Rimowa is a 120-year old company trying to attract the next generation of high-spending customers. The 26-year-old, Instagram-savvy Arnault—son of Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton and bought an 80% stake in Rimowa in 2016—is thinking about how to reach them. He has turned to collaborations with other streetwear labels in the past, including Supreme and Anti Social Social Club. Rimowa also has a new luggage range that it says is the “the most significant evolution of the brand’s design since the 1950s when it first introduced its signature aluminium grooves.”

RIMOWA_Classic_Cabin S_colorcorrected
Rimowa’s classic aluminum carry-on.
Image: Rimowa

The clear suitcase has the sort of unabashed absurdity that makes for lots of online buzz. It’s similar in that sense to Balenciaga’s $1,290 t-shirt with a button-up shirt attached to the front, which riled up Twitter users. Or the various takes on Crocs sandals that fashion brands including Alife, Balenciaga, and Christopher Kane have done, getting press each time. Or Balenciaga’s $2,145 rendition of an IKEA bag that prompted head-scratching.

You’ll notice that Balenciaga is very good at these buzz-generating products. It also happens to be the fastest-growing brand in luxury conglomerate Kering’s portfolio, outpacing even Gucci, courtesy of products such as those mentioned and other buzzy items like its monstrous Triple S sneakers.

Rimowa’s chief brand officer, Hector Muelas, told Bloomberg that the collaboration with Abloh came about organically. Abloh, a longtime user of its luggage, contacted them; Rimowa didn’t set out to create something provocative.

For most people, the transparent suitcase is probably more Instagram-friendly than practical. It plays openly to the performative side of luggage, the way dents in your aluminum suitcase are now a status symbol. Speaking to Business of Fashion, Abloh even likened it to a performance art piece. All that’s needed to complete the performance is you.

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