Travel companion: meet Custom House International’s pret-a-porter luggage line

Travel companion: meet Custom House International’s pret-a-porter luggage line

Frequent fliers will know that having the right luggage by your side makes all the difference. A new accessories label, Custom House International, is making such a play with a concisely designed line of soft luggage, ranging from backpacks and totes to briefcases and duffle bags, to suit those who take comfort in travelling light.

Conceived in New York by former Roll & Hill co-owner Andrew Yang, Custom House International’s wares are proudly made in the United States. Its first collection draws inspiration from the hometown architect Wallace K Harrison (famed for iconic structures such as the Metropolitan Opera House and the Time-Life Building) and the International Style of architecture, plus the Bund in Shanghai, of which Yang was a former resident. Made from Cordura, a military-grade fabric that is water-resistant, stain-resistant and wrinkle-proof, the label’s wares are designed especially with lightness and portability in mind.

‘For years, I’ve searched for bags that didn’t make me look like a messenger man, or made it look like I was going camping,’ says Yang. ‘The way we travel is so different. Very few bags can look right going from a business meeting to dinner and then to the airport.’

Classic in shape, the bags each boast added functionality in compartments that separate journals, books and documents from more regularly needed bits and pieces (as in its ’Kirkman’ briefcase), or carefully considered proportions that allow for two stacks of clothes, two pairs of shoes and toiletries to be packed efficiently (its ’Kirkman’ valise).

The collection currently offers a tote, briefcase, valise in two sizes and a duffle bag, with a backpack to come in April. All of the top-handled designs can be quickly converted to sling styles with the addition of a leather strap. 

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