While Goyard and Louis Vuitton have been creating trunks for over a century now, two Parisian trunk companies are bringing the idea of portable lifestyle to India this year. “Parisian design houses have traditionally created trunks for Indian royalty and their long-distance travel,” says Damien Finot, one of the founders of TT Trunks, which launched in India last month. “But it’s a lifestyle statement now, something to carry on your yacht, or just keep in your bedroom,” says Finot.
While Finot likes to invite his Indian clients to Hôtel de Crillon in Paris for a consultation if they are looking for specially tailored pieces, TT Trunks also retails ready-to-sell trunk designs for clients around the world. In India, they are being retailed by Aruna Singh Sharma of Ville-de Luxurie in Delhi.
Another product and interior designer from Paris, Livio Delesgues, who’s been living and working in India for the last five years, set up the Trunk Company, Jaipur in India a few months ago, in collaboration with Paritosh and Priyank Mehta who own the Furniture Design Boutique in Jaipur. In the next six months, the Trunk Company, Jaipur will be available at select boutiques in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
(from left) Icy cool: TT Trunks’ ‘Dandy Trunk’ comes with an iPad base, a whisky decanter and glasses. The central part holds a compartment fitted with a humidifier and a hygrometer for storing cigars. It comes equipped with a full poker set: 500 chips, a dealer button, two decks of cards and a poker table top slipped into the door, approx. Rs15 lakh. What we call groovy:The iPod trunk by the Trunk Company, Jaipur comes fitted with hi-fidelity speakers and a rechargeable battery life of 6 hours. The design house sources leather from Italy, Rs2.75 lakh. Ahead of its time:The Trunk Company, Jaipur’s watch trunk has six watch holders and can be fitted with any number of watch winders—contraptions that keep precision luxury watches in motion by functioning as a tumbling device. It also has several compartments to store jewellery, approx. Rs3 lakh.
Finot and his partner Julien Trossat decided to set up their company and cater to the Asian market after their success at an exhibition in Dubai in 2007. “We sold two minibar trunks we’d created as prototypes in three days. The next projects were champagne and cigar trunks, which also became popular,” says Finot.
Both TT Trunks and the Trunk Company, Jaipur design what they call “functional” trunks for poker or golf enthusiasts, cigar and hat collectors, or even for wedding trousseaus. Both say their bar trunks have been the most popular in India so far.
The chic finish apart, the trunks come with sophisticated electronics and outrageous functionality. While the Trunk Company, Jaipur’s watch trunk is fitted with a watch winder for luxury watches, TT Trunks’ latest project is to create a chocolate trunk to present truffles.
“People come up with strange requests. We had a Swiss client who wanted a trunk for her bags, but in the shape of an egg,” says Finot. Delesgues speaks of a client from New Delhi who wanted a trunk to place at the centre of her walk-in closet as her make-up console. He built her a 5ft-high trunk that opens up to reveal a few hundred compartments, a mirror, and a stool that can be pulled out.
While one isn’t likely to travel with trunks that cost Rs5-15 lakh, Delesgues assures us that they’re built to be portable, even though they could weigh close to 200kg. “They come with very solid German wheels fitted with brakes,” he says. This portability works especially well for his iPod trunk, which you can wheel into a jungle or to the beach, open up and have up to 6 hours of hi-fidelity sound.
TT Trunks are priced at Rs2-15 lakh, and those by the Trunk Company, Jaipur at Rs1-5 lakh.