Amenities Meets the Designers – Luigi Auricchio at WESSCO

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Born and raised in southern Italy, Luigi has been traveling around the world for studies, work, and leisure. With a background in materials engineering and product design, he extended his expertise into fashion and textiles through combining material research and product development, in London, Shanghai and now relocated to New York City. Colleagues would describe Luigi as highly organized, detail oriented, and constantly exploring new trends.

How do you go about designing an amenity kit?

The design process is extremely important in order to develop a concept which meets customer expectations and market pricing perfectly. Creativity is involved in every aspect of the process, from researching and generating the concept up until producing the actual product. It is also very important to have a wide overview of current industry trends; to create a novel exclusive item for the travel sector, it is essential to be aware of all the latest developments in fashion, innovation, and sustainability.

How important is the client’s brief?

Very Important. The client’s brief conveys to the designer their intended vision of the product. In turn, the designer can determine which approach is best to start designing the optimum travel kit for them.

 What are the challenges? Does budget dictate the design?

Designing a product for the travel space is always challenging and exciting at same time. You need to think about space, weight, functionality, aesthetics, and cost. All these variables influence the product’s final design.

Do you find similarities in the designs that are picked by buyers?

As in every industry and every season, customers are influenced by different trends. The industry experienced a massive surge in the demand for iPad cases, hard case designs, and sustainable options; despite remaining ever-functional and popular product designs, for some option the peak in popularity has passed.

What do you see as the future of amenity design?

It’s hard to have a 360 vision of the future in the amenity world because every region and culture has distinct ways of approaching their amenity kit design needs. What I believe with great certainty it is that the amenity kits are becoming increasingly visible and integral part of “traveler life”. The reusable amenity bag concept is a “statement”; what everybody’s looking for now is that extra added value given by interacting with the travel space, that special “something” which creates an unforgettable travel experience.

What do you feel should be included, that isn’t at the moment?

Good question! What’s missing is something which truly transforms the amenity bag in a product to save and keep it for the next travel; we’re constantly on the search for that in every project.

I’d love to propose the inclusion of a ticket to the moon, it could be a memorable experience for life 🙂

Who are your fashion inspirations?

I love fashion, it inspires me in my life and it’s a part of my work. It’s hard to identify only a few fashion brands which inspire me; I’m more fascinated by trends and how they’re linked to all the cultural and artistic movements of each age. Today “traveling” is a trend in itself, and I believe fashion is inspired by the travelers and the other way around. All the highest luxury fashion houses have shown a strong interest in the travel sector. Being a traveler myself, I completely absorb these influences and translate them into my work. With regards to my sartorial choices, I could make an endless list of “must-have” fashion branded items…

Do you believe that most of the designs in the market are too masculine?

I believe that a gender neutral design is the best choice for meeting both male and female passenger expectations. The masculine look is very common because it is based on the demographics…until now.

How would you describe yourself as a designer?

Someone asked me the other day, what is your “why” in life? That’s a hard question to answer; I could answer that by saying that my dream is coming true. I think one of the most important aspects of being a designer is being a great team player and letting your team benefit from your talent and personality. In my work, I’m very detailed oriented, organized, extremely creative, and I try to be supportive and passionate towards the people I work with.