This story was originally published on Domino.
If it feels like good quality, durable luggage and design-minded, chic luggage are two mutually exclusive categories, it’s because they often are. This is why, when CALPAK announced a just-launched collaboration with designer and blogger Joy Cho from Oh Joy!, we were immediately interested. Bridging the gap between fashion and function, the new collection is ideal for the stylish globetrotter looking to add a bit of whimsy to their travels.
“Oh Joy! is a lifestyle brand that simply exudes joy, and our goal is to bring moments of happiness to people with our content and products. For me, this was a way of bringing the party wherever you may go,” says Cho of her decision to expand her designs into the luggage space.
“Joy received our milk marble luggage collection in the fall of 2016—which she later let us know she fell in love with—and reached out to us to see if we’d like to collaborate on a fun new collection,” says Jennifer Kwon, CALPAK’s Director of Product Development, of how the partnership with Cho came about. “It didn’t take much convincing from Joy, as we were already in love with her designs, and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to create a whimsical and bright collection with lots of happy personality!”
“Happy” is actually the perfect word to describe this vibrant-hued collection. Three prints, each reflective of Cho’s signature, playful style, are available in multiple forms. From actual suitcases to 17-inch hat boxes to packing cube sets, there are numerous ways to incorporate a bit of this fun collection into your travel routine.
Confetti, Cho’s personal favorite, is a multi-colored, spotty print on a white backdrop, and probably the simplest of the lot. The feminine Floral print is exactly what you’d think: Colorful blooms in complementary hues, perfect for ushering in the spring a little early. Finally, Sunset is a gorgeous ombre print, inspired by “the parting optimism of each day”—and it stands out the most for Kwon.
“It ties the collection together,” Kwon says. “It coordinates with the other Confetti and Floral prints perfectly!”
For Cho, designing the collection was all about balance, fusing her design aesthetic with the structure and durability CALPAK luggage is known for. “We worked together to choose the best silhouettes, trims, finishes, and hardware for our collection that would work well with the prints. The goal was to be playful, but also make pieces that a grown-up would want,” she says. “There are a lot of gold accents and clean white trim to offset the playful colors.”Fans of the designer’s bold style won’t be disappointed. Cho, who has been producing successful collaboration after successful collaboration—from colorful photobooks to patterned tiles to an ongoing Target line—stayed true to her design roots. She cites a gap in the market for luggage adorned with statement-making prints as her main inspiration for the line.
“You don’t see suitcases with patterns very often, so it was important to me to make sure the patterns were ones that someone would love to use for a long time to come,” says Cho. “Since we wanted to make the patterns feel like a timeless version of Oh Joy!, the prints were based on optimism, joy, and the idea of bringing the party wherever you go.”
This is definitely a welcome alternative to the useful, but generally more lackluster smart luggage trend. If you feel the same way, head to calpaktravel.com to shop the collection, which ranges in price from $48 to $385.