On the heels of both Goop and Airbnb launching print publications – when the rest of the publishing world seems to be banking much more heavily in digital – Away, the budding young luggage brand, is joining the outsider trend. Yes, the New York-based direct-to-consumer company, which has garnered the attention of the fashion industry and Hollywood stars, alike, is supplementing their suitcase offerings (four sizes of minimalist, hard-shelled bags starting at $225, which resulted in $12 million in sales in 2016, Away’s first full fiscal year) with a magazine called, Here.
For founders Jen Rubio and Steph Korey, who met while working at Warby Parker, this is just one more way to engage with their customers. “Here Mag lives both online and in print (with the majority of our content living in a dynamic online experience),” Rubio told TFL. “Print publications are still an incredible medium, especially for the style- and design-minded travelers we’re reaching. That’s something that we think is an important brand touchpoint for us.”
The idea of print is certainly an interesting one for a brand that has made its namely largely thanks to its digital presence. Rubio was the former head of social media at Warby Parker, and so, it is only fitting that the brand – whose social media channels are, as Inc. so aptly put it, “jam-packed with customer travel stories and images” – has bet heavily on social from the get-go.
“We have a team of people who came of age finding things on Instagram and buying them,” says Korey. “The things they shop for are things they discover through digital channels.”
Add to that, a brand new editorial section of the brand’s e-commerce website; a podcast, entitled, Airplane Mode; and now, an easy-on-the-eyes print component, and you have yourself, a fully-fledged arsenal of content to support Away’s product offerings. “It’s smart to establish a content platform around the category, as more and more people spend more and more of their income on experiences as opposed to physical items,” says Neil Blumenthal, the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, of Away’s approach.
“We have an incredible community that’s passionate about travel that reaches us on many different platforms,” says Korey. And as such, “We’re where our customers are.”
Actress Rashida Jones covers the debut issue, which includes travel journals, photo essays, interviews with known travelers, and city guides – with Away’s suitcases in the mix throughout, of course.