It’s a fair bet that you’ll be doing some traveling in the near future (’tis the season). And since time is precious, we’re here to help you navigate the perils of holiday travel—stylishly, of course—in this weeklong series...
The ultimate essential for any gentleman traveler: a sophisticated, durable travel bag.
The sort of thing that can take some punishment and gets better with age.
Something like TUMI’s new line of travel bags designed for the global citizen. The heritage travel brand tapped designer-craftsman George Esquivel to head up creative direction for the brand, and everything’s coming up dapper already. From the sleek leather carry-ons to the indestructible Tegra-Lite rollers. (TUMI is the only travel brand using the revolutionary armor material.)
And now they’re launching the TUMI Global Citizens campaign, highlighting world-class and well-traveled characters like Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Pirelli Tire North America, who requires travel gear that wouldn’t look out of place next to his Italian tailoring and hard-bottoms.
Of course, if your own jetsetting habits skew more toward “international gentleman of leisure,” you’ll still want this stuff at your side.
Just in time for the inevitable onset of spring wanderlust, the folks at Club Monaco have announced the latest capsule collection in their “Makers and Muses” series: Ernest Alexander, bag-makers extraordinaire.
You’ll recognize some of Ernest Alexander’s classic designs, yet they’ve been slightly tweaked to the specifications of Aaron Levine and will be available exclusively through Club Monaco. Our favorites of the bunch are the adventure-prone weekender, the dopp kit and an in-store-only overnight bag in blaze orange. Luckily, we’ve got a first look at them all after the jump.
The brick-and-mortar—not to mention, a lot of handsome hardwood—shop is a veritable menswear bazaar of grail pieces you thought only existed on achingly beautiful Tumblr pages or in some secret back alley in Naples. (Not to fear, there’s an e-commerce arm in the works.) It’s the brainchild of Brian Trunzo (of Nice Try, Bro menswear Internet fame) and fellow former attorney Matt Breen, who’ve been cultivating their shared passion for menswear since their days as law school roommates. And the Internet buzz did not disappoint: there’s custom Southwick and Alfonso Felipe suiting, all the Bastian/Ovadia/Italian silk one closet could handle, vintage watches, luggage, the list goes on. It all makes for one well-heeled feast for the eyes, so without further ado:
Whether by plane, train or automobile, odds are, you’ll be doing some holiday voyaging in the near future. Odds are, you also always try to carry on. (Busy times, these.)
Luckily, the luggage experts at Ghurka and the Americana-philes at Beams+ have just unveiled some luggage in black Norwalk twill, including Ghurka’s perfectly carry-on-able classic weekender, the Cavalier II No. 97.
Since you’ve likely already upgraded your holiday travel-wear, it’s high time you did the same with your luggage. The entire collection has a few more pieces of luggage, a briefcase and a gear bag—all in the black Norwalk twill exclusive to this collaboration.
We’ve gushed over Hard Graft’s deft use of wool and leather in the past, but they’ve managed to keep their wares relatively small—a wallet here, a handsome iPad folio there—until now. Enter: the CarryOn Suitcase, their first foray into full-on luggage, built from buttery-soft Italian leather and wool felt. It’s just compact enough to fit into an overhead bin, yet rugged enough to throw into the trunk for a weekend on the road.
And with a summer of impromptu travel ahead, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The heritage trend has done a lot of good—especially in the quality department. When you “make ’em like they used to,” they’ll last that way, too. But there are still a few things out there that have yet to board the heritage revival train. Case in point: this spectacular set of hard-sided alligator suitcases from Samsonite. Usually such a find would require a lot of vintage digging, but luckily our friends over at UrbanDaddy Perks have unearthed a handsome collection of vintage luggage from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Valextra—most of which you’ll find at a fraction of modern-day retail—to be added to your already dapper travel regimen.
This note recently arrived in the Kempt inbox, timed for a February getaway:
I am looking for a leather or canvas traveling roller bag. Enough to fit a decent wardrobe. My J&M is falling apart and I wanted something with style. Any suggestions?
It’s a simple question, but a tough one. We prefer to stay far away from roller bags—just as we prefer to travel by convertible, bullet train or hydrofoil—but life is not always as we’d like it to be. Sometimes you need to leave your weekender bag at home in favor of something that fits in an overhead compartment and doesn’t strain your shoulder.
Handsomeness usually comes in a distant third, but it doesn’t have to. At least, not if you’re buying the right bag...
The duffel bag is pretty firmly entrenched as the “large and not too pretty” bag in most guy’s luggage pile, but we’d like to make a case for the camper’s backpack.
Like the military duffel, it’s strictly utilitarian—but it does a better job at it, since you’d almost always rather be carrying that weight on your shoulders. There’s also an encouraging crop of stripped-down packs arriving on the market, like this one from Herschel Supply, doing a rough approximation of what Jack Spade did for duffels.
And if, once spring rolls around, you decide to haul a two-person lunch and a bottle of red wine to your nearest scenic mountaintop, you’ll be well-prepared.
It’s been a while since we checked in with John Varvatos, but it looks like he’s kept busy. These two items come from his newly unveiled leather goods collection. We’re not sure how well it fits in to his What-Would-Mick-Jagger-Do aesthetic—of course, Keith’s already pledged to Louis Vuitton—but it’s hard to go wrong with Italian leather luggage. We recommend the ones without the skull embroidery.
There are a lot of steamer trunks out there, but if you’re going post-colonial, you can’t do better than the Ghurka bag. (Sorry, Wes.)
We don’t mean the softer bags they’re selling nowadays—although they aren’t bad for starters. We mean the hard-shell cases that used to be cobbled together by a grizzled Italian craftsman…that is, until he died and turned the whole line into collector’s items. These days, a complete set will cost you a couple month's salary, but it’s worth it for the old world touches you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
From the perfectly tanned leather to the impeccable stitching and metalwork, this is the genuine article so many other hard shell cases are imitating. It'll take some legwork to find your own set, but it should be more than worth it.
Globe Trotter’s new Surf Rider collection corrects the oversight with the strategic use of Hawaiian shirts, possibly the most whimsical item in the menswear canon. The cases are lined with an earth-toned Hawaiian print that could have been lifted straight from Don Ho's closet.
As for what you’ll put inside…a little bit of whimsy goes a long way.