View Slideshow
Petra Nemcova carrying the Tula tote.

Tumi is making a bigger play in the women’s market through its first premium collection, called Mariella.

The luggage and accessories firm is aiming Mariella at the modern female chief executive officer, someone who travels around the globe armed with two cell phones and a tablet and wants a compartmentalized bag so she only needs to carry one bag. The design concept for the larger style features a wide base so it can stand on the table and not topple over.

The material is lightweight leather, some with a nubuck finish. The price points start at $695 and top out at $1,200. There are five styles for fall, and the collection will be updated in spring with new colors. A new line of silhouettes, such as a backpack, will be unveiled next fall. The current line of silhouettes includes Tula, the chief executive officer tote; Eva, a satchel with top handles and a removable cross-body strap; Mini Eva, a slimmer version in a cross-body style; Kora Boston Bag, a leather duffel, and Mia Clutch, which includes a removable chain strap that can be worn across the body or doubled up over the shoulder.

The company said women’s is the fastest growing business, both at its retail stores and in its wholesale business. Mariella will be available at select Tumi doors, on the company’s web site and in top doors around the world starting on Saturday.

Tumi has been working with model Petra Nemcova, a longtime Tumi customer and the brand ambassador, in testing the Mariella silhouettes. “I’ve been a devoted Tumi user, traveling solely with the brand for the last 16 years,” she said. Tumi recently hosted a charity event to raise awareness for the Happy Hearts Fund, the organization that she founded in 2006. Happy Hearts works to rebuild safe schools for children and communities affected by natural disasters.

Market sources said the luggage and accessories firm is eying Mariella as having a premium halo effect on the brand, with learnings from consumer likes and dislikes helping to improve functionality of its lower priced counterparts. Currently the company’s Voyager, featuring nylon as the fabrication, is the casual day-to-day, go-to line for travel.