Celebrity coiffeur Jen Atkin is building a personal brand that extends beyond styling famous tresses.
In recent months, Atkin has teamed with companies like Dyson and Chloe + Isabel. Now, she has lent her eye to travel accessories — teaming with luggage company Calpak on a collaborative range of suitcases.
Priced from $285 to $385 and set to hit stores and Calpak’s direct retail channels on Oct. 30, the Jen Atkin x Calpak collection aims to bring a sense of whimsy and personalization to the oft-dingy, cookie-cutter experience that is travel.
“I feel like I have kind of gone into a space of creating solutions to people’s problems. Calpak is something that felt really organic. I turned down a lot of opportunities and chose to get involved with brands that are aligned with my same vision of making luxury products that are affordable,” said Atkin.
Atkin often travels multiple times a week for work — an experience that proved to be important market research when developing these suitcases. Inspired by Atkin’s travel woes, the collection’s four bag styles — ranging in size from a carry-on to a trunk — each come with a removable clear protective coating.
“I’m constantly traveling. I’ve spent hours waiting for baggage claims or dealing with different luggage issues. I’ve spent a fortune on fancy luggage and got to the point where the little things got me. Zippers on my expensive luggage were always breaking, I’ve had problems with wheels or the luggage getting dented — there was a lot of stuff I felt like I could work on,” she said.
Careful to consider her fan base in the process, Atkin held multiple Instagram Live sessions while in Calpak design meetings to poll her following on their design preferences.
To add a sense of individuality, Atkin offers the collection in four colors — red, pink, black and gold. The suitcases also come with a suite of stickers. Consumers can stick monogram letters onto the bags, as well as kitschy slogans like, “emotional baggage.” Atkin noted: “I crowdsourced and asked my followers what words they associate with travel — they were all negative, like jet lag and hanger. I tried to have fun with it and turn it into a positive thing.”