Read Travel

Modern Luggage from British Heritage Brand Antler

The home of the best-selling Clifton suitcase gets a refresh under new ownership

Amidst the unending carrousel of suitcase options, London-based Antler sets itself apart twofold. First, of course, is its illustrious heritage dating back to 1914. Though the luggage brand has changed hands over the years, it’s archive not only consists of luxury leather trunks for oceanic voyages but the first-ever soft-sided luggage from Britain. Through the years, Antler has excelled at lightweight fiberglass suitcases, and led the trend toward a cushioned grip handle. Now, a modern refresh of its best-selling Clifton line, the introduction of collaborations (like the current travel partnership with SoHo House) and an emphasis of the exploration of future-forward materials all mark an exciting commitment to the brand’s future.

All of these updates are under the careful watch of new managing director Kirsty Glenne. “I came in about one year ago,” Glenne tells COOL HUNTING, “and my mandate was to reimagine the brand for the next 100 years—so that it stays relevant, so that it maintains longevity. To do that with a heritage brand, you start by looking backward but it should never be a history project. It’s about ascertaining what bits you want to surface again.”

The brand’s British identity—from its assistance in the production of military equipment during World War II to James Bond’s nod of appreciation in Ian Fleming’s Diamonds are Forever—acts as a powerful differentiator. However, “the previous 100 years were about being a luggage maker from Britain,” Glenne says. “The next 100 are about being a British travel brand, which means a lot more than being defined by one bag.”

Already, materials are a primary pillar of Glenne’s focus. “The polycarbonate shell is composed of a recycled mix,” she says. “All of the new suitcases have recycled lining, too. What we are working on more and more is opening the teams up to transparency so if the consumer wants to track all the materials, they can.” Further, Antler intends to become a certified B Corporation down the line.

Glenne also emphasizes that Antler’s mission is for all products to last forever. In conjunction with this, they’ve updated their warranty from ten years to a lifetime. “Longevity, for us, is a contributing factor on the path to sustainability,” she adds. “You buy into quality. You buy into trust. You should be able to pass Antler luggage down or pass it on,” she continues. This mentality even influences the colors they select. “It’s quite a muted, classic color palette,” Glenne says. “It should never be going into fashion or out of fashion. It should just be an investment that stands the test of time.”

To inform the future of the brand, Glenne looks to the lifestyle of frequent flyers. “We want to engage with people who are traveling often,” she says. “They’re adventurous. They’re inquisitive. They’re not necessarily dressed head-to-toe in one brand. They’re more curious than that.” In many ways, she hopes Antler luggage will get passed on through to loved ones in the same way that frequent flyers pass on stories of their own adventures.

Leave a comment


More stories like this one.