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If you’re manifesting balmy beach resorts and elegant winter lodges peppered liberally with Michelin stars for 2022, then you’re going to want to spend the year with a piece of luggage that more appropriately aligns with your tastes. Designer luggage is the crux around which any high-end kit revolves, and there’s no time like the present to make that investment.
Whether it’s an updated classic from Rimowa or a James Bond-approved carbon fiber carry-on engraved with the 007 logo and a unique serial number, our picks are a stylish fusion of form and function.
And if you think a high-end suitcase is out of your price range, you may be surprised to find out that there’s a broad variety within this tier. Many entries are designed to last far longer than budget pieces that warrant constant replacement; they can actually end up costing less money over several years.
Here’s a selection of some of the best designer luggage available that is sure to keep you on the road in style.
Louis Vuitton Pégase Légère 55
Made by the long-time titan of travel bags of all kinds, the Louis Vuitton Pégase Légère 55 is a modern take on the brand’s distinctive styling. The case is emblazoned with Vuitton’s signature checked coated canvas, trimmed in leather, and finished with gold hardware. The Pégase Légère is a more compact version of Vuitton’s cult-classic Pégase Trolley, perfect when you’re only headed out for the weekend.
Dolce & Gabbana Leopard-Print Leather Satchel
From a brand already known for its outrageous approach to haute couture comes the Dolce & Gabbana Leopard-Print Leather Satchel, an ultra-luxurious bag despite its diminutive size. Like the average duffel, this one has a cavernous interior for your belongings and a couple of smart pockets to separate essentials.
You can carry it with the two top handles or the detachable cross-body strap when you need your hands free. And lucky for you, it’s naturally water resistant thanks to the luxurious calfskin shell.
Rimowa Cabin Twist
From the makers of the original must-have suitcase, Rimowa’s Cabin Twist is the result of a new take on their classic design. Though many luggage companies have emulated Rimowa’s signature grooved aluminum suitcases over the years, none have been as successful in updating it as themselves, the “twist” in this piece being the thoughtful contemporary engineering for the modern traveler.
Many details from Rimowa’s original 1937 case were used to design this luggage line, including the corrugated silver-toned aluminum shell. These elements were morphed into a modern trolley design and outfitted with silent, 360° wheels, re-engineered telescopic handle, and contrast leather trim.
Calvin Klein Vision 3 Piece Suitcase Set
Slick and modern, the Calvin Klein Vision 3 Piece Suitcase Set keeps you ready for any length of trip. You can use only the included carry-on for a weekend and add the medium and large suitcases when you need to take enough stuff to get you through several weeks.
Though oversized, the logo on the front is only subtly embossed to display your brand loyalty without seeming too ostentatious. You can choose your favorite of five different colors to ensure your luggage matches your aesthetic. And thankfully, in the broader world of designer luggage sets, this one is surprisingly affordable.
Mulberry Four Wheel Trolley
Made of the same nearly indestructible composite Scotchgrain canvas as their classic handbags, the Mulberry Four Wheel Trolley aims to be your favorite carry-on for years to come. Their proprietary method of vinylizing canvas ensures the piece’s longevity, while all of the accents and fittings are chosen specifically to ensure it will last for decades.
Finishing it out are brass and aluminum findings, calf leather trim, and 360º smooth-glide wheels designed to honor the elegant simplicity of this legacy brand. This is an ideal piece for someone who requires the ease of a rolling suitcase but is still looking for an heirloom-quality piece.
With a design that invokes the retro styling of the original luxury suitcases, the Montblanc Leather-Trimmed Polycarbonate Cabin Trolley is as functional as it is elegant. Though they swapped the classic aluminum fabrication for more utilitarian polycarbonate, the details have been maximized to convey the brand’s minimal but distinguished aesthetic.
Because it’s made of a lightweight material instead of metal, it’s much easier to stay within an airline’s weight requirements for carry-on luggage. That, combined with its compact size, is perfect to stow in the overhead bin of nearly any commercial airline, so you can roll it straight out of the airport without having to wait at baggage claim.
A soft-sided rolling carry-on that still delivers a luxe look, the Fendi Trolley invokes everything you already love from the brand in a practical piece of luggage. The fabric shell bears their signature monogram logo print contrasted with beige leather trim for that iconic Fendi aesthetic. And if there was any doubt left who was responsible for crafting this fine luggage, an embossed chrome brand plate is affixed to the top of its telescoping handle.
When you see the Aviteur Carry-On, the first thing you may notice in its design is a certain exacting sensibility, a balance that owes itself to the singular vision of Patricia Gucci, Grandaughter of Guccio Gucci and the founder of Aviteur.
This case certainly has an overall industrial quality, though this is gently offset by warmer touches: the supple calfskin trim and thoughtful caning panels provide an organic element.
But its signature feature, emerging from a brushed-finish aluminum sheath, is a buttonless lucite handle. It’s carved from a solid block to give it extra durability and a shocking clarity, a feature that immediately sets this case apart from all the others at the airport.
Mark Cross Grace Trunk Small
With a romantic styling that hearkens back to the glory days of Hollywood, the Grace Trunk Small was inspired by the overnight case Grace Kelly toted in the classic Hitchcock film, Rear Window.
It’s completely handcrafted: buttery Celadon calfskin is wrapped around a meticulously assembled poplar frame, and fittings are all made from gold-plated brass. The cherry-red cotton twill lining is also utilized to create several elasticized pockets to keep small items where you can find them. The styling of the interior is reminiscent of a jewelry box, giving your belongings the respect they deserve.
Ted Baker Magnolia Small Suitcase
The Ted Baker Magnolia Small Suitcase has all the versatility you’d expect from a hard-sided carry-on. It has a few pouches, an internal zippered divider, and compression straps to keep your things organized. It’s crafted from shatter-resistant polycarbonate for increased durability, though it’s embellished with a contrast print front placard to keep it unique.
Rather than the typical corrugated texture you find on other hard-sided luggage, the Magnolia has a sleek, glossy finish that looks ultra-luxe and offsets the contrast details nicely. Bonus: the print of the interior lining is a black-on-black rendering of the signature print on the front.
Goyard Bourget PM Trolley Case
The ultimate piece of luxury luggage, the Goyard Bourget PM Trolley Case incorporates a suitcase’s retro styling with a trolley’s convenience. Thankfully, it’s designed meticulously to ensure that these elements don’t compete with each other; the wheels and telescoping handle seemingly disappear into the aesthetic.
Most of the shell is fabricated with Goyardine canvas with leather trim, including the retro belting that encircles its middle. The most iconic feature might be the chromed padlock that secures the clasp, a dead giveaway of this piece’s unique provenance.
Globe-Trotter Limited Edition No Time to Die Suitcase
A limited-edition piece commemorating and embodying the Bond film No Time to Die, the Globetrotter Carbon Fiber Carry-On Suitcase is easily the most durable piece of luggage on this list. While polycarbonate has become the industry standard for hard-sided luggage, carbon fiber is far more lightweight and scratch-resistant, and much less likely to dent or warp from impact.
Each piece is numbered out of 700, a detail that can be found on an embossed leather tag affixed to the quilted interior. And each one is fitted with chromed-steel, TSA-approved locking latches to keep your belongings extra secure.
Brunello Cucinelli Brown Leather Cabin Suitcase
Made with a buttery calfskin leather exterior, the Brunello Cucinelli Brown Leather Cabin Suitcase is otherwise a traditional rolling suitcase. All of the typical trappings are there: four easy-glide wheels, a telescopic handle, and interior compression straps to make it as easy to travel with as other, more techy alternatives.
While it looks and behaves much like your average, soft-sided rolling suitcase, it’s specifically designed with longevity in mind. From the specially engineered smooth-spinning wheels to the top-quality leather that will patinate beautifully as it ages, this is a piece made to withstand the tests of time.
If you’ve never quite been able to contain yourself within the confines of single-bag travel, then you might be the perfect candidate for a designer luggage duo like the BRIC’S MILANO Bellagio 2.0 Luggage Set.
All the practicality of contemporary travel cases are there: internal dividers to organize your belongings, silent Hinomoto wheels, and a TSA-approved zipper lock. But outside, the vintage-inspired styling hearkens back to the golden age of aviation when a matched set of luggage was de rigueur.
Gucci Mini Ophidia GG Supreme Luggage
Though they’ve certainly expanded their product line in the over a hundred years since it was founded, the Gucci Mini Ophidia GG Supreme Luggage recalls the brand’s beginnings as a designer luggage and travel accessory house. As the name implies, this stately case is emblazoned with Gucci’s iconic GG Supreme canvas and finished in contrast leather trim, all in a blue and beige colorway.
Its super compact design makes it the perfect overnight or weekender; it’s often small enough to use as an underseat bag on many airlines.
FPM Milano Leather-Trimmed Aluminium Suitcase
Designed to have exceptional impact resistance, the FPM Milano Leather-Trimmed Aluminium Suitcase has several features engineered specifically to keep your items secure. At 24 inches, this is a checked bag size, but its corrugated aluminum shell is made to prevent dents and scratches caused by even the most overzealous baggage handlers.
Rounding out the styling is a divided interior secured by adjustable leather straps and chromed rivets and latches that add to its industrial aesthetic. If you’d like to carry it as a traditional suitcase, it’s fitted with a handle on one side and four sturdy feet on the reverse.
Ermenegildo Zegna Leggerissimo Smart Suitcase
The perfect carry-on for those seeking something ultra-functional stylish, the Zegna Leggerissimo Smart Suitcase hides within its crisp but organic lines a dedicated pocket for a power bank. You can plug in your phone to charge without even opening the case via the dedicated splitter that provides two exterior USB ports.
The details of this piece – like the USB ports – are what make it look and feel exceptionally luxurious: the gently corrugated polycarbonate exterior, the expertly styled, divided interior. Even the handles are crafted in a unique process where fine leather is woven together to create an entirely new textile, which adds both luxuriousness and durability to this legacy piece.
Karl Lagerfeld K/Ikonik Trolley
A mix of flexible and rigid materials, the Karl Lagerfeld K/Ikonik Trolley is perfect for those who, ideally, need features from both a hard and softsided suitcase. The bulk of the case is crafted from sturdy polyacrylic to keep its contents safe, but it has an added nylon front pocket to stash your most essential items.
Large enough to carry a few toiletries, a 13″ laptop, a passport, and a few other choice items, the front pocket makes one-bag travel effortless as it keeps items you frequently use the easiest to access. It’s finished with contrast Ikonik Karl artwork.
Off-White Arrows Trolley
From the line helmed by the visionary, late Virgil Abloh comes the Off-White Arrows Trolly, a classic carry-on suitcase that showcases Abloh’s signature minimalist design aesthetic. Inside, you’ll find all the trappings of a traditional suitcase: dividers to separate different items, and elastic compression straps to keep clothing at bay.
But on the outside, despite the monochromatic color scheme, you’ll find the classic Off-White arrows logo, boldly embossed across its front. Its styling is simultaneously brazen and subtle, and its 360º spinning wheels help you stay effortlessly cool as you board your flight.