"IT'S BACK": The Rimowa Pilot

This summer, RIMOWA welcomes the return of the Original Pilot. Released in 1994 and designed to fit between the two pilot seats in a cockpit, the case became a flight crew favorite thanks to its easy-access top opening. As the brand adapted the silver aluminum roller’s interior, adding pockets, sleeves, and dividers, the pilot proved useful in other workplaces, too. After all, we all use tools to do what we do, and our tools are evolving, whether our work requires a laptop, a wetsuit, or a butcher’s knife. Rimowa has kept up, making for an international cult following in every imaginable field – and, honestly, some unimaginable ones, too. While you wait for the reduxed classic to drop in Europe on September 1, 2022, you can meet some members of the Original Pilot's global fan base here. (Think of it as Rimowa's answer to Société de 032c.) Fun fact: photographer Shelby Duncan covered roughly 23,000 miles to shoot the case in its various natural and adapted habitats, in the air, on the ground, and even in the sea.

"We can't travel that light."


Occupations: freediver and marine biologist, swims with great whites to raise awareness about shark conservation

Packs: A lot – hydrophones, for example, plus all the camera gear and equipment needed for documenting work for both research and conservation

One Ocean Diving Boat, Haleiwa, Oahu

"I can use the case itself as a tool, sometimes as a little table or a little chair."


Occupations: Entrepreneur, skin-care brand founder, and celebrity tattoo artist best known for his “slim needle” technique

Packs: Ink – because beyond the "fancy tattoo machine and the needles and stuff," it's the one "substance with which you're making the image come to life"

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles

"You really have to zone everything out and just be in the moment."


Occupations: Roller skater, viral social media phenomenon

Packs: Skates, of course – plus "a lot of outfits"

Adidas Sports Base, Berlin

"It's not a flimsy piece of luggage.”


Occupations: Chef, cookbook author, general multi-tasker who recently collaborated on a unisex nail polish line

Packs: Knives! Apparently, you can put them directly into a (checked) Pilot case – sans knife roll – and you "know that everything will be intact" on the other side.

At home in West Hollywood, CA

“All travel inspires me. The good and the bad!"


Occupations: Pâtissier, reinterpreter of traditional French desserts

Packs: Inspirations – including but not limited to: "a curtain, a statue, a dish, a chef, an outfit, a pair of sneakers, a colour, a shape, a temperature, an experience"

At his pâtisserie on avenue de l’Opéra, Paris

"It's the best mom case. It's the best pilot case, but it's the best mom case.”


Occupations: Surfer, two-time longboard world champion, entrepreneur, model

Packs: Toddler necessities – because "time is everything" and the Pilot makes for "easy access"

Kai Sallas Longboard Co., Honolulu, HI

"Little did they know that they were designing a hard case for DJs."


Occupations: DJ, BBC Radio 1 host, and Louis Vuitton music director

Packs: 12 inch records - the Pilot is the "exact size"

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Paris

"This is the closest I get to carrying my home around, I suppose.”


Occupations: Ecologist and advocate taking on colorism in the beauty and fashion world

Packs: Laptop, notepad, things of sentimental value (a rock found on a mountain, an elephant gifted by a monk, etc)

At a friend’s house, Paris

"It's safe and secure in there.”


Occupations: Most sought-after film pilot in Hollywood and long-time Pilot Case stan

Packs: GPS, navigation computer, log book, shot list, storyboard, cashmere beanie, and a lucky charm from a Cuban general – wings earned when he became a pilot - which has given "good luck so far"

Long Beach Airport, CA

"I think it could revolutionize musicians’ travel."


Occupations: Composer and multiple Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe award winner

Packs: Computers, keys, synthesizers, "great" Apple headphones – and, hopefully soon, a "portable recording studio" (if his tech can make it happen)

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin

See more on the Pilot at rimowa.com.


PhotographyShelby Duncan

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