Two former Warby Parker executives have started a luggage brand called Away.
Jen Rubio and Stephanie Korey expect to introduce a carry-on bag in February, a year after founding the brand. The duo plan a full luggage line that contains features making it easier for the frequent traveler. The carry-on bag can be pre-ordered now.
According to Korey, “The design is different from what else is out there. Every individual part is designed to be most durable and of premium quality. We have durable double wheels, zippers that are YKK — super rare in luggage and so important because those don’t break — and in the carry-on, a built-in battery that’s accessible from the outside.”
Korey said the high-capacity battery can charge devices up to five times. Adapters are used to support cell phones, tablets and a Kindle. The bag also was designed with a laundry organizational system in mind, with an attached, but removable bag that can hold used apparel that’s compressed to save space.
Luggage bags planned for spring include medium and large check-in bags. While they will contain the laundry system, they won’t contain any of the charging components.
The carry-on is priced at $225, and the larger check-in bags are expected to be priced under $300. Comparable bags in the market place have initial price points beginning in the $500 range.
The firm this summer raised $2.5 million in a seed round that includes venture capital firms Forerunner Ventures and Accel Partners, and a number of individual investors that include Andy Dunn, the founding chief executive officer of Bonobos.
Eurie Kim, partner at Forerunner, said, “As early stage commerce investors, we were naturally attracted to the massive market opportunity Away is addressing in the luggage category; but what really stood out was the vision Jen and Steph have for building Away to be a modern lifestyle brand that not only leverages technology and elegant design to delight customers, but also creates a travel-inspired community and experience that stands for much more than just luggage.”
According to Kim, the luggage category is estimated to be more than $30 billion globally, and projected to reach $40 billion in the next five years. She noted that Away’s competitors include Rimowa, Samsonite and Tumi.
While at Warby, Rubio was head of social media and Korey was head of supply chain.