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Luggage for modern nomads

Stylish storage space: Rimowa’s Salsa Air Range, available in various colours. Phoot by The Star

Publication Date : 22-11-2012


The history of the company whose luggage is highly valued around the globe by business travellers, flight crew members and tourists, started more than 100 years ago.

It is a typically German – and extraordinary – success story of an enthusiastic visionary and his family business, and their rise to the position of global leading player.

Rimowa’s first case was produced in the year 1898 – in the case factory in Cologne, Germany. At the time, the name of the company was Kofferfabrik Paul Morszeck.

At the turn of the century, the cases were made of wood but the Cologne factory was already setting standards with a design that was lightweight. Within a few years, Rimowa’s large wardrobe and steamer trunks became the travel companions of high society.

In 1937, Richard Morszeck, the son of the company founder, introduced the first steamer trunk made of lightweight metal into the market. This was only the first of numerous innovative ideas upon which the global success of Rimowa is based.

In 1950, the first case made from aluminium with the typical contour structure was introduced. The great thing is the design combines minimum weight with maximum stability.

There was another pioneering development in 1976, as the first waterproof transport cases appeared. These were in great demand among film crew members and photographers. The waterproof system reliably protects the professional sensitive equipment against water, humidity, tropical heat and artic cold.

In 1998, Rimowa celebrated its 100-year company anniversary.

Technical precision, high-quality materials, precision workmanship and continuous striving for innovation are its pillars of success.

In 2000, Dieter Morszeck – who since 1981 has been the third-generation family member to head the company – used recyclable material polycarbonate in case construction.

Polycarbonate, which is used for aeroplane panels and in vehicle construction, is resilient and shock proof; dents regain their original form by themselves. With polycarbonate, it is possible to reduce the weight of the case while maintaining stability. Rimowa was thus the first luggage manufacturer worldwide to use this plastic.

From 2000 to 2006, product lines were further diversified and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Among other things, innovations include the patented Multiwheel systems which increase the mobility of the cases. Thanks to technology adapted from office chairs, even heavy cases can be rotated almost playfully on their axis.

In 2008, the product range was extended again. There is now the Salsa Deluxe series available in new colours in addition to the Topas Titanium luxury line.

In 2009, Rimowa again set new standards. The lightest Salsa arrived in the form of the Salsa Air and impressed with its minimal weight and offbeat colours.

In 2010, the company celebrated two anniversaries: 60 years of aluminium cases with contours and 10 years of polycarbonate cases. In addition to these anniversaries, there were two awards won: travel magazine Travel+Leisure honoured the Salsa Deluxe as “Best Luggage” and the Travel Goods Association awarded first prize to Salsa Air.

Today, Rimowa counts itself among premium brands for cases made of aluminium and high-tech material polycarbonate. It is one of the few manufacturers producing luggage in Germany. For Rimowa, “Made in Germany” and “German Engineering” mean excellent materials, brilliant technology and extraordinary design with the highest quality of workmanship.

A major part of the production work is still done by hand, for this is said to be the only way to guarantee the extraordinary quality of a Rimowa case. Only the polycarbonate bodies are deep drawn by a machine – a procedure developed by Rimowa itself, in order to guarantee the greatest possible flexibility and robustness of this material.


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