Luggage brand Away is no stranger to collaborations. In the past, the company has partnered with countless major names, from Serena Williams to Rashida Jones, providing customers with a fresh take on its streamlined products. But while the suitcase maker has explored the world of partnerships many times over, it’s found another way to venture into uncharted collab territory with perhaps its most unique collection yet. On Oct. 14, Away is launching its designer collaboration series, featuring a line of core silhouettes designed by emerging fashion designers Sandy Liang, Tia Adeola, and Ji Won Choi.
The drop, while exciting, is not the only welcome announcement; in fact, the collaboration kicks off what Away says will be a multi-year series for the brand. That means a fresh group of artists with “diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and aesthetics” will be chosen to provide their own distinct visions for the label’s best-selling products each year.
"Away's designer collaboration series is an exciting new chapter for our brand which I'm thrilled to introduce to our global community of travelers, as well as to the dedicated fans of Sandy, Tia, and Ji,” said Away CEO and co-founder, Jen Rubio, in a press release. “It has been an honor to see how these three astonishingly talented designers infused their personal ethos of style into Away's streamlined design sensibility.”
To kick off the series, the first three designers put their spin on a few specific pieces, which range in price from $55 to $295. With direction to give their take on modern design, Liang, Adeola, and Choi took Away's Large Everywhere Bag, Front Pocket Backpack, and Travel Pouch Set and infused their unique point of views. Of course, that meant something entirely different for each creative.
Liang, an NYC native, went with a colorful, whimsical floral print, which she says was inspired by the “playful wanderlust” many are experiencing right now. “I was excited to take some of Away's products that lend themselves to more regional and domestic travel, and outfit them with a bold print that is colorful and loud, but on the Away products, looks more like a floral camo,” she said.
Adeola, who is Nigerian-born and London-raised, says her work focuses on “restructuring the representation of female bodies in the 21st century, challenging constructs with statement pieces that are meant for the everyday, and rewriting history through fashion." Thus, her designs for Away feature a custom-developed, multi-colored tweed with a pink ruffle accent.
And Choi, who was born in Seoul and raised in Oklahoma, explains that her designs are “inspired by travel — different cultures, places, and people.” Therefore, she wanted to make something that was “uplifting, bright, and sporty — something that could be spotted from far away and was immediately recognizable and distinguishable.” That resulted in bright blue, colorblocked bags featuring her signature white piping.
These limited-edition pieces will be available to shop exclusively on Away’s site, in addition to the brand’s retail locations starting Oct. 14. And stay tuned for more in the coming years — this won’t be the last you see of this unique collaboration series.