It might seem odd to get excited about a luggage store, but when Away announced that they would be opening an outpost in the Knox District area, I felt genuine anticipation. I even cross checked with my D Magazine coworkers, who also shared in my excitement. It’s a big deal!
It’s thrill-inducing not just because an Away store is relatively rare, or because the hard-shell bags have become synonymous with chic travel writers and influencers, but because the direct-to-consumer brand’s stores tend to be experiences unto themselves, and just as photogenic as the bags they house. Artful luggage displays are typically surrounded by glossy travel books, fiddle leaf fig trees, and a thoughtful curation of luxe travel accessories, like Cap Beauty’s Matcha Sticks or Slip’s silk eye masks.
Each store is unique, and we’ll have to wait to see Dallas’ concept fully realized when it opens in early 2020. To tide us over, Away will host a temporary holiday pop-up in the location (3109 Knox Street) from November 29 to January 5. To learn more, we spoke to Jen Rubio, Away co-founder and chief brand officer.
Every Away location is so beautiful (not what you would expect from a typical luggage store). Can you give us a sense of what the Dallas space will look like?
We put a lot of thought into designing our retail locations and that’s something you’ll see come to life through both our temporary pop-up design, coming to Dallas for the holidays, as well as our permanent location, set to open in early 2020.
The holiday shopping experience has been thoughtfully designed to alleviate the stress and chaos brought on during the holidays. We partnered with interior designer Sasha Bikoff to bring the shoppable space to life in a way that reflects the vibrancy of Dallas. We’ve created a technicolor dream cloud that evokes a feeling of escapism, drenched in bold colors—quite literally—from the floor to the ceiling.
The look and feel of the permanent store, however, will be completely different from the pop-up, but elements will remain unique to Dallas. We’re looking forward to being able to connect with our Dallas customers and provide a space where people can get to know us in person!
How did you land on the Knox area?
We’re so thrilled to open another location in Dallas, especially since our customers have been asking for a while now. Dallas is a beautiful city and both a destination and home to people who love to travel. Knox-Henderson was an obvious choice for us. The area is so charming and walkable and a neighborhood the surrounding communities seem to enjoy—a perfect new home for Away.
Away suitcases have become somewhat synonymous with travel influencers (and just Instagram users in general). Are there any Dallas influencers Away has worked with?
We recently featured local chef Donny Sirisavath, who runs Khao Noodle Shop, in Here Magazine. He curated an incredible guide to the city, which made our readers feel like real Dallas insiders.
Away feels like more of a lifestyle brand than just a luggage company (with its magazine and collaborations and such). Was that always part of the vision?
From the beginning, the vision for Away has been about so much more than just luggage. We’ve always been focused on travel as a whole and building a community around a shared love for new experiences.
We launched Here Magazine as a means of sharing our unique perspective on travel. We know that there are an endless number of problems that need solving within the space, so suitcases were really just the beginning for us. It’s lofty, but our long term goal is to transform the travel experience altogether and involve our community in that process every step of the way.
For you, what’s the best part of an Away bag?
That’s the thing about our bags—anyone you ask this question to will give you a different response. For some, it’s the sleek look and different colorways we offer. Others will tell you they love how easily the wheels glide. Personally, the interior compression system has been a game-changer for me. All of the features are thoughtfully designed to serve unique purposes and inevitably each of those resonate differently with different customers.”