November 30 2011
Lucia van der Post
It’s a funny thing, but no sooner does one discover a rarefied new talent than suddenly one sees the name popping up everywhere. Take Thomas Erber, who curated the Cabinet de Curiosités for Browns, which How To Spend It featured recently. Well, here he is again with a divine travel bag (pictured), a notion set in train by the travel firm Kuoni (which currently has lofty ambitions to curate über-special travel experiences), and the very fancy Swiss bag label van Astyn.
Peter Nitz, one of van Astyn’s co-founders, has developed a cult following for his enchanting handbags, most of which are created from exotic skins and which are nearly all finished off with an elegant piece of vintage jewellery as part of the design.
The travel bag, co-designed by Thomas Erber and Peter Nitz and made by van Astyn, is a very exclusive item. It’s made from milky chocolate-brown Barenia calfskin and sports a number of compartments so that the traveller can easily sort clothes from books, toiletries from iPad and laptop. It measures 36cm by 52cm by 26cm and so works perfectly as a carry-on.
What I love about the bag is that it looks so insouciantly soft and squashy. This is luxury at its most relaxed and understated. It is exquisitely made in the van Astyn studios and costs €1,890. To begin with there will be just 20 of the bags made; they will be sold exclusively at Colette in Paris and through Kuoni Concierge in Zürich, which will ship them to anywhere in the world. It is the first in what is destined to be a comprehensive collection of truly beautiful luggage and travel accessories.