INDIA'S RICHIE RICH THINK INSIDE THE BIG-TICKET BOXES

Luxury trunks become accessory of choice for the loaded set, not just royal scions.

Economic Times, November, 2012 - by Vijaya Rathore

A few days ago, Dlljeet Titus, one of Delhi’s top lawyers, forked out ₹70 lakh for a custom-made, domed-lid Vuitto-nite canvas-covered trunk to go with his other enviable collectible — a 1933 Minerva sedan that once belonged to the Raja of Mahmudabad. “It’s the ultimate level of originality,” says Titus, a proud owner of some 100 vintage trunks, 31 of them from with the legendary Louis Vuitton label.

Louis Vuitton, a name synonymous with luxury luggage, succeeded in re-kindling the interest of Indians in extravagant trunks when it opened a store in New Delhi in 2003 with its main window showcasing a vintage, canvas-clad specimen with rows of labeled drawers that once contained a Maharani’s custom-made shoes. Given the stiff price tag, LV expected to sell a dozen modern versions of the trunk that year. They sold 12 in as many weeks —reportedly because they were thought ideal for today’s wedding trousseaux.

Till recently the clientele for such trunks was restricted to royal scions in need of customized cases (think boxes for guns and swords). Today, more and more well-heeled professionals and entrepreneurs—or high net worth individuals in the jargon of the bankers chasing them — are aspiring for a piece of this exclusive cachet.

A Mumbai businessman recently commissioned the Jaipur based Trunks Company to make a trunk for his collection of high-end watches worth an estimated ₹40 crore. The watch Trunks are trunk (with a higher not only for price tag than a small travel, but car) is made of imported leather and teak wood and even has dedicated LED lights for each watch sentinel and watch-winder. Around the same time, a Lucknow-based richie rich entrepreneur took delivery of a ₹12 lakh trunk that can hold 12 rifles, a few pistols and ammunition from the same company.

“There are a lot of people, both in India and abroad, buying luxury trunks from us,” says Paritosh Mehta, co-founder, The Trunks Company, whose chief designer is Livio Delesgues.