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Rimowa Created a 125-Year Retrospective As an Ode to Its Famous Suitcase

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Rimowa's 125-Year Retrospective on TravelRimowa

Most pieces of luggage have only ever seen countless conveyer belts and perhaps a manhandling or two by some airport workers. But the over 100 cases on display at Rimowa's 125-year retrospective, SEIT 1898, in New York have seen a lot more.

The brand decided to create an exhibit on travel to showcase these stories, inspired by the unprecedented pause the pandemic put on people's ability to go out and see the world with their luggage by their side. Travel has been transforming for years but perhaps no one knows this better than Rimowa, a brand founded in 1898, five years before the Wright brothers flew a plane for the very first time. Everything that has happened in the 125 years since has changed travel as we know it.

In an attempt to tell this story, Rimowa put together SEIT 1989, first in Tokyo this past June and now in New York through September 17th, with 2024 locations still to be announced.

Rimowa went through its archive and presented some of its most iconic pieces in diorama displays. When guests enter SEIT 1898, they are greeted by the first piece of luggage the brand ever made: a cabin case from the 1940s. Following are a series of suitcases made not for packing cubes or clothing but for everything from makeup to cigars to even 12 bottles of wine. Later on, there's an entire room dedicated to the brand's numerous collaborations, like with Supreme and Dior. Rimowa also wanted to present the personal suitcases of some of its most famous clientele like Takashi Murakami's, filled to the brim with his signature rainbow plushies, Patti Smiths's, covered in stickers from various international destinations, and Martha Stewart's, written all over in her handwriting to commemorate every trip she took. But perhaps the most notable suitcase on display is one that traveled from Germany through Ellis Island in the 1950s.

And if you can't make it in New York in time to see them all for yourself, see some of the most notable Rimowa suitcases from the exhibit, ahead.

Daniel Ceasar

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Martha Stewart

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Photo credit: Rimowa

PEdro Winter x Joopiter

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Spike Lee

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Billie Eilish

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Dr. Woo

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Massimo Bottura

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Photo credit: Rimowa

Mission Impossible

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Patti Smith

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Peggy Gou

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Roger Federer

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Sarah Andelman

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Takashi Murakami

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Ellis Island

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

Michael Moore

Photo credit: Rimowa
Photo credit: Rimowa

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