Nobody would question the nomadic lifestyle of vivirdemais. Reasonably, one of my biggest pleasures is packing my suitcase before going on a journey. Away has succeeded in becoming this summer’s coolest suitcase in airports from Majorca, Ibiza and Lisbon. Roaming around Hvar, Paros, Comporta, Capri and the Hamptons. Away began as a start-up and achieved the unexpected: selling over 50,000 units on its first year. Entrepreneurs and friends Jen Rubio and Stephanie Korey sought to create a product that did not yet exist, the perfect suitcase. This was the beginning of Away, a lifestyle brand name that designs items to turn travelling into a real experience from the “let’s pack our suitcase” moment.
Korey and her associate co-founder, Jen Rubio, aimed to solve problems faced by many travellers such as how we pack our suitcase, what we do in the airport or when we get to the hotel. Being able to charge our cell phone batteries, storing our laundry away from our clean clothes or finding the right wheels that can survive cobblestones are some of the main concerns encountered by frequent flyers. The main principle of this budding business endeavour was quite simple: keeping the price low (cutting out the middle-man) and offer a tough and durable suitcase.
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They did not go into this on a blind basis, Rubio and Korey interviewed over 800 people asking them about what they look for in a suitcase, and from this feedback they started creating “the perfect suitcase”. The result? After interviewing over 800 people, they came up with three sleek suitcases (of which there are now many more models and sizes), elegant and sleek but tough, fitted with four spinning wheels, USB portable charger, TSA-friendly keylock, easy zips and a convenient laundry bag. They do not intend to become smart suitcases, they prefer to be considered “meticulous” and feel proud of them at the airport. And the trick seems to have worked because American bloggers cannot travel without them and instagrammers are fighting to post their best Away photo on holidays.
Its major sales source is online, but these entrepreneurs are well aware that some of their customers like to know of them face-to-face and have opened up shops in NY, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a few days ago, Away has landed in London.
Away has its own magazine, Here. It contains stories of personal journeys, zooming into people as they are the true protagonists of places, give shape to culture and create worthwhile connections that deserve some attention. The magazine spotlights the arts, music, travelogues, photo essays, interviews or city guides. Here is an open window to a new way of seeing the world.