They have a shape easily recognizable by their grooves, they are light in aluminum or polycarbonate and sold between 400 and 1.000 euros. Yes we are talking about the Rimowa brand. Often waterproof, they’re appreciated in the world of photography and cinema. The brand also offers a repair service offered in hotels. For thirty-four years, Dieter Morszeck has been the head of the company and has increased the turnover from 3.5 million euros in 1982 to more than 400 million expected this year, for 3,000 employees in the world. Operational profitability would be “double-digit,” according to reliable sources.
At its beginnings, in 1938, the brand manufactured trunks for boats and trains in plywood covered with a layer of leather. The second generation of leaders launched in 1937 an aluminum model. Then, polycarbonate made its appearance in 2000, with equivalent sales today in value to those made in aluminum.
While experiencing a dazzling success, Rimowa has maintained a largely artisanal manufacturing. In addition to its factory in Cologne, where the aluminum cases come out, the company operates a site in the Czech Republic, which focuses on polycarbonate. There is also a factory in Brazil to produce a local color suitcase, the “Bossa Nova”, and another in Canada for the North American market.
Owned by the LVMH group since 2017, the world’s leading luxury goods company owns 80% of Rimowa, a nugget from Mittelstand for 640 million euros. This is a first for the group of Avenue Montaigne had made acquisition in Germany.
For Rimowa’s CEO, Alexandre Arnault, the Rimowa suitcase is a blank canvas for artists, as the brand surrounds itself with prestigious artists in order to offer exclusive models, but especially a cross work between the two parties. For exemple, the model co-signed with Off-White required eight months of development in the laboratories and workshops of the Cologne firm.