Throughout the pandemic, as travel restrictions kept us in our homes, an unlikely project was in the works: a new travel brand called moln. Inspired by the Swedish word for cloud, moln aspires to take us on a idyllic journey beyond borders and languages.
What struck us about moln is how polished and clean the brand feels. And it’s consistent throughout the entire experience from the product itself to the website and flagship location in Tokyo. Rather than coming across as overly Japanese, which a lot of brands tend to do these days, moln combines Japanese minimalism with western sophistication, creating a truly global aesthetic. Like if Rimowa and MUJI had a lovechild.
Moln suitcases are made from synthetic leather and have an earthy, matte texture that extends to the color palette as well: terracotta, stone and charcoal. But they don’t just look nice. Everything from the zippers to the wheels have been rigorously stress-tested to withstand the not-so-gentle handling at airports.
Moln suitcases are currently available in 3 sizes: small, small plus and large. The small and small plus are carry-on sizes with the main difference being that small plus comes with a laptop pocket. The large doesn’t have a laptop sleeve as it’s intended to be checked. The luggage ranges from 49,000 yen (about $385 usd) to 69,000 (about $540 usd). If you’re in Tokyo you can go check out the luggage in-person at their flagship store (map) in Minami-Aoyama.
Moln was started by Yu Akasaka and Jun Nishikawa, who previously founded an online dating site which they sold to Match Group in 2015. And perhaps one reason for the brand’s success so far is the way they’ve leveraged creative partners to help develop the experience. The logo and website was designed by Ken Okamoto. The flagship store in Minami-Aoyama was designed by Koichi Futatsumata. The actual product was designed by Fumie Shibata while the industrial design and engineering was handled by Nobuyoshi Tanaka.
storefront photos by Daisuke Shima courtesy Koichi Futatsumata Architects