I was visiting my parents this weekend when I ran into a serious problem: I could not find a bag to bring back all the stuff I had bought. So they went hunting in the closet to find something, while I worried they would shove me with something akin to an embarrassing grocery bag.
Instead, they ended up finding this lovely, vintage tweed and leather Hartmann suitcase that looks like it came straight out of the Don-Draper era. I think it’s fair to say I’m pretty obsessed with luggage and this is no exception. The suitcase actually belongs to my stepfather, which he boasted had been around “for longer than you’ve been alive” and has a “lifetime warranty!” (Don’t you love the folks? That’s 30 years plus, then.)
It for sure didn’t move well as my beloved Muji——in fact, it probably couldn’t hold a candle to any spinner out there—but what it lacks in modern luggage technology, it made up for in craftmanship and construction. The detailing, from the leather strap that secures the handle to the thoughtful brass and tweed accoutrements, make it a winner. It also doubles as a carrying suitcase and as a carry-on bag with wheels, features that aren’t seen in modern luggage as much as they should be. These things stack, like old steamer trunks of days past. Skip the plane and bring this for the open road.
They really just don’t make luggage like this anymore. Looking at it, it’s clear why pure craftmanship could have vaulted Louis Vuitton from a luggage maker into one of the premier fashion houses in the world.
Hartmann has been around since 1877 but a cursory look on Amazon and their website now clearly shows that we’re in another era now. Sometimes it’s good to dream, though, and remember what made travel glamorous.
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