Old and New Bond Street are thought to have the highest density of high fashion stores anywhere in the world. Now, the west London microcosm can add luxury German luggage company Rimowa to its list of extravagant residents. The ribbons were cut last night at a star-studded cocktail opening, where VIPs were welcomed into an expansive, 220 sq m, aviation-themed space.
'There has been such demand for Rimowa in London that I have wanted to open a flagship on New Bond Street for a long time,' explains president and CEO Dieter Morszeck. And what a flagship it has turned out to be. The store shares the same design language as the cargo-hold of a plane, except the suitcases on display have more personal space than most passengers. Sections of the walls and ceiling have been covered with arching swathes of aluminium to form a holographic, industrial backdrop, in front of which artful displays of suitcases perch on white, lacquered stages.
Making our way through the fuselage, eyes are drawn to an exclusive showing of the 'Junkers F13 by Rimowa' presentation, which displays Rimowa's reproduction of the legendary Junkers aeroplane – the first all-metal aircraft, created in 1919. Made from an aluminium-alloy called Duralumin, the Junkers F13 was crafted from the same material as the first ever Rimowa suitcase.
Today, Rimowa have swapped Duralumin for a high-end polycarbonate. 'ONYX', a new range launched at the London store, makes use of this lightweight material and impresses with its classic Rimowan groove design, lavishly embedded with leather strips.
The new flagship (or flag-plane?) also marks the sales launch of the Rimowa 'Electronic Tag' system; a pioneering technology that allows luggage to be checked in from home using a smartphone – a frequent flyer's dream.
Morszeck concludes, 'With this concept store, Rimowa marks another milestone as a premium brand. London is one of the most important cities in Europe and we are delighted to be opening this innovative store in such a prestigious location.'