This past Tuesday March 22, luxury luggage brand Tumi feted the launch of the Tumi Tag Limited Edition Collection, its collaboration with CRASH, the popular graffiti artist. With the help of Don Julio Tequila, Tumi transformed a cavernous brick-walled West Village party space to reflect the meeting of technology and urban graffiti culture. The entrance hallway was a simulacrum of a New York subway platform, with projected images flashing across parallel walls like speeding express trains. In an alcove, Tumi suitcases piled like totems, and artfully arranged like re-appropriated objects, doubled as video screens showing a collage of interviews with CRASH and images of his work.
Beyond this subterranean simulation was the main party space, where the hum of conversation mingled with the beating of bucket drums. A similar sculpture of suitcases surrounded the underground performer, but these were splashed with static color, encased in CRASH’s spray-painted handiwork.
The event also celebrated the Tumi Tag Charity Auction. CRASH donated a variety of works for auction, including the original canvas used for the Tumi suitcases, which are available for purchase exclusively through artnet Online Auctions. All proceeds will benefit the charity foundation ACRIA (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America).
The underground atmosphere of the launch party
Photos by Betina Bethlem