Dror for Tumi @ Salone Milan 2012

Dror for Tumi @ Salone Milan 2012

To celebrate the launch of the Dror for Tumi collection, a special installation was created by Jules Wright entitled “Passaggio”, a short film following a mysterious character on her even more mysterious travels. The film was shown at Salone del Mobile in Milan inside Tom Dixon’s curated MOST exhibition.

The Tumi luggage and accessories brand chose the Salone event to create a buzz around a new line of lightweight hard luggage designed by New York-based Israeli designer Dror Benshetrit, who spent 18 months making prototypes.

“Passaggio” – a film of intrigue and drama that follows a young girl as she races across Europe, her fate in jeopardy and her secrets safe in her Dror for Tumi bag. It is a dark, surreal thriller that begins in Cambridge then races across Europe, shot on location in France, England, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

Luggage certainly isn’t a matter to take lightly, so that’s why perennial luggage powerhouse Tumi teamed up with legendary designer Dror Benshtrit to develop a line of luggage that exhibits beauty in both function and aesthetic

The Dror for Tumi line features 11 pieces including hard-shelled suitcases and soft business and travel bags. Familiar silhouettes including a backpack, a messenger bag, a convertible briefcase, and small and large cross-body bags are represented. Eight of the designs are also expandable or convertible for extra versatility.

The line sees Tumi and Dror revamping Tumi’s famous signature ballistic textile.

The new woven fabric maintains the integrity and strength of the original, but has a new modern look with a brown and black color palette. Tumi’s recognizable leather patch also has a new look with a chic faceted design.

Spearheaded by a technologically advanced hard shell expandable carry-on that an morph to hold just about anything, the collection also took on redesigns of travel classics: the backpack, satchel and four wheeled suitcase.

The sleek Dror collection features angular cut surfaces, giving the pieces a modern aesthetic that also employs an engineering trick to give added resistance.

“In our desire to continuously innovate, we seek a partner with a shared design philosophy who also brings a fresh perspective,” explained Tumi’s chief executive officer Jerome Griffith. “Dror’s exceptional reputation for innovative, research-based designs that transform and adapt to users’ needs along with his impassioned vision made him a perfect fit to craft the next generation of Tumi bags.”

The end result sported an identifiable Dror touch with the high-end quality of Tumi, making this collection the ultimate for the well travelled.

New York-based designer Dror Benshetrit — best known for his revolutionary QuaDror collapsible building blocks — spoke about the collaboration and the way his passion for transformation and movement is fused with Tumi design aesthetics of versatility, superior functionality and quality.

Q: What were your initial thoughts when Tumi approached you for this project?

A: It started with the whole idea of travelling today with different things at different times. We constantly change from a lot of stuff to only a few things or vice versa and I basically wanted a collection that changes and transforms with you.

I travel a lot and am constantly moving, carrying different things and switching modes of transportation — from an iPad to gym clothes, from the workday to the night out; in and out of airports between quick business trips and the all-too-rare vacation. I pretty much set about designing for myself as an end-user, plus, I have been a Tumi customer for a few years.Q: How does this idea of “transformation” translate into the bag designs?

A: The transformation is really about the adaptability to our lifestyle. Everything I do has something to do with movement and change.

We are constantly evolving, changing both physically and emotionally. For example, a backpack may be most comfortable to carry on the go but what do you do when you don’t want to walk into a meeting with it? I ended up with a highly versatile backpack design that can easily shift to a tote or briefcase by simply hiding the backpack straps inside a pocket and adjusting the straps (with the help of a complex locking device) to carry by hand or over the shoulder.

Q: Tell us more about the expandable two-wheeled carry-on bag.

A: It’s easier to travel with a carry-on when rushing in and out of airports and always great to go somewhere with one bag without having to come back with two or a bigger bag.

The International Carry-On is designed with the flexibility of a two-stage expansion, from 9 inches to 14 inches deep (increasing its capacity by 77 per cent) by simply pulling two sets of handles to activate the “spring mechanism” to snap up or collapse the case to different sizes.

Q: How long did it take to design this collection?

A: We spent close to 18 months and created about 40 prototypes on the expandable carry-on alone.

About Dror Benshetrit

Since 2002, Dror Benshetrit has developed an interdisciplinary practice specializing in innovative design projects.

His approach to design has shown breadth and depth through the completion of projects varying in scales and nature.

His portfolio encompasses product design, architecture projects, interior design and art direction.

He explores the nature of movement, space and forms and shares with us the transformative power of design through each of his creations.

Dror’s perception of the world was enriched by travels across Europe and multi-cultural experiences.

He received his education at the Eindhoven Design Academy in Holland.

Dror has long been interested in the complexity of the manifold meanings and uses that intersect at a single object. Rooted in a rigorous approach and methodology of movement, every project is driven with the desire to unleash the mutable and non-static nature of objects.

Dror observes the world from an inquisitive eye, seeking responses to the needs of our modern lifestyle.

Each project starts with questions and triggers an immersive investigation.In collaboration with a team of experts, Dror conducts thorough research focusing on materials, technology and geometry.

Based in New York, he works with clients around the world; including Alessi, Bentley, Boffi, Bombay Sapphire, Cappellini, Kiehl’s, Levi’s, Lualdi, Material ConneXion, Maya Romanoff, Marithé + François Girbaud, Puma, Rosenthal, Skins Footwear, Yigal Azrouël, Shvo, Swarovski, and Target.

Dror has lectured around the world and received numerous design awards including the GE Plastics Competition “Merging Boundaries” (2001), iF Product Design Award (2006), the Good Design Award (2008, 2010).

He has gained international media exposure. and has been widely exhibited.

His work is included in the permanent collections of major museums in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Dror is represented by Culture and Commerce, Inc., an agency representing design luminaries including Yves Béhar, Philippe Starck and Marcel Wanders.

Share your thoughts