Icy Ling, CEO and Co-Founder of IC & Co

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20 Sep 2021

Since its establishment in 1898, RIMOWA has shaped the conversation around purposeful travel. Now, as the world continues to navigate the pandemic after an unprecedented pause, RIMOWA continues this legacy with an impactful brand campaign that explores travel’s evolving role in our lives.

Featuring creative powerhouse Rihanna, NBA superstar LeBron James, 20-time Grand Slam-winning athlete Roger Federer, and legendary multidisciplinary artist Patti Smith, RIMOWA’s cinematic campaign shares the personal perspectives of four global icons who have powerfully shaped the world beyond their professions.

Each icon’s short-format film carries universal weight and meaning as they examine their own shift towards a more thoughtful approach to travel. With snapshots of their lives on the road – including home footage supplied by the icons themselves – the result is an intimate look at what travel has historically meant to each of them and how they’re now redefining it, whether that’s a rediscovery of familiar destinations or choosing to travel with those you love most.

“Inspired by the seismic global changes of the past two years, the campaign’s narrative probes important questions about the new role that travel will play in all of our lives,” says Hugues Bonnet-Masimbert, CEO at RIMOWA. “As we look to the future, we follow the example set by our four icons, who have each used this period of pause to reset their expectations and experiences of travel into something even more meaningful. RIMOWA has always believed in purposeful travel, a value that carries even more importance today as we move into this exciting next chapter.”

Created in collaboration with creative agency Anomaly Berlin, the campaign is composed of four individual films completed by integrated stills. It is brought together by one cinematic anthem film, which is narrated by Patti Smith and scored by Jamie xx.

Rihanna - Finds Clarity In Introspection:

For entertainer, fashion designer, and business mogul Rihanna, the pandemic inspired an entirely new form of movement. Grounded in California, she took her Airstream caravan out for moments of escape in the nearby desert. Shot by photography protégé Gray Sorrenti, Rihanna’s film sees her enjoying moments of stillness and solitude away from her usually frenetic schedule. “When everything is minimized, you see what’s important,” she muses aloud in an unscripted moment of reflection.

Roger Federer - Gains A New Perspective:

Record-breaking tennis champion Roger Federer has grown up on the road. After championships were cancelled during the pandemic, this relentless pace was exchanged for a more settled period that allowed him to explore sights closer to home. With footage from Karim Hu Doo, the film shows Federer’s return to the snow-topped mountains of his native Switzerland, revealing the surprising power found in slowing down, simplifying, and taking stock of your hometown.

“Like many others, I became accustomed to a demanding travel schedule that allowed little time to appreciate the places I was visiting,” says Federer. “But the pause that came with not being allowed to travel allowed me a new perspective. It gave me a chance to connect with the beauty of my surroundings in a much more meaningful way.”

Lebron James - Re-Evaluates The Intention Behind Travel:

Heralded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, LeBron James has spent his career traveling across the country surrounded by crowds of fans. With that taken away, the athlete and influential philanthropist enjoyed the opportunity to focus more on his family and the community he supports through the LeBron James Family Foundation. With footage by Philip Templeman and Jonas Lindstroem, James’ film features a medley of snapshots that capture the athlete’s shifting mindset towards a more intentional way of traveling and the importance of the company he keeps on his journey.

“Travel as we knew it is over. Now it’s not about how far you go, but why you go. And who you bring along for the ride,” James says in his reflective film.

“For the first time in my career, the constant travel stopped for a period during the pandemic. That allowed me to have very rare, uninterrupted time with my wife, my kids, and those closest to me. It gave me a chance to recalibrate and refocus on what’s most important in life, and for me, that’s family,” added James.

Patti Smith - Returns To New York With Renewed Energy:

Renowned writer, performer, and visual artist Patti Smith retreated to her bungalow in New York City’s popular beachside peninsula, The Rockaways, during the pandemic. Shot by friend and creative collaborator Steven Sebring, her film follows her journey back to the heart of Manhattan. Pictured outside locations that have played an important role in her life – such as One Fifth Avenue, where she posed for the album cover of Horses, and Electric Lady Studios, which was established by Jimi Hendrix in 1968 and used for the RIMOWA recording – Smith’s video is a testament to New York City’s perpetual spirit of perseverance and creativity.

“When we could not travel physically, I was grateful for the imagination, allowing me to travel where I wished. I was able to write, study and rethink my priorities” says Smith. “But I continually longed for action, to be on the move and now I am grateful to step back into the world.”

The poem that moves - “Never Still” by Patti Smith serves as the beating heart of the anthem film. Written for RIMOWA as an ode to movement, Smith’s powerful poem captures the inherent human need to travel as we search for “new pages for our story.” To accompany the poem, acclaimed English musician and DJ Jamie xx composed an uplifting custom score that channels the energy of Smith’s message.

Over the course of the campaign’s launch, individual lines from Smith’s poem will be revealed in six key cities around the world – Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles – to place their meaning in new contexts.

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