125 Years of Globe-Trotter Exhibition

05 Nov 22


125 Years of Globe-Trotter Exhibition - GLOBE-TROTTER

A travelling exhibition of Globe-Trotter cases presents classics from the house archive, as well as a selection of collaboration projects between the British luggage brand and some surprising international partners.

The development of Globe-Trotter cases has been a 125-year journey, during which we have seen the innovative lightweight suitcase created at the end of the 19th century evolve into a much-loved design classic.

A new exhibition brings this evolution to life and shows how today’s Globe-Trotters essentially employ the original manufacturing methods first established by the firm back in 1897. Still created from the patented Vulcanised Fibreboard material and finished with leather corners, the cases are strong and durable, yet lightweight and functional. Over time, they have acquired a reputation as a much-loved example of great Made-in-England design.

The travelling exhibition celebrates the century and a quarter of Globe-Trotter, and launches in the Burlington Arcade flagship store in London before leaving on its tour of the world, providing a fascinating overview of the development of the brand’s luggage.

As well as displaying some key pieces from our earlier days, 125 Years of Globe-Trotter assembles for the first time a comprehensive selection of the innovative and varied collaborations we have produced in the 21st century.

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These days, collaborations between brands are an established way of creating exciting new products, forged from the interaction of different aesthetics and design philosophies. At Globe-Trotter, the concept of creative partnerships pre-dates the current vogue for these link-ups, as we began working on brand collaborations some two decades ago.

So why not visit the Globe-Trotter store in London’s Burlington Arcade and take a trip from 1897 and the days of train and steam, through the jet-set mid-20th century right up to today and our desire for increasingly adventurous and luxurious travel experiences.


c. 1897 Original brown suitcase. Vulcanised Fibreboard, made in Saxony.

c. 1935 Navy shoe case. Vulcanised Fibreboard, British made.

c. 1958 Burgundy 16″ Hat Case and Blue/Navy Suitcase. Vulcanised Fibreboard, made in England.

c. 1970 Ivory, personalised 26″ suitcase and Red 26″ Suitcase. Vulcanised Fibreboard, made in England.

1997 Safari collection. Vulcanised Fibreboard and leather, made in England.

2017 Carbon/Burgundy 20″ Trolley Case. Carbon fibre, made in England.

2020 to present Grey & Caramel 4-Wheel Cases. Vulcanised Fibreboard and leather, made in England.


Globe-Trotter Collaborations & Exquisite Partnerships

2007 Globe-Trotter x Eley Kishimoto

Print designers Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto, known for their own fashion collection and their work with designers such as Alexander McQueen, Jil Sander, Alber Elbaz and Marc Jacobs, created this decorated case, an early example of the use of Globe-Trotter’s Vulcanised Fibreboard shell as a canvas.

2007 Hermès Faubourg Express PM Suitcase by Globe-Trotter

For the French house’s autumn/winter 2007/08 collection, it collaborated with Globe-Trotter to create the Faubourg Express PM Suitcase. It features Globe-Trotter’s classic Vulcanised Fibreboard shell, silver hardware and brown leather corner details. However, inside, the lining is decorated with an illustration – the Champs de Courses (racetrack) by artist Hubert de Watrigant – alluding to Hermès’s equestrian heritage.

2009 Globe-Trotter x Agent Provocateur

The disruptive maker of lingerie partnered with Globe-Trotter on this exclusive case. The interior lining features a series of faux travel “stickers”, illustrated in inimitable Agent Provocateur style.

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2010 Wallpaper* for Globe-Trotter Limited Edition Luggage

Wallpaper* developed a set of luggage with Globe-Trotter that epitomises the contemporary chic of the magazine. A suitcase and holdall in Globe-Trotter’s classic blue colourway are lined with an illustration of an aerial view of Manhattan by award-winning illustrator Russell Bell.

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2010 Asprey Londoner Collection Suitcases in collaboration with Globe-Trotter

Designed by Asprey’s creative director Bruce Hoeksema in collaboration with Globe-Trotter, the Londoner Collection suitcases channelled the fact that Globe-Trotter has been a luggage maker for the British royal family (and Asprey is itself a Royal Warrant holder). Comprising a striking set of suitcases and trolley cases, the designs are in two colours – matt black with oxidised metallic corners and black crocodile trim and, using Asprey’s brand colour and that associated with royalty, metallic purple with purple crocodile trim. Both feature a hemp linen lining, Asprey’s signature lock, a leather hand-stamped Asprey label, and hand-stitched crocodile corners that match the removable luggage straps.

2012 Globe-Trotter x Manolo Blahnik with Lane Crawford

In 2012, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik was invited to curate a collection of shoes from his archive spanning four decades to be displayed at speciality department store Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. To accompany this, he also partnered with six brands, including Globe-Trotter, to create exclusive pieces to be sold at the store. The red-and-blue striped case makes a perfect shoe carrier.

2012 Skyfall: The Stabilist (Assassin’s) Case

To celebrate the release of Skyfall and 50 years of James Bond on screen, Globe-Trotter produced the Stabilist Case in 2012. The consumer model was based on the Globe-Trotter used in the film by the villain Patrice (Ola Rapace), which came apart to form a sniper’s rifle. The replica Stabilist Case is a slim 26″ aluminium suitcase with a diamond-quilted Alcantara lining and internal plaque to commemorate its appearance in Skyfall. Its handle is a facsimile of a rifle’s telescopic sight, a detail developed by Globe-Trotter and Pinewood Studios’ armourer especially for Skyfall. Each case features a unique serial number in the limited edition of 100.

2014 Globe-Trotter x Comme des Garçons

The hugely influential Japanese company founded by Rei Kawakubo is known for its striking designs, which in the early years often featured a distressed look. This tartan case nods to those punky origins.

2015 Globe-Trotter x Christopher Jenner

Renowned interior and product designer Christopher Jenner created a collection of decorative cases in collaboration with Globe-Trotter, aiming to explore the combination of traditional craft and modern technology. Taking Globe-Trotter’s classic suitcase as a base, Jenner was inspired by the idea of combining the flag of Great Britain, the Union Jack, and Globe-Trotter’s North Star motif. The result is the Union Star collection, produced through the innovative layering of laser-cut Vulcanised Fibreboard to create a spectacular pattern.

2016 Globe-Trotter x Alexander McQueen

Two exclusive cases – a 13″ mini utility case and a 21″ trolley case – were developed with Alexander McQueen. The fashion house introduced an all-over decoration of silver studs and riveting to the Vulcanised Fibreboard shells, and this signature detailing also appears on the black leather strap that wraps around the suitcase body and the utility case’s cross-body shoulder strap. Both straps fasten with a skull padlock, which is accompanied by a black leather clochette housing two sets of keys. The Alexander McQueen logo is etched on to the leather strap’s metal buckle, and the lining is in the brand’s signature ivory-and-black skull print; an Alexander McQueen plaque sits inside, too. These cases were produced in limited numbers.

2016 Globe-Trotter The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism Capsule Collection

In the summer of 2016, The Saatchi Gallery in London staged EXHIBITIONISM: The Rolling Stones, the first international exhibition dedicated to the world’s most iconic rock band. To celebrate this, Globe-Trotter created four new designs inspired by The Rolling Stones: a 9″ headphone case (including luggage tag and guitar strap), a 12″ record case (including luggage tag and guitar strap), a 21″ trolley case (including luggage tag), and a leather luggage tag. All feature the famous Rolling Stones tongue logo.

2017 Tiffany x Globe-Trotter

This was a collaboration between Globe-Trotter and the famous American luxury brand Tiffany & Co., which was founded some 60 years before the luggage maker, in 1837. The collection comprises four sizes of trolley cases, a vanity case and a jewellery case, all constructed from specially created Tiffany-blue Vulcanised Fibreboard. Contrasting silver locks, chic grey-blue leather straps and a matching lining result in an elegant and distinctive look, while a branded plaque identifies these cases as the result of an exclusive, transatlantic partnership. The luggage was only available at Tiffany’s famous Fifth Avenue flagship and a selection of its other stores.

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2018 Gucci Cases made by Globe-Trotter

In 1921, Guccio Gucci opened his first luggage atelier in Florence, inspired to do so by his time working as a porter in London’s prestigious Savoy hotel. Almost a century later, Gucci revived the British connection by coming to Globe-Trotter to hand-make a new collection of luggage. Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele was already accustomed to travelling with a Globe-Trotter in hand, so for his autumn/winter 2018/19 collection, the project with the British luggage maker made perfect sense. The resulting collection features bold prints or the house Double-G Supreme pattern, and incorporates Gucci’s famous signature green-red-green web stripe. Interestingly, the research and development undertaken to fulfil this special partnership led to Globe-Trotter developing its first four-wheeled case, as well as new, innovative digital printing techniques. The brand also came to use bamboo for the first time (for the vanity-case handles), as this material is a Gucci trope.

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2018-19 Globe-Trotter x Paul Smith

In 2018, Globe-Trotter teamed up with designer Sir Paul Smith to create 120 special-edition collaboration suitcases. These sold out within weeks, so, to meet demand, Globe-Trotter x Paul Smith was revived in the summer of 2019, with a choice of a classic 20″ Trolley Case or the more spacious 30″ version. As with the original edition of 120, both cases are in the firm’s black Vulcanised Fibreboard and feature Globe-Trotter’s trademark leather corners, which stand out in multiple colours inspired by the British designer’s famous Signature Stripe.

2021 Globe-Trotter x BOAC

To mark the retirement of the British Airways 747, the first aircraft to be called a “jumbo jet” Globe-Trotter created an exclusive suitcase collection to commemorate this great British icon of aeronautical design. The limited-edition Globe-Trotter BOAC Speedbird Carry-On Case was made to order and limited to just 150 pieces globally. It is painted in the retro pearl-and-navy colourway of the BOAC livery (the British Overseas Airways Corporation was the predecessor to British Airways). The cases come complete with BOAC’s stylish gold Speedbird logo. Remarkably, they also feature a small piece of the body of a 747 on the inside of the lid, in the position that the Globe-Trotter metal plaque usually occupies.

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The 125 Years of Globe-Trotter exhibition is at the Globe-Trotter flagship store at 60-61 Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, London W1J 0QJ, from 2nd to 12th November (10am-6pm), before travelling to Tokyo and then to LA, where it will also be displayed at our flagship stores in those cities.

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SKYFALL and related James Bond Indicia © 1962-2022 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
SKYFALL and related James Bond Trademarks are trademarks of Danjaq, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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