Think luggage this good will reach its final destination? Think again.


Not since the golden age of travel has luggage been so popular, coveted, or copied. Who would have thought that a finely crafted wardrobe trunk, created by the French trunk maker, Louis Vuitton in the late 19th century would give rise to a new breed of well-heeled traveler. In the early 1900s, trunks were shipped ahead, safely nestled in their final destination, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their affluent owner. The six-month sojourn may have downscaled to two weeks, but it's still impossible to deny the allure of carefully coordinated luxury luggage.

These stylish travel companions not only set the well-seasoned jetsetter apart from the tourist classes, commanding envious glances at the baggage carousel, they unashamedly flaunt their possessor's wealth, and travel tribe.

For example, the diva never travels alone. With a vast assortment of matching luggage in toe, she never looks anything short of fabulous. Marilyn Monroe had T. Anthony of Park Avenue create a unique, attention seeking, red canvas ensemble. Maria Callas and Grace Kelly opted for understated elegance in the form of Valextra's tobacco-brown suitcases. Today's style maven lust for the company's sublime white Costa collection, or the exotic glamour of Bottega Veneta's shiny black alligator skin Crocco collection.

The business traveler strides through international airports: a sturdy wheel-mounted model dutifully trailing behind. Their luggage has become a daily companion and they know the dimensions of the overhead baggage bins better than their own home phone number. This is why many models, such a Samsonite's Scope, designed by Marc Newson, are built to airline specification. No time for carousels, time is money. The wheeled suitcase is the boy racer of suitcases. Take Haliburton's Zeroller for example: who wouldn't feel a rush of adrenalin speeding down the moving walkway knowing their suitcase is made from the same material as an F-22 fighter jet?

The weekender travels light. They ooze simple sophistication as they breeze past luggage trolleys, carefully avoiding the two-wheeled speed demons. A simple leather hold-all, just big enough to fit a change of clothes, toiletries, an evening dress or shirt, and a spare pair of shoes, shows impeccable restraint on the packing front. A classic soft canvas hold-all, such as Dunhill's D8, is the gentleman's choice, while the ladies favor an oversized alter ego of the day bag.

With luggage like this, you may not need a guide, but you'll certainly need insurance.