Rimowa is reorganizing but it looks more like destroy and rebuild. Firstly I noticed Rimowa has stopped selling to retailers (they plan on only selling through their stores and webshop), then I noticed the new website with a downsized collection. Only suitcases are on display on their website, no Pilot, no Beauty Case and many other items people used to love are no longer on display on their website.
Does this mean they are no longer selling these models? Only Alexandre knows I guess. Because I asked around at retailers and no one knows. The only thing they could tell me is that they have received a notice from Rimowa that all contracts with retailers have been ended. I have even been to Rimowa stores in Paris and guess what. No one actually knows what is going on and what is going to happen with the future of the Rimowa collection. Last year I went to the Rimowa store in Cologne there was the Gourmet set, the Humidor, the Pilot on display. Even the protective cases for the iPhone and iPad were sold there. This year I went to the flagship store in Paris and all of that was gone. Only suitcases were on display. (and some stickers)
The photo and video collection from Rimowa, the Tropicana and Amazones are probably also being discontinued. This collection, which was already hard to obtain (only a few specialist photo shops sold them) is very popular among photographers. The case has a very nostalgic and wanderlust feel about it.
The future is uncertain and maybe some models will find their way back into the collection, maybe others don’t.
The future is uncertain and maybe some models will find their way back into the collection, maybe others don’t. I couldn’t care less if the Gourmet set is coming back or if the iPad case is returning. But it would be really unfortunate if the Pilot isn’t coming back or if the Tropicana/Amazonas isn’t returning. The Pilot is to me one of the most functional and beautiful suitcases out there. The lid can be opened from the top and on the inside their are compartments which can hold documents and a laptop. It’s the ideal compagnon for short business trips.
Even though I understand that the Rimowa Tropicana/Amazonas is not commercially interesting, I don’t believe many are sold and the labour and production costs are relatively high, but it’s still one of the most beautiful and robust cases out there. Only the name Tropicana gives me a warm feeling. A feeling of going on adventure and documenting placing you haven’t been and seen before.
Until the smoke has settled I hold on to my Pilot and Tropicana case and try to keep them as well preserved as I can. Maybe they won’t be produced ever again.
Update 12 August 2018
Price and availability
The new collection is already available on the Rimowa website in most European countries. On the US website they are not available through their website.
In certain Rimowa stores throughout North America the new collection can be purchased. The stores which sell them are the Rimowa Stores in Toronto, New York and Beverly Hills. Other Rimowa Stores, for example the Rimowa Store in Boston is still selling the old collection. The new collection is not available at retailers in North America. When they will be available is still not clear.
The prices are going up on the Original (previously Topas) and the Classic (previously Classic Flight). The price is expected to go up with 10% to 15% on both models.
The recent changes will eventually lead to scarcity and higher prices.
Whether other models like the Pilot, Beauty Case are returning is still unclear.