Soledad Cordova and Leonard Stolk discuss the idea of sports car inspired luggage. They have been taking road trips in their 1970 Porsche 911 for years and have never found appealing luggage which perfectly fits the parcel shelf of this iconic car. The wild idea of creating their own designs and going to market is born.
The first sketches of the Grand Weekender make it onto paper during a rail trip from Toronto to Montreal. The design insight is that a bag resembling the interior of classic sports cars allows owners to take a piece of their favourite car with them, wherever they go. The choice is made for a combination of materials used in the 60's and 70's to decorate sports interiors.
The idea of using a steering wheel inspired set of handles is born. No other premium luggage manufacture applies serious design to the handles of their travel bags. The three hole design and radius angle of the uprights is converted into a technical drawing and design-patented.
The designer couple travels to the South of Spain to meet with potential suppliers. They landed on a manufacturer with generations of experience in the art of fine leather goods production and dealing with only the top design houses. The company relies on artisanal skills which it actively teaches to younger generations of workers. Soledad and Leonard gained the conviction that production could not be in better hands.
After several iterations of design and creating dummy versions of the products the first batch of handles which characterise the design was manufactured in The Netherlands. A trusted instrument engineer, who also performs high accuracy work on car restorations, took on the challenge and delivered. The handles were shipped to the factory in Spain and the prototyping phase kicked off.
The production preparations were in full swing, but there was no closure on the brand name for the luggage... On a long drive in Europe Soledad and Leonard applied proper focus and landed on the simple and distinctive name HAENDEL, a reference to their design of the handles. From thereon the logo was developed and passed to the factory for inclusion in the production process.