Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
On September 8 in New York, luggage aficionado RIMOWA will open the doors to its traveling “SEIT 1898” exhibition at the Chelsea Factory, on view to the public from September 8th through September 17. Marking the German brand’s monumental 125th anniversary, the experiential show ceremoniously debuted on June 9 in Tokyo, where RIMOWA found international success in the 1970s. The exhibition will travel on to Shanghai in December, with other locations to be announced in 2024.
Throughout immersive dioramas and playful demonstrations, visitors will embark on a comprehensive history of the highly coveted travel companion, spotlighting the mesmerizing evolution of craftsmanship and artistry that elevates RIMOWA as an undeniable leader in the luxury travel landscape. Spotlighting over 100 archival cases, beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces, and exclusive collaborations with cultural figureheads, “SEIT 1898,” with seit being the German word for since, welcomes an international audience to voyage through RIMOWA’s riveting past into its glamorous future.
Thoughtfully timed in recognition of the recent worldwide pause in movement, on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in turn the collective desire for adventure and exploration, RIMOWA’s retrospective honors every twist and turn of its journey.
Founded in a saddlery shop in Cologne by the innovative Paul Morszeck, RIMOWA first designed its luggage cases to be built entirely out of wood—already standing out from the crowd for their reliable and lightweight construction. In the early 1900s, RIMOWA championed the “art of travel” with chic suitcases brilliantly transformed in vulcanized fiber, aluminum, and leather-coated plywood, specially designed to be hitched to the first automobiles.
A RIMOWA suitcase remains 80 percent made by hand, taking 90 steps to put together 200 pieces. A true investment piece, its push forward in technical feats is always paired with the house’s enduring know-how.
The 1950s ushered in the RIMOWA case’s notable grooves, introduced by Morszeck’s son Richard, in tribute to Germany’s historic design of the first all-metal commercial aircraft in 1919, known as the Junkers F 13. The brand’s unique contemporary debuts showcase its continued commitment to innovation. That includes novelties such as the inaugural waterproof camera case in 1976, cherished by film and photography professionals; the first-ever use of sleek, robust, and flexible polycarbonate in luggage with its Essential line, pioneered in 2000; and the latest Re-Crafted line, laser-focused on sustainability. Those advancements in material and process have led to a bold lifetime guarantee on all new luggage.
“SEIT 1898” offers a time traveling glimpse into these brand-defining moments, revealing that the sky’s the limit on what future generations of RIMOWA collections will offer modern globetrotters.
In addition to telling an enchanting story of the brand’s growth over time, the sweeping show, which brilliantly coincides with New York Fashion Week and art fairs like The Armory Show in New York, displays artful collaborations with a myriad of creative icons. Those engagements include with filmmakers, design houses, and the international glitterati. Partnerships with Supreme, Dior, Fendi, Porsche, and Off-White are shown alongside one-of-a-kind cultural artifacts. A dashing briefcase from the film Mission Impossible IV makes a noteworthy appearance, as does an avante-garde concept piece by artist Fabian Bergmark Näsman, as part of the specially commissioned “As Seen By” series.
RIMOWA’s community of clients and in-the-know carriers includes examples of extraordinary bespoke cases for names such as athlete Roger Federer’s elongated suitcase in order to fit his essential accessory, the tennis racket, and musician David Garrett’s custom travel case to ensure the safe passage of his Stradivariius Violin, have been generously loaned to the exhibition. The personal luggage of cultural icons such as Patti Smith, Takashi Murakami, LeBron James, Pharrell Williams, Spike Lee, and Billie Eilish, enhanced with stickers, scuffs, and sometimes still holding its owners belongings, are a testament to the imperfect and singular beauty of each and every one of our journeys—forever preserved by RIMOWA.
Date: Sep 8-17
Venue: Chelsea Factory, 26th street between 10 & 11 ave
Register for priority entry: HERE
Open to the public free of charge
Rocky’s Matcha will be served opening weekend
Complimentary exclusive RIMOWA NYC sticker packs