Monos Travel and Luggage is a new brand, but these locally-designed suitcases are already well-traveled. The idea was born when company founders Victor Tam (formerly of Rove Concepts), Hubert Chan and Daniel Shin were disappointed in the suitcase selection at local stores. Online, they found they had to choose between cheap, low-quality luggage or luggage that was high-quality but unaffordable. And none of them were winning any beauty contests. Prioritizing the big three (quality, design and price) they came up with Monos, a series of matte suitcases equipped with TSA-approved combination locks, silent wheels, and reverse-coil zippers. The end result is built to last, affordable (carry-ons start at $280) and, dare we say, sexy.
The suitcases come in eight colours (desert taupe, rose quartz, olive green, blue haze, ocean blue, storm grey, stellar white, and midnight black) and three sizes. Like any company born in the age of the 'gram, the founders knew the importance of campaigning, especially online—but the way they went about building their gorgeous gallery is millennial to the extreme. They assembled a team of five people from around the world who loved to travel and take photos, and who also happen to be model-level gorgeous (read: Instagram influencers). For two weeks, the complete strangers traveled through three countries and across two continents to explore what it meant to "travel mindfully." In the process, they gathered a pretty stellar gallery of pics.
But Monos isn't meant to be just a pretty face. The suitcases are tested rigorously for mileage, handle jerking, wheel abrasion, dropping, and stairs (you can find videos of the process here). While they are designed in Canada, the products are manufactured in China using materials made from all over the world—ultra-light, aerospace-grade shell from Germany, silent run wheels from Japan, laser-etched pattern lining from Denmark.
Sure, the gallery seems a little romanticized—most of us drag our luggage behind us while dressed in sweatpants, worry lines from constantly misplacing our passports carved into our faces—but there's no arguing that the suitcases should pack a major punch, quality-wise. And the design makes you want to say, "Hey—wanna get out of here?"