Michael Petry

Michael Petry has resigned his post as global creative director of Tumi, effective today.

This story first appeared in the October 3, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Petry joined Tumi in 2015 and was responsible for elevating the brand through product design and multiple high-level collaborations and partnerships with musicians, athletes and designers. He also led visual merchandising and store design.

Petry declined to comment on his departure and hasn’t disclosed his plans. A successor hasn’t been named yet, and Samsonite, parent company of Tumi, thanked Petry “for pushing the Tumi brand forward.”

Prior to joining Tumi, Petry was senior vice president and creative director at The Frye Co. for eight years, where he is credited with expanding the brand. Earlier, he was a senior design director for Prada and before that served as senior design director of footwear for Ralph Lauren. He began his career at Adidas USA.

In August, Samsonite International S.A. closed on its deal to acquire Tumi for $1.8 billion. Samsonite said it was interested in doubling Tumi’s revenues, which stood at $548 million in 2015, in three years. Tumi also disclosed a new collaborative campaign with Heineken aimed at introducing the lifestyle brand to a new audience. The Heineken collection includes a tote, a backpack, a luggage roller that has a handle allowing the tote to slip onto, and a special Tumi PAX jacket that converts into a neck pillow. The items feature a green stripe to represent Heineken.

During his tenure, Petry forged collaborations with Public School and Langley Fox. He also introduced the first ever aluminum luggage for the brand that’s currently being launched.

In an interview in April at Tumi’s offices, Petry said, “We’re excited for what the future holds. We will remain a luxury platform in their portfolio. Things don’t happen overnight.” He said for the near future at least, “It’s business as usual.” He described the company’s outlook as “very positive.”

The fall 2016 line marked the first time Petry put his imprint on the collection. “I’m not changing Tumi from black to white,” Petry said. “I am trying not to alienate anybody. Certainly, this is an evolution,” he said last spring.

Among recent contributions were the addition of men’s products to the Landon and Haydon lines, new matte black finishes and paint-splash print finishes and five additional women’s premium handbags called the Mariella collection aimed at the modern chief executive officer “for all your devices and personal effects.” Mariella features an ad campaign with Petra Nemcova.

There is also a woven east-west leather tote as part of the NoHo line for the first time, and a fall color palette that’s “dark and saturated,” emphasizing navy, pine and merlot and complemented by “fun prints” such as an indigo floral print. Last week, the company said women’s is the brand’s fastest-growing business, both at its retail stores and in its wholesale business. Petry designed a new store concept that opened in the World Trade Center, as well as Ala Moana in Hawaii and Copley Plaza in Boston.

 

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