The TUMI Difference Artists

Events | 26 September 2013

(26th April, 2013, Hong Kong) TUMI, the leading international brand of premium travel, business and lifestyle accessories joined creative forces with a number of professional and up-and-coming artists, designers and agencies from across Asia Pacific to celebrate the launch of its new “Makes Life Beautiful Work” Campaign for Spring 2013 on 24th April, 2013. The launch also marked 30 years since the brand first introduced military-grade ballistic nylon for use in its bags – a bold and pioneering move for the consumer travel industry.

The handpicked artists showcased their creative talents, bringing to life TUMI’s founding principles, known as The TUMI Difference. The founding principles include; design excellence, unparalleled quality, technical innovation, functional superiority and world-class customer service.

Showcase 1: Creative Use of Ballistic Nylon

The Brief: Inspired by TUMI’s creative and innovative use of ballistic nylon in its bags, artists were briefed to reinterpret this military-grade material and create something completely new, unique and unexpected.

The Artists:

Barney Cheng – Fashion Designer

Barney studied Textile and Design at the Royal College of Art in London and Fashion Illustration and History of European Costume at the Parson’s School of Design before graduating from The University of Waterloo, Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts Studio Option.

Since starting his design studio Yenrabi Ltd. in Hong Kong in 1993, Barney has been awarded numerous prestigious titles, including a place in Forbes China’s 2010 list of the ‘Top 25 Influential Chinese in Global Fashion’.

In collaboration with TUMI, Barney demonstrates his flawless tailoring and well-executed designs using ballistic nylon to create a fantasy couture male and female ensemble that are inspired by the brand’s stylish and design-orientated products.

Sean Lee Davies – Fashion and Celebrity Photographer and Film & TV Producer

After graduating with a Masters in political science, Sean began his career in films at Columbia Pictures International before moving into media and photography. Now a renowned photographer, film & TV director and producer, Sean’s photographic work has graced the pages of leading titles including UK VOGUE, Elle, International Herald Tribune, Tatler and National Geographic. In collaboration with TUMI he uses ballistic nylon as a creative canvas to print his legendary travel photography.

Millicent Lai – Product and Graphic Designer

Millicent earned her BA(Hons.) in Graphic Design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1995. After working as a graphic designer for various luxury hotels and restaurants, she joined Shanghai Tang in 2001. Her role as Chief Designer of Home showcased her multiple talents for creating, designing and developing products across a wide array of categories and disciplines.

Millicent recently founded her own creative consultancy Millicent Lai Design to further pursue projects in graphics, branding, product and interior design. In 2010, she was honoredwith one of the prestigious 40 Under 40 Designers awards.

For TUMI, Millicentmarries tradition with modernity by using the brand’s signature ballistic nylon to create an oriental-themed lotus pond featuring floating lotus-shaped lanterns.

Ben Qwek – 3D Artist

Ben Qwek is a self-proclaimed visual stylist that has been featured in publications including TODAY, The Straits Times, Maxim and Computerarts UK.Growing up in cosmopolitan Singapore, he was influenced by the diverse range of cultures and artistic styles represented in his home city. Aspiring to be a multi disciplinary artist, Ben is always striving to create distinctive visuals that fuse various influences and design communication.

In collaboration with TUMI Ben uses ballistic nylon to create a stand out TUMI sign within a 3D setting that represents his signature eclectic style.


&Larry – Creative Agency

&Larry is a Singapore-based advertising, branding and design studio that has won multiple international awards in 2012 alone. The studio has adopted the Eames motto of “Take your pleasure seriously” and examples of this philosophy can be seen in a diverse body of work from posters and print campaigns to Singapore-inspired art objects.

For TUMI &Larry creates a unique installation featuring custom-made wooden pallets wrapped in ballistic nylon. Pallets are flat transportation structures that support goods in a stable fashion when lifted. Adding ballistic nylon increases their strength and durability and is a subtle nod to the material’s original purpose.

Showcase 2: Artists x TUMI

The Brief: To showcase TUMI’s founding principles of design excellence, unparalleled quality, technical innovation and functional superiority, artists were given free rein to creatively transformTUMI’s Alpha Lightweight Case in ways that inspired and delighted them.

The Artists:

Christie Simpson – Stylist

Christie is a Hong Kong-based stylist to celebrities including Daniel Wu, Lisa S, Cara G and Jocelyn Luko and has worked with international magazines including Elle UK, Oyster and 125. Channeling TUMI’s unique design, she creatively reinterprets the case as a mood board to display inspiration items for a fashion shoot.

Hayden Blest – Floral Designer

A talented Hong Kong-based floral artist and set designer, Gemma Hayden Blest uses botanicals as a medium for fashion photography, prints, event set-up and installations. Inspired by TUMI’s design excellence and creativity, she covers the case in a collection of botanicals inspired by her travels to various Asian flower markets.

SV Casa – Hotel & Home Accessories

Italian born Susanna Valerio is a home and hotel luxury accessory designer. Following 18 years as Buyer and Senior Consultant for Joyce and Lane Crawford’s Homeware Department, Susanna founded SV International Design and is now launching her own home accessories brand SV Casa. To complement TUMI’s versatility and functionality Susanna reinterprets the case as a picnic set handcrafted from the finest shell finishes, a teaser to her upcoming collection.

FRED LIVES HERE – Furniture Designer

Singapore-based FRED LIVES HERE is a furniture and lifestyle store carrying desirable, cool and unique pieces. The store is owned by Angie Pasley who is dedicated to finding and selling quality reproductions of modern-classic furniture from designer greats like Ray and Charles Eames and Arne Jacobsen, and customizing pieces to suit her client’s desires. Referencing TUMI’s functional superiority and innovative design, the company recreates the case as a rocking chair and one-of-a-kind usable art work.

Earl Wan – Photographer

A Hong Kong-based photographer and internationally published artist, Earl Wan is known for his fashion photography for local designers and major brands as well as his portraits of notables and celebrities. Earl was inspired by TUMI’s creativity and design innovation. He turns his case into a miniature replication of a photographic studio complete with mini figurines.

Vincent Peu Duvallon – Shoe Designer

French architect Vincent Peu Duvallon developed his interest in shoe design in 2008 when he founded the “Maison Vincent Peu Duvallon for Architecture” (MVPA). MVPA was created in order for Vincent to pursue his own experimental projects including jewelry design, furniture design and shoe design. Inspired by the unique style and design of the TUMI brand, Vincent created a chic case filled with a colorful ‘wonderland of shoes’, which is also a reference to his own work.

Tuff by Emanuela Santi – Creative Event Agency

Tuff is a boutique creative and production agency with offices in New York, Cannes, Paris and HK. The company brings a unique take to their case display inspired by their prop work and recreates the ‘baby and the stork’ analogy referencing TUMI’s unparalleled quality and functional superiority in keeping people’s most precious possessions safe throughout their everyday journeys.

Denise Ho – Owner of A For Apple

Denise Ho is a Hong Kong-based celebrity and editorial fashion stylist who studied Fashion Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Denise is the Creative Director for A For Apple, a children’s clothing line designed for fashion forward kids ranging from newborns to five-year-olds. The line utilizes the highest quality eco-friendly materials and organic cottons.Denise was inspired by the functionality of TUMI bags and reworks her case into a vintage steamer trunk to display her new collection.

A Boy Named Sue – Eco Apparel Brand

A Boy Named Sue is a unique e-commerce website and eco boutique launched in 2012. Founded by Sam (a graduate of Parsons in Sustainable Fashion Design) and Tania (an ex-banker and LSE graduate), the girls started the store with a goal to unite ethics and aesthetics, finding designers who didn’t want to compromise on the quality of design or the impact its production had on people and the environment. The idea was simple: “cool clothes with conscience and integrity”. Inspired by TUMI’s form and function, the company uses the case to create a collage of must-have items to take on fashion sourcing trips.

Diana d’Arenberg – Arts Writer

Diana is a Hong Kong-based art and fashion writer and curator. She is a regular contributor to Asia Tatler and has also written for Harper’s Bazaar Singapore and South China Morning Post. She channels TUMI’s eye for design and transforms her case into a work of art, decorating it with handwritten calligraphic notes from her dozens of travel journals over the years and illustrations and motifs inspired by journeys across the steppes of Mongolia on horseback. Here the travel case bears the imprint of the artist’s lifelong wanderlust.

Tangram by Paola Sinisterra – Clothing designer

Hong Kong-based Tangram is a design studio created by fashion designer Paola Sinisterra and architect and graphic designer Ignacio Garcia. The concept stems from their interests in time honored know-how, textiles, graphic arts, printing and all things well made. TUMI’s passion for design leads Tangram down

the road of creativity turning their case into an explosion of color, texture and patterns, with each piece of fabric telling an exciting story of travel and adventure.

M+L Advertising and Creative Agency

M+L is a Hong Kong-based award-winning advertising and creative agency that believes every company has a brand voice and a brand purpose. M+L works with some of the world’s biggest brands such as TUMI to ensure that their unique voice and purpose forms part of every communication and interaction, building into a meaningful conversation that customers can become part of. Their unique kite-flying installation is inspired by TUMI’s renowned obsession with perfecting form and function in order to create objects that become meaningful parts of users’ lives. It is a metaphor of the relationship that TUMI creates between people and design.

Charlotte Chen – Blogger and Socialite

Born and raised in Hong Kong, socialite Charlotte Chen co-founded location recommendation app Spottly to help people discover and remember the world’s coolest places to eat, shop and hangout. Charlotte is also a contributor to high-profile blog carteblanche-x that combines the different avenues of fashion, media and lifestyle/culture to create a novel experience for young women around the world.She reinterprets her TUMI case to reflect the brand’s functional superiority and ability to carry all her favorite, must-have accessories for her busy and fashionable lifestyle.

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