Co-founder Athan Didaskalou on creating a company and cases that are built to last.
What does your dream suitcase look like? Is it a modern eight-wheeler or a retro-inspired trunk? Chances are, the luxury luggage brand July has got a suitcase for you. As the brand launches in the United Kingdom, we spoke to its co-founder Athan Didaskalou about its mission, materials and Melbourne – and why you shouldn’t compromise on your case.
In 2019, two Australian friends, Athan and Richard Li, founded July. The aim was to elevate luggage options, and create a product that considered service and design. The business started in Melbourne, and is now available in Bondi, Sydney, Hong Kong and online in the United Kingdom.
We’ve all been there – we spot our case on the airport belt, and it looks nothing like we remembered. The creators clearly had an obsessive streak, as they read more than 4,000 suitcase reviews. Armed with what went wrong, they were determined to make sure their business model went right.
July prides itself on creating cases that are built to last. The collection features scratch-proof texture, minimalist shells and a sleek, sophisticated design. And it’s that combination of functionality and fashion, which has garnered celebrity fans, from Chrissy Teigen to Harry Styles and now FACT.
With the brand’s namesake coming up, it’s a great time to invest in a case. Athan explained: “July is the most popular travel month of the year across the globe, and we wanted that experience to resonate with our products.” Plus, during the month of June, you can enjoy free personalisation on your case. Travel is back, and this time it’s personal.
What makes July unique from other brands?
July is reinventing the travel experience for a new generation by bringing better design and thinking to how we travel. We are making the journey as exciting as the destination. We sell directly to consumers to avoid overheads and retailer mark-ups, and it allows us to create the best luggage at a lower price. We partnered with a best-in-class manufacturing facility to create our own July wheels, casing and battery components.
After reading 4,000 reviews of suitcases, what was the most common complaint?
The business began as an opportunity to fix a broken industry as we saw that consumers’ only choices were cheap bags or expensive luxury items. As frequent travellers, myself and my co-founder Richard saw a category that was selling poorly designed products at extreme premiums – and we wanted to fix it.
We spoke to hundreds of travellers and read thousands of reviews. We learnt that the edges of many hardshell suitcases bent inwards, were dented and damaged. This was often due to the square nature of the edges of the suitcases, which became weakened when bent at sharp corners. So, we decided to make the edges of our suitcases round. We launched July in 2019 with a single product, the Carry-On.
Tell us about the world’s lightweight suitcase, the Carry-On Light.
July’s best-selling product is the Carry-On Light – it’s the world’s lightest double-wheel suitcase. It weighs just 3.9 lbs yet has 32 litres of space. It means you can take more with you without compromising on the things you expect with luxury luggage. It contains SilentMove 360° double spinner wheels, multi-stop telescopic handles, an unbreakable German polycarbonate shell and a lifetime warranty.
How can shoppers personalise their cases?
We see luggage as an extension of personal style. We offer customers a diverse range of beautiful colours in neutral and statement shades, and we are continually releasing new colours. Personalisation is a staple, and customers can customise their suitcases as well as accessories with up to 10 characters. Personalisation is available in approximately 100 languages including Chinese characters and Latin-based languages, and in 11 different font styles and 28 colours.
Why is it important to invest in a quality suitcase?
With travel back, we’ve seen that luggage has become an extension of personal style. To ensure you travel stress-free and in style, invest in a quality designed suitcase where the wheels won’t fall off, that’s easy to manoeuvre and doesn’t easily become damaged – that’s essential for a smooth journey.
GO: Visit https://july.com for more information.