"In 2002 the Vulcanize store opened in Ayoyama in Tokyo. In 2004 we opened a Macintosh and Globe Trotter store in Burlington Arcade. The owners of Mackintosh invited me to work across both brands. Up until 2004 I hadn’t heard of Globe Trotter. Of course we had a reputation within the luggage industry... but there was very little brand awareness. Our flagship store has really helped us to educate a new audience.
In Japan they took a different view to merchandising Globe Trotter. They started using the cases as an interior design object. A piece of luggage is usually put away, up in the attic. When we launched there, everyone knew that we (the UK) had great tailoring, shoes and so forth, but they weren’t aware of our luggage. The press there are fantastic - whenever they write you up you get 12-14 pages worth of editorial compared to a page or two here, if you’re lucky.
Our distributor in Japan started Vulcanize in 2002. There’s now five of them, the latest being a three storey shop in a premises that Hugo Boss used to be in. They sell Fox Umbrellas, Turnbull & Asser, Tricker’s, Grenson, Miller Harris Perfumes, Jo Malone... all things British. But presented in the right way.
Currently there seems to be alot of brands trading on heritage - whether they genuinely have it or if they are looking to create heritage out of nothing, like Heritage Research. Nigel Cabourn is a really interesting one, over the last few years he has become incredibly popular.
I think it comes from Japan - there’s an appreciation of heritage and craftsmanship (in Japan.) There’s also the appreciation for something that is niche, hard to find."
For more pictures taken inside the Globe Trotter factory please visit the M&I Facebook page