‘I started knowing nothing about design,’ admits Jon Crossick, director of licensee company Premier Marque, which recently launched a range of luggage under the Land Rover brand. ‘First I approached the British Luggage Association and the Design Council, but, realised there weren’t many luggage designers around and what I needed was a product designer.’
Crossick then went to see around eight product design consultancies before choosing Priestman Goode. ‘Obviously, I had a budget to work to which was part of it and I liked the ideas they’d come up with for other projects. I also thought Paul Priestman was someone I could get on well with, which proved to be very important.’
The consultancy worked on two ranges, the Executive, loosely linked to the Range Rover, and Protection, linked to Discovery. ‘We’ve taken the Land Rover values and put them into luggage. It’s got that same rugged feel to it and is very well made,’ says Priestman.
He worked with Crossick from the initial designs through to briefing manufacturers in the Far East. ‘He was always available and even came out with me to the Far East which was really helpful,’ comments Crossick. ‘It’s the first time we’ve invested in product design and it was imperative to the project. I’m hooked on it now.’
The luggage uses ‘automotive imagery and is more curvaceous with high quality fittings,’ says Priestman. The range is starting to filter through to stores now and Crossick says the response has been ‘very positive’. He didn’t begrudge paying out for design fees: ‘I understand where the money went.’ But he was surprised at some proposals from other design groups when he was initially looking to appoint a consultancy. ‘Some of them wanted to do absolutely everything and spend months researching the market, but I didn’t have that sort of budget.’