Founded in 1898 in Cologne, Germany and starting as a small family-run business, RIMOWA is nowadays a pioneer in the travel industry and the use of innovative materials, such as aluminium and polycarbonate.

The first cases were crafted in hardwearing wood, with an emphasis on lightweight construction and superior stability.

About forty years after RIMOWA’s birth, in 1937, the very first aluminium trunk was created by the founder’s son, Richard Morszeck, who shortened his name to create the enduring name RIMOWA. Then, in 1950 the iconic groove design was born, inspired by the golden age of aviation.

Only in 2000 was the first polycarbonate luggage came on the market. This material is highly resistant to Arabian heat and Icelandic cold, light and durable, making it perfect for all kinds of travel experiences.

In 2016, the French luxury group LVMH took over the company, launching a renewal of its image and product line. The result has been, among others, the creation of new products such as sunglasses, iPhone cases and a collection of unisex bags and backpacks, called Never Still, entirely made in Italy. Through this organisational change, both the idea of large scale travelling and the concept of luxury have been redefined.

RIMOWA has become one of the most important Maisons specialized in the production of luxury suitcases, famous for its unmistakable design and quality. Being a true model in terms of savoir-faire and innovation in the German industry, RIMOWA consistently pursues the goal of encouraging the public of demanding travellers to discover new horizons. This firm has nurtured an unwavering philosophy: “expert travellers need expert travel solutions”.

The best feature of these suitcases is their material: aluminium. They reflect the character of those who use them and testify to their personal journey. Although they are made with the hands of professionals with obsessive attention to details, it is the owner who gives the last touch to every sign or personal detail. The possibility of customising the bag with dents, sticker, and scratches makes the suitcase unique and can transform a simple object into a piece of pure art. This brand clearly expresses the importance of creativity and personality.

RIMOWA has evolved by following current trends to meet evolving customers’ needs and will continue to do so for a long time. Especially during 2020, the company has faced profound changes in travellers’ habits and had to adapt its offer. In fact, as travellers recalibrated their habits from long routes to closer destinations, RIMOWA has studied solutions and products that respond to these changes.

The brand’s philosophy is represented by creating innovative products by a revisitation of the historical design while still maintaining an open eye on the brand’s tradition and the unmistakable trademark of this iconic German company.

Business analysis

In 2016 LVMH agreed to take over the suitcase maker RIMOWA for 640 million euros ($716 million) and place Alexandre Arnault in charge of the group’s first German asset, a sign that Bernard Arnault is expanding his offspring’s role in the luxury empire.

The result from recurring operations for the Selective Retailing sector in LVMH was a loss of 203 million euros, and there was a drop in revenues from 14,791 in 2019 to 10,155 in 2020 due to the halt in tourism and store closures around the world. The business group’s operating margin as a percentage of revenue fell by 11.4 points to -2%.

RIMOWA in the future

Arnault said that in the next years, the brand will move further into a soft product such as backpacks, weekends bags or objects you can bring with you every day. These won’t be made in leather because RIMOWA wants to differentiate itself from the other firms and keep the so-called functional luxury alive.

Moreover, the Maison wants to make sure that the products are super‑lightweight and has products in the pipeline that will use bio-organic yarns.

Did you know?

RIMOWA offers a repair service at participating luxury hotels alternatively by the one in-store. The customer of a participating and luxury 5 stars hotel can speak to the hotel staff to arrange a broken or malfunctioning product before leaving the structure.

This unique and luxury service is present in many hotels located in the most important cities around the world.

Sources: (IlSole24, Bloomberg, Rimowa, LVMH, Financial Times)

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