Luggage: A brief history

Luggage, often referred to as “baggage” or “suitcases” is a term coined in 1596, from lug (v.) “to drag;” so, lit. “what has to be lugged about” (or, in Johnson’s definition, “any thing of more bulk than value”). In 20c., the usual word for “baggage belonging to passengers.”

For more than six hundred years, people have used traveling cases, steamer trunks valises, portmanteaus, briefcases, weekenders and the now ubiquitous rolling case to get their goods from point A to point B.

As lover of history, I’ve always been fascinated by luggage – many homes in my native DC have strange small “bedrooms,” (which can’t be referred to as such because they lack windows and closets) that were once housing for the owner’s trunks. I took a steamer trunk to college, only to find that it didn’t even come close to fitting in my shoebox of a dorm room. My greatest desire? A vintage Louis Vuitton case – and an appropriate wardrobe (and private jet ) to carry it.

So for this edition of “The Way We Traveled,” check out this brief timeline of luggage factoids:

1153 – The first wheeled luggage appears in Palestine and was used to carry weaponry and equipment.

1851 – Queen Victoria awards Prince Albert three gold medals for his Travelling Carry-All Omni-Conveyance, Bewheele.

1854 – Louis Vuitton as we know it was born, initially specializing in luggage.

1910 – Samsonite launches.

1970 – Briggs & Riley introduces modern “wheeled” luggage, offering four wheels and a rope tow.

1972 – U.S. Luggage patents wheeled luggage.

1989 – A Northwest Airlines pilot becomes the first person to carry wheeled luggage

1994 – Don Ku was granted a patent for wheeled suitcase with a collapsible towing handle.

2006 – A ban on liquids over 3 oz. in carry-on luggage is announced.

Late 2000s – Airlines begin charging bag fees for checked luggage on domestic flights.

2013 – The date when the proposed ban on liquids in carry on luggage will be reversed in the EU.

*This article was updated to reflect additional information about wheeled luggage on March 2, 2011.

Amble by Louis Vuitton iPhone app invites you to discover the world

When Louis Vuitton approached me to introduce their first iPhone App, I fully expected nothing more than an iPhone based storefront for ordering good looking (but expensive) luggage. As it turns out, I was wrong to judge that quickly, because their first app is actually a thing of beauty.

Called Amble – this app is designed to let you follow in the footsteps of “friends of Louis Vuitton”, or journeys created by other Amble users.

The app contains a pretty decent selection of pre-loaded “Ambles” from people like Sarah Jessica-Parker and Sofia Coppola. And don’t expect walking tours around snotty places – Sofia Coppola starts her Amble tour at Shake Shack, followed by a music store and a charming book shop.

If you’d rather create you own Amble, you can use your phone to design your own – with GPS mapping, photos, video and audio. Once created, others can follow in your footsteps and enjoy the same experience you wanted to share.

The app is free of charge, but more comprehensive city guides with Louis Vuitton recommendations have to be purchased, These start at $5.99. You’ll find it in the App Store.

With Amble in hand, you’ll have a much easier time finding somewhere to eat next time you find yourself bored in Sant-Tropez.


Daily Pampering: World’s most expensive iPad

When money is no object, the objects available are endless.

While the typical shopper waited in line to buy Apple’s iPad, London-based luxury designer Stuart Hughes began working on the ultimate iPad for the luxe-lifestyler. Along with his wife Katherine Hughes, the designer adds gold, platinum and precious stones to the newest electronic products to hit the market and creates a product that makes a statement, beyond its original purpose. So, when Apple introduced the iPad it seemed only natural that the Hughes’ would add their luxurious touch this piece of coveted technology.

Think you’re worth it? Think fast – one of the designers’ appeal is that there are only a limited number of items available for purchase.

The solid Platinum iPad SUPREME Edition: The solid platinum and diamond iPad is encrusted with 85.5 cts of ‘I’F’ Flawless diamonds, a total amount of 173 individually set sparkling diamonds. The iPad alone weighs in at 1.5 pounds, but add the platinum and diamonds to this gem and you’ll be carrying around a 6 pound piece of blinged-out technology. The platinum iPad is available in the Wi-Fi & 3G , 64GB versions, but only 5 platinum iPads are available for sale o be made.
Total price: £299,995.00 (about $443,000 USD)

The solid Gold iPad SUPREME Edition: A little lighter that the Platinum iPad, but equally as stunning, is the Gold iPad, which is encrusted with 25.5 cts of ‘I’F’ Flawless diamonds – a total of 53 individually set diamonds that sit around the 22ct Apple logo on the back of the iPad. The back of the iPad and the perimeter of the screen are made from a single piece of solid 22ct gold, which brings the weight of this beauty to roughly 4.5 pounds.There are only 10 items available in either the Wi-Fi or 3G editions.
Total price: Price – £129,995.00 (about $192,000 USD)

Can’t afford one of these priceless pieces? Maybe you should just dress up your iPad with a luxury case from Louis Vuitton.

Want more? Get your dose of Daily Pampering right here.

Luxury designer brand Louis Vuitton enters the hotel industry

The designer-inspired-hotels trend is ramping up. The Villa by Barton G has taken over the former Versace mansion, and Armani is getting set to open its first hotel in the Burj Dubai. Ralph Lauren and Bulgari have helped design exclusive hotels around the world, and now, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, announced plans to manage two luxury hotels in Egypt and Oman.

The two hotel project will cost $100 million and is financed by Egypt’s Orascom Development Holdings and private investors, including the Sultanate of Oman, according to an article in the Financial Times.

According to the article, the Oman hotel will feature 32 private villas, each with its own beach and swimming pool. The 40-suite hotel in Egypt will be set on an island overlooking the Nile. Both of the hotels are set to open in 2012, complete with a suite of luxury accommodations and amenities.

Paris-based LVMH, already famous for its leather handbags and watches, said the creation of LVMH Hotel Management was a “natural extension of activities in luxury hospitality”. LVMH alluded that there are more designer hotels in the pipeline, but the story gave no indication on when or where these hotels would launch.

Daily Pampering: Luxury Avenue in Cancun changes travel shopping completely

What do you do when your wallet starts to itch? If you’re sunning yourself in Cancun, Mexico, have a car take you from your resort to the new Luxury Avenue. This new travel retail destination has brought together in one place such stores as Mont Blanc, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo and Zegna — creating a shopping experience reminiscent of South Beach or Cannes. Luxury Avenue is within striking distance of the area’s top hotels, including Gran Caribe Real, Ritz-Carlton and Le Meridien Cancun.

When you need a break from toting your bags around — or if you want to fuel up for a run through Luxury Avenue — stop by the Luxury Bar and Café on the mezzanine level; it’s open from noon to 9 PM. There’s always Veuve Clicquot on ice, but you can sip a great red instead, if that’s how you prefer to unwind. Sit back in a bright pink loveseat — courtesy of Veuve — and chill like the flute in your fingers. If you’re intent on working in the midst of this decadence, at least you’ll be able to hit the free high-speed internet access.

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