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adobo Exclusive: Creative Director Victor Sanz on fostering innovation with the Tumi X Razer collaboration

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Recently, international travel and lifestyle brand TUMI collaborated with Razer, a leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, to create a collection that not only meets the modern gamer’s needs but does so in style. The collection reimagines TUMI bestsellers as limited-edition gear for gamers by incorporating Razer’s iconic aesthetic.

This collaboration also included a futuristic and luxurious campaign that highlights the essence of this collection: innovation, passion, and achieving greatness.

adobo Magazine sat down with TUMI Creative Director Victor Sanz to learn more about how the partnership came to be, the values the two brands share, and the creative process of integrating both brand identities into one effective campaign.

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adobo: Esports isn’t usually the field that comes to mind when it comes to travel and lifestyle. How did this collaboration come about and how has collaborating with Razer been so far?

Sanz: We design for global citizens who are exploring the world and pushing themselves further each day. With the world shifting and so many of us not being able to travel physically in the last few years, there was increased growth of individuals joining the esports community to connect globally. We discovered that they had many of the same needs that traditional travelers have — the desire to protect gear and their most valuable items. We wanted to tap into this community and create a collection that was truly authentic to them and met all their needs including functionality and style. When we looked for a partner to help us achieve these goals, Razer was at the top of the list. We have shared values and are looking to bring the very best to our customers. It was an easy fit and has been a great journey.

Has the esports community always been something that inspires ideas and new paths of thinking of TUMI? Or has the collaboration and previous ventures into creating products for gamers fostered a newfound or deeper appreciation for the community and industry?

The esports community has always been a part of our landscape. We took this time to truly focus on products for them. We had long discussions with the athletes and teams as well as esports enthusiasts, up-and-comers, and hardware suppliers to ensure we could create a collection that was true to the competitive, performance spirit of the community.

The focus is always on the customers and how to make their lives better and their journey more enjoyable. The more time we spent deep diving with the teams and gamers, the more we truly understood their world. Many of those learnings trickle out into the other core products that we create.

What was the process of choosing the products for the line? How did TUMI go about identifying the needs of gamers and crafting solutions when deciding which products to reimagine?

We worked directly with Razer and the gamers to define what pieces would best meet their needs. We then set off to modify, tweak and upgrade them to work best for their new focus.

We listened. This was the best part of the collaboration — listening to the stories of how they travel, how they operate, and how their needs shift throughout their journey from practice to competition to exploring. This was the guide to choosing the products and how to reimagine them for these customers.

TUMI has always been about giving customers that experience of ease of traveling and luxury and doing that through innovation inspired by various industries and needs. How do you think this collaboration and campaign embodies that?

TUMI is about innovation and evolution. We wanted to showcase how performance and luxury can exist side-by-side with the TUMI X Razer collection. The identities of two brands and communities that seem worlds apart actually co-exist seamlessly and enhance one another as evidenced in the collection. We continue to work with leaders from outside our industry which allows us to push forward and continue to enhance innovation.

Can you tell us about the process of combining TUMI’s and Razer’s aesthetics? Were there any challenges in doing so?

It was very exhilarating to work with Razer. The energy of the company and the products they produce made for very exciting discoveries in the designs and products. We played with our design codes as well as Razer’s and combined them without losing the integrity of both brands. The biggest challenge was to ensure both brands were identifiable in the collaboration and the customer was getting the very best from both of us.

The pieces included in the limited edition collection are made with recycled materials for a complete travel kit, which makes sense because sustainability is a core pillar of both TUMI and Razer. How important was it that the brand you’re collaborating with shares the same values?

It is one of the most important questions we ask before a collaboration even starts. If mutual values, respect, and vision are not aligned, then the collaboration does not work. We walk away with respect and understanding because the customer will be the one who suffers in the end. It is imperative that both brands give their best to the collaboration so that customers feel the passion that went into creating the pieces for them.

A futuristic campaign concept featuring the metaverse and the future of tech and gaming in general seems like the perfect way to represent the esports community. What was the thinking behind encapsulating that fitting concept under the slogan Carry Hard?

We created a campaign that showcases both brands and how we can work as one to achieve success. Within the campaign, you can see each individual using a different piece of the collection to achieve greatness as they all join up at the end. The notion is that individuals performing at their very best can come together to achieve greatness for the team.

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