Kipling to launch hard-but-light luggage next year, follows rental debut
Kipling is continuing its brand reinvention and its latest step will be a move into hard-case luggage next year. The VF Corp-owned Belgian brand is best known for its crinkle nylon material but will launch a hard-shell luggage range for the first time in February.
The move follows further steps in the company’s work to make the brand more relevant for the modern consumer that has included store makeovers, personalisation options in-store and also the brand launching a rental service for travellers in London a couple of months ago.
The new hard-case items are made from a “revolutionary” polycarbonate material to make them both hard-wearing and very light, which helps them to embody the label’s 'Live.Light' brand philosophy.
The company also said the new range reflects the new store concept at its Regent Street location in London. The recently refurbished store “aims to power curiosity and adventure with a green door to mark the start of a new journey”.
Each case in the new line-up has four dual-caster wheels with 360° rotation. As well as being lightweight and water-resistant, the cases have a TSA-approved luggage lock and an adjustable multi-stage luggage handle. They come in cabin size, reflecting the way people travel today, and are available in both bright and muted colours, including yellow, red, blue and grey.
The interiors feature fabric printed with a map of Antwerp, linking back to the brand’s birthplace, while the hard-shell exterior also allows an element of customisation with consumers able to add the brand’s city stickers, luggage tags and charms.
At the same time as it's launching these products, it has unveiled a number of complementary soft items to enhance the hands-free experience. These include waist bags, and backpacks that will launch in January.
As mentioned, the company has been reinventing itself and actively targeting the millennial shopper and it’s RentyourKipling initiative that launched back in September was another part of this.
It provides a rental service for urban travellers in London as a response to the rise of the sharing economy, “enabling individuals to experience high-quality Kipling luggage without being locked into a purchase”.
Renting a full set including a carry-on suitcase, backpack and crossbody for a long weekend (approximately four days) comes at around 12% of a full-price purchase of those same three items.
And the company said this also frees up space in the home, as well as ensuring that suitcases are always used, and ultimately, less are produced. Some 65% of people experience issues with storing empty luggage at home, it said.
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