October 31, 2008 BY CAPSULESNEWS

1127fsam2651.jpgSamsonite Black Label (SBL) unveiled its latest designer luggage project in Madrid Thursday (October 30), with a range of whimsical pieces created in collaboration with Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf. It also told WGSN it will develop new merchandise categories - including shoes, small leather goods, stationery, eyewear and watches, and is braced to weather a global financial downturn. Samsonite's latest collection, meanwhile, is inspired by the idea of "happy travel", according to the designers, and features playful, graphic airplane repeats, patent trims, bows and purse clasp details in scarlet, sky blue and black. "Over the years, travel has become so difficult," Viktor Horsting told WGSN. "We wanted to recapture a more childlike feeling of travel." Samsonite CEO Marcello Bottoli said the Dutch duo´s reputation for surreal and theatrical design appeals to both established luxury markets and emerging luxury market. "We look for people that are provocative, we don´t look for people that are classical," he told WGSN. "There are a lot of people with a lot of money in emerging markets like China and Russia – and they go for real luxury, and they want designers that are different, designers that are provocative".