NEW YORK — David Chu held a spring presentation last week, getting a jump on competitors waiting for New York Fashion Week. By presenting 12 looks, the apparel brand was de-emphasized in favor of showcasing Chu’s more recent venture, Tumi. Holiday and spring offerings of the high-end luggage, as well as totes and briefcases, were given center stage.
“I wanted to make Tumi more glamorous and have more style to it,” said David Chu. “The most glamorous time for travel was the 1920s and ’30s.” So the company devised a collection of hard-sided trunks—including one built to hold 12 pairs of shoes and another with a combination lock, for jewelry—all paneled with Tumi’s signature, ballistic nylon, and trimmed with vacchetta leather.
“It was easy to take on this Tumi project because to me it’s the same guy,” he said. The man who wears David Chu also carries Tumi, he figures.
The David Chu spring collection was shown in two stagings. The more tailored group is a bold mix of light colors with black and white. A linen blazer comes in many colors, which are complemented by summery ties of mogador silk. The more relaxed group is more California-inspired, Chu said. Silhouettes are softer and the palette shifts to pale browns and blues.
Chu added that Tumi is planning to roll out more categories of accessories. And in a push to increase its women’s business and its fashion cachet, it just shot a slick advertising campaign featuring supermodel Shalom Harlow.