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Designer’s Corner: Inside the Spectra™ 2.0 Collection

spectrasketches“Innovation is in our blood here in Switzerland – since the beginning, we’ve always tried to make things better” says Mr. Elsener, chief executive officer of Victorinox, in an interview from 2010.  This statement still rings true today.  The all-new, Spectra™ 2.0 hardside luggage design has taken the Spectra™ Collection to new heights, with endless packing possibilities and unique travel solutions. We sat down with Senior Travel Gear Product Designer, Jacob Lusson, for an exclusive sneak-peek of this collection, which is set to launch this fall.

1.    What was your inspiration behind the redesign of the collection?

To be honest, the success of Spectra™ was the inspiration. We listened to feedback from customers and retailers and tried to build upon all of the positive aspects and remedy any negative ones.  Automotive, sport and consumer electronic trends also influenced the design.  The new matte finish was a product of that.

 2.    What is your favorite feature of this collection?

My favorite feature is probably the one that will go least noticed by most users: the new casters.  We went through several iterations where we tweaked the durometer of the outer tread material to get it to roll perfectly regardless of what surface the case is on. Little, obsessive stuff like that is what I’m most happy with.

 3.    The Spectra™ 2.0 carry-on is now offered in two styles, one with a Quick-Access Door and one without.  Which version fits your personal travel and packing style?

I’ve switched to the Quick-Access version. I occasionally use the electronics panel but most of the time I still prefer to carry my laptop in an Altmont™ backpack, so I remove the panel that separates the front pocket from the main compartment and just load everything through the front Quick-Access Door. I can just cram all my clothes in and go.

4.    How do you pack your hardside case?

I pack in the same way the Man Vs. Food guy eats a sandwich. It’s chaos. That’s what’s best for me. I know Dan, the Vice President of Victorinox Travel Gear Product Design, likes to roll his clothes and then separate them by type of clothing using the case’s 50/50 split divider wall.  I would expect that most people would pack this way, too. This way you stay organized and can utilize the compression straps that keep your items from shifting during travel and the zippered pockets for smaller items.  To each their own…

5.    Where have you traveled with this bag and where did you take it?

My Spectra™ 2.0 case has seen three continents so far. And Wisconsin. Is Wisconsin a continent? It should be. Go Pack Go!

6.    What color of Spectra is your favorite?  

It’s so hard to choose; I like all of the variations of Spectra™ 2.0.  I tend to travel with a black Spectra™ Dual-Access Global Carry-On, so I would say that is my favorite.

7.    In the past, the Spectra™ Collection has introduced many limited edition colors. Will this continue to be the case with Spectra™ 2.0?

The red, black and white colors are tried-and-true, but we will do limited editions for more adventurous folks.  That’s all I can say. I’ve said too much as it is.

8.    The Swiss Army Knife heritage of this brand is very engrained in this collection.  When designing this luggage collection, what inspiration comes from the knives? 

The Quick-Access styles are the Swiss Army Knife of luggage, for sure. It’s a bag equipped for any travel situation.  They can be business bags with sleeves for your laptop and tablet; pockets for phones, pens, and chargers; and they hold enough clothes for short trips. You wouldn’t even need a briefcase or backpack.  They are also a great choice for leisure travel.  They are stylish, lightweight, protective for any souvenirs you may acquire and they offer great packing flexibility.

9.    Not only is this bag lightweight, it is very strong and durable. What kind of testing is performed to ensure its durability?

They are thrown through the wringer; abused in more ways and more times than even the most disgruntled baggage handler would have the energy for.  And then we do it again to make sure the results are repeatable.  We have the highest testing standards of anyone in the industry and our testing lab upholds these standards to the fullest.

10. Tell us about the Spectra™ 2.0 material

It is made from two layers of 100% virgin Bayer polycarbonate. Meaning the polycarbonate hasn’t been recycled and remolded. Recycling materials greatly reduces the integrity of the material and weakens it.   A pure polycarbonate on the other hand creates a high-quality, high-impact resistant travel case that can withstand the toughest of travels.  Another benefit of polycarbonate is that it can bend. Through testing, we have determined the ideal thickness of polycarbonate to allow it to flex and absorb impact without breaking or cracking.  What I’m trying to get across, in many words, is that this material is protective, lightweight and durable; that’s why it’s commonly used in football helmets and police riot shields and it’s why we currently use it for our hardside luggage.

11. What obstacles did you face when designing this collection?

Whenever you change something that’s been successful, you run the risk of screwing it up. So we made sure everyone who came in contact with the new cases during development felt they were even better than the first ones.

12. What was your favorite part of designing the collection?

The best part is always the beginning; you have a blank sheet of paper and the possibilities are endless.

13. What’s the future of hardside luggage?

It’s here, with Spectra™ 2.0.

Thank you to Jacob for this exclusive insight into the newest generation of our popular Spectra™ Collection; coming to www.victorinox.com this fall!

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