- Buyer's Guide
5 Minutes with Bagagiste
For the latest in our ‘5 Minutes with’ series we’re serving up a slice of insight on Bagagiste, a German travel luggage brand that merges the benefits of a suitcase and everyday bag into elegantly functional carry for day or overnight trips and weekend jaunts alike. Co-founder Guillaume d’Hommée dishes up the details on design inspirations and future developments…
Could you share your brand background with us?
The brand was created by Alex Lehnerer and me on our quest to find the ideal travel companion. We are friends, frequent travelers, product manager and designer and have known each other since our teens in Germany. I did pursue a business career of more than 10 years with adidas living in Germany, Asia and Switzerland before finally moving to Berlin and founding Bagagiste.
Alex, an architect and urban designer, is currently a Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the ETH University in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2014 he was responsible for the German contribution to the 14th Architecture Biennale: Bungalow Germania.
What key insights drive your stuff?
When you travel you need a perfect companion. One that does not get on your nerves and that you like to look at, speaking in terms of bags, one that unites functionality and design. By combining a suitcase and a bag we are bringing these two worlds together: the suitcase as a bag.
Functional and sophisticated on the inside, while durable and essential on the outside – we developed a new form, defined by minimalistic design. Our design mantra: improve the detail, but keep it simple.
How could we ensure the functionality of a carabiner to attach the shoulder strap, yet improve its design? Most of the shoulder straps and the carabiner on regular bags still look like horse gear from the last century. The bag industry is already far too long stuck with heritage-inspired styles. We created a simple lay flat, yet secure loop-and-buckle solution for all of our bags.
How could we ensure the functionality of a suitcase handle without making the bag look like a bulky, heavy suitcase? We designed a functional leather handle for our bags that disappears completely under the pleat and is only visible when in use. Functionality meets elegance.
Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry and why do you think they’re important?
Back in the 1950s Rimowa came up with their iconic aluminium design. At that time they were very innovative and entered a new level of bag design. Their minimalistic and functional approach is still valid and inspiring today.
Another brand that makes product design exciting these days is Côte & Ciel. I like their functional yet creative designs – very French which makes me feel at home, since my roots are in Paris, too.
What single product are you most proud of and why?
Our 48h-weekender with its “kissing zip style flaps” – as you said – its space and capacity on the inside and its unpretentious elegance on the outside. We love this bag. It is the mother of our brand.
What’s next for you guys?
We have a 48h-bag and 24h-bag, so obviously our next step will be the 12h-bag – to close the circle and eventually give men their handbag. Let’s fight against bulky trouser pockets and heavy jackets.
What do you carry daily?
I carry the Bagagiste 24h-bag – since I want to know where I could possibly improve or change our product. I take it for daily trips around Germany and for long work days in Berlin. The bag always allows you to bring a little extra along that might not fit into a regular office bag or messenger.
– Key ring
– Bagagiste hangtag and flyer
– Highsnobiety magazine
– Baby rattle (always good to have within reach)
– Concert tickets for Chilly Gonzales
– Bagagiste laptop sleeve (part of the 24h-bag)