Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Plus-Auction on to Benefit ACRIA

Words/Images Judith Ecochard
Industria Studios West 12th Street, NYC

It didn’t surprise us that Tumi, the upscale luggage brand that’s “no longer just for your dad” ----or in our case our business peers, maybe HA HA---

...Would have a launch so well executed---as a pal of ours went to Harvard B with the founder…
Laser art on the wall-our cat would'a freaked

And so a recent rebranding of these haulers, known for their quality and insanely amazing customer something else extra to marvel at...

Wall lined with Images of Inspiration

Lucky us, we got there right at the start and had a great time chatting with New York native, and cool, cool, cool-still livin' in the Bronx, John “Crash” Matos.

Not that the music was so loud (I Like It Like That---very appropriate---as was the Don Julio Tequila's pours)...

We had an oh yeah moment ---when Crash told us he was from the City---and pointed to a blow-up of his famous tag sprayed on a NYC’s subway car---

We were tempted to ask for his rap sheet---as back then ---and we were talking about when Koch was mayor, graffiti and those that practice the spray of it all ---earned themselves a misdemeanor…if nabbed by New York’s finest.

No surprise, Crash compared his work as morphing into an accepted art form, first in Amsterdam/Europe…kinda like the jazz musicians of the 1930’s--- who were widely embraced across the POND before their own country, here--- got the fever.

How Tumi and Crash came together ---and in a mere nine months came out with this four style, limited edition (1000 EACH!!!) hardcase line of carry-ons/wheeled pieces---was serendipity as defined by Webster. for the 411

Backstory: A Parisian gallery with an exhibit on acclaimed graffiti artists---puts Crash’s work et al.,  into the gleaming eyes of architect/gallery smart guy Alain Dominique---who makes the intro with Tumi.

Interesting, as Crash told us he was given marching orders to work with a very limited palette colors---but this exuberant canvas that resulted-in 40 gradations of colors…manages to appear on the pieces thanks to computer technology, as painted.

In fact, each piece of luggage features a repro of a specific section of the canvas---FABULOUS!

“It was meant to be,” Crash noted when we marveled how quickly it all seemed to come together, let alone that he did only one take of his vision.

Talk about a light bulb moment, the TUMI “From Terminal To Tarmac” MO---is a keeper-capturing Crash’s vibrant inspiration of “a women’s eyes and the energy of street life…” And we hope the start of future artist series.


The original canvas is being auctioned online NOW (till April 5th 2011) with all proceeds to benefit AIDS Community Research-a non-profit dedicated to the research and development of new AIDS drugs and providing healthcare/education materials.

INFO: Collection is soon to launch stateside---with prices from the mid 400's-mid 600's. 

WE THINK: the pieces are works of art in their own way..,and would also think about NOT checking in on commercial airlines.

(FYI hot new agency  iC3 Creative crafted the soup to nuts techy digital/print/creative strategy-including a neat interactive catalogue on