Creative Director Of Tumi Victor Sanz Unveils A New Era Of Luxury Bags

Victor Sanz, Creative Director of TUMI

After a long flight from Frankfurt to sunny Singapore, I found myself gearing up for an exciting adventure with TUMI, getting the first look at their brand-new Asra collection. Just hours after landing, I sat down with Victor Sanz, the creative maestro behind TUMI’s innovative designs. Despite my jet lag, the warmth and energy from Sanz and his team were palpable, instantly rejuvenating.

Sanz, who joined TUMI in 2003 and ascended to Creative Director in 2016, has been pivotal in steering the brand into new territories, including outerwear and tech accessories. Known for his multidisciplinary approach, he integrates art and industrial design to develop products that resonate deeply with modern travellers. His passion for blending functionality with style has transformed how we experience travel gear today.

ELLE: Sustainability and ethical production are critical issues in fashion today. How does TUMI address these concerns?

Victor Sanz (VS): From its inception, TUMI has looked at sustainability in one of the most crucial ways, and it’s about the longevity of the product. We need a product that is not just going to last one or two years but generationally. We set a challenge for ourselves, saying we want to create materials that are made of sustainable recycled materials but that pass all of our tests and continue to last. This has been the baseline: to have a product that can be repaired very easily and that’s made of some of the strongest materials that we can make a product out of.

ELLE: Could you talk about the creative process at TUMI and how ideas are developed from concept to product?

VS: We have a vast diversity of designers, some of whom we’ve been working with for 20 years and some entirely new. Our process really starts with us working with our business partners to understand the business landscape. From a creative lens, we look for a destination to be the muse for the season. For this season, it was Singapore. One of the reasons we chose Singapore was its cultural relevance and the fact that it is in line with the brand’s direction. Singapore embraces technology, modernity, and architecture along with its heritage and nature. We start laying out our colour palette based on everything from a beautiful sunset at Sentosa Beach to even the shutters from stores and the street markets. So when you look at the collection, you see these elements and these touch points inspired by the location.

ELLE: Given India’s significant size and growing potential, have you considered developing innovations tailored to the TUMI consumers in India?

Mun Ka Young for TUMI SS’24

VS: When we start looking at regions, we’re always connecting with them by gathering information about what’s working and what’s happening from a cultural aspect. As we gather this, we develop a collection that can work globally. We’ll work and partner with different regions to celebrate what’s happening there, whether it’s like a Lunar New Year or Ramadan, creating these special moments and special activities to help celebrate that. We do Diwali every year. Last year, we created this beautiful poker set. I’m very proud of these moments.

ELLE: What motivated the brand to transition from primarily catering to a male audience to introducing a woman’s collection?

VS: Our women’s focus was always business bags and luggage. The more that we understand our female customers, the more we realise that want things that they can have an emotional connection with. They want things that are simple and stylish and they’re easy to go from the office to meet their friends or have cocktails. You can see the design evolution in the past two seasons from Georgica to Asra. With Asra, we wanted to create this idea and an identity of a soft structure. The bag comes in this architectural package, yet it feels feminine; it feels softer. Then, when you go into it, you can see that it has micro and anti-scratch pockets, a key leash for all your products, and a zipper pocket, all those elements that TUMI is known for. So the brand continues to evolve, and at the same time, we’re still offering the same type of products that we did.

ELLE: How do you approach designing versatile products that cater to such a wide range of uses?

VS: One of the key things that we do is really study the customer. We spend a lot of time looking at how their lives evolved and what they do in their lives. We have a very wide range of customers. We have people who are just starting their careers, people who commute to work back and forth, and people who have families. When we start looking at the types of products we’re offering to these customers, we realise we have an opportunity to offer a wider range of products to them. So, the muse for this was thinking of someone who needs something for the weekend but then wants to go meet their friends or their colleagues. We have to give ourselves an opportunity to bring these more fun colours, maybe with a little bit more youthful energy, into our lives.

Read the full story on ELLE India’s new issue, or download your digital copy via Magzter.

- Fashion Editor


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