Last month, Kipling launched its #MyKiplingBag tour by celebrating its first pop up ever in NYC. The U.S. tour will culminate in Hawaii next week. But first, it beached in Miami this past Wednesday afternoon, as part of Art Basel - hinting at the far reaches of this international bag and luggage brand that marries form, function and flair so seamlessly.
Designed in Antwerp and New York City, Kipling is distributed in 80 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South America. Taking the show on the road allows Kipling to bring the brand to the consumer in a way that makes it tangible to all 5 senses. Anyone lucky enough to shoulder one of their bags, appreciates that their whimsy and breeziness is never at the cost of wearability.
Both NYC and Miami launches, which also introduced a line of leather bags, were gleefully interactive - inspired by what the consumers tell Kipling they enjoy doing with their bag. Transformative makeup applications from VMV Hypoallergenics because consumers love to use it for makeup, monogramming fanciful phrases for individuality, relaxation stations and site specific lite bites (provided by Pinch in NY and in Miami, tidbits like tuna tartare in cones and resting in a "sandy beach" in Miami. And because Kipling bags "are for doing, not posing", both cities had a photo booth that took three shots of guests actively using the bags.
In New York, VF Sportswear President Karen Murray, Kipling President Julie Dimperio, and Kipling Vice President Kathy Hines began the evening by “unzipping” the crinkle nylon (Kipling's signature innovative fabric) covered doors. Once through them, guests entered a colorful courtyard with reflective picnic tables, an AstroTurf floor, and a ceiling installation of iconic New York monuments. An 8’ by 10’ inflatable, crinkle nylon replica of one of the brand’s most iconic styles, the Defea, was the centerpiece of the room.
Then, recess began with“out of the bag” activities mentioned earlier, as well as crafting for the active city Kipling chick and comedic personality readings. A surprise musical performance by the all-male string quartet Well Strung, deemed “the hottest things with a bow since Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games“ by The New York Daily News, spiced up the night before DJ Speakeasy and DJ Haruka Salt took over. And throughout the night, bloggers Robin Arzon of Shut Up And Run and Nai Vasha of Jill Of All Skills encouraged guests to jump into the GIF booth or shop the showroom.
In Miami, an art station in acknowledgment of Art Basel was added, as was a massage station because consumers said they like to use their Kipling when "just chilling". And although available in both cities, the inclusion of bags alive with colors and popping patterns especially exemplified the spirit of Miami.
These are bags for people who "do" while looking fabulous, unburdened with dead weight. And while, okay, Kipling can't eliminate all of your excess baggage, it sure can make what you carry lighter, stronger and just plain brighter. And that's a start.