.
Virtually unbreakable, exquisitely light and highly resilient, polycarbonate is a dream-like material for luggage design. Used in the production of body armour and bulletproof glass, the robust material can absorb an incredible amount of force. Yes, even that of the angry baggage handler.
Worried about dents? Polycarbonate reacts like elastic, load it up with pressure and it simply springs back once the heavy load is removed – magic.
This wonder material has incredible thermal resistance and can withstand temperatures of +125°C to -100°C.
Granted two seals of safety and long-term quality from the German inspection organisation, a polycarbonate Rimowa suitcase is guaranteed to be a travel companion for life.
Not only are Rimowas impeccable designed, but impeccably presented, too. From the timeless silver aluminium cases to the jet black, anodised polycarbonate pieces, Rimowa suitcases are the pinnacle of luxurious travel.
With an irresistible assortment of metallic finishes on offer, such as titanium, oriental red and ultraviolet, all traveller’s tastes are accounted for.
Like all iconic brands, the Rimowa’s aesthetic has been moulded by the travellers themselves. Battered, dented and adorned with stickers, a well-travelled Rimowa has become somewhat more desirable than the shiny design it began life as.
This is what true travel companions are made of.
Image Credit: Rimowa
The original collection. Probably Rimowa’s most recognisable range, the Classic Flight’s retro aluminium shell and aircraft-inspired grooves are synonymous with the brand’s identity.
Roll around the globe with these beauties and everyone will know they are Rimowas, no matter where in the world you may be.
Expertly handcrafted, the aluminium cases combine strength with agility and are ideal for those who desire a nostalgic travel style. Thanks to the coveted distressed look of a well-travelled aluminium case, these Rimowas simply get better with age.
See the Classic Flight in action by watching the below video:
The brand’s lightest and brightest luggage collection, the Salsa Airs allow you to dance through your travels with the poise of a Salsa performer.
Available in an assortment of bold colours, from Guards Red to UltraViolet, the Salsa Airs are arguably Rimowa’s prettiest polycarbonate range. Rocking strength as well as beauty, these chic cases are durable, resilient and virtually weightless.
The next level suitcase. Made from a special blend of aluminium and magnesium, the Topas range is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, from tropical humidity or arctic cold.
The durable engineering and waterproof nature of these cases make them perfect for protecting the sensitive equipment of film crews, photographers and reporters.
A hybrid design that merges two of Rimowa’s iconic materials, the Limbo suitcases boast the best of both worlds.
Their polycarbonate shells enjoy extreme lightness, durability and resilience, whilst tough aluminium-magnesium alloy frames add extra stability to these already robust cases.
Not to mention that the contrast of the silver aluminium frames against the colourful metallic shells look very fetching indeed.
Nail the polished business travel look with Rimowa’s Pilot range. Whether you’re a travelling business person or international DJ, the Pilot cases will organise all your work essentials in elegance.
Rocking the brand’s signature grooves and timeless aluminium shell, these Rimowas are essential for airport posing, whilst an organised interior keeps your documents, tech, records, whatever in beautiful order.
Originally designed for pilots and cabin crew, they are perfectly sized for cabin travel. A dream for frequent fliers or those who love to travel light.
Which Rimowa style do you prefer? Maybe you love the classic aluminium styles that gain character over your travels or perhaps you lust after the polished and pretty polycarbonate cases that are the epitome of luxe. Whatever your preferences, you’re sure to find the perfect Rimowa suitcase on our website – we stock all the popular styles and collections. Browse the ranges.