By  on July 9, 2007

MILAN — Thanks to Valextra's new bag, codesigned with yacht designer Jean Frers, storing clothes in tiny sailboat cabins will be an easier endeavor.

After extensive research, Valextra and Frers came up with a soft trunk-style bag with side zips and removable internal compartments for pants, shirts, formal and sporty footwear and beauty products. The bags retail from $2,950 to $4,790.

"It's a very new and useful concept. All you need to do is remove the bags and store them in the cabin's closet to keep things tidy and save space,"said Massimo Suppancig, Valextra's chief executive officer.

Suppancig met Frers, who has designed more than 1,000 ultraluxurious vessels, including the America's Cup entrant Luna Rossa, during a regatta in Portofino, Italy, two years ago. The duo hit it off immediately.

Once emptied of its compartments, the bag, which is made with high-tech waterproof cotton that is resistant to scuffing and scratching, can be rolled up, resolving the where-to-store dilemma.

The leather-trimmed bag comes in two colors — cream for women and navy blue for men.

A garment bag that completely opens up is also part of the package. It's manageable and practical with two side zippers that allow owners to remove garments even when the bag is hanging inside the closet.

Back on terra firma, Valextra has successfully pushed ahead to complement its typically rigid styles with soft versions crafted from supple calfskin and with labor-intensive techniques.

Though he wouldn't disclose sales figures, Suppancig said he expects a 37 percent increase this year.

In terms of retail expansion, Barneys New York will open Valextra corners in its Los Angeles and San Francisco outposts this month and in September, respectively.

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