“Travel is its own book. Images we’ve captured in film, in memory, form its leaves, that when turned reveal the story of a life.”
After more than a year of being forced to stay put, it’s no surprise people are itching to get back on the road, or board a flight to some unknown or familiar destination. The extraordinary Patti Smith, author, musician, artist, has put this collective anticipation into verse and it’s nothing short of brilliant. “We are ready to reclaim motion,” she says, “to see with new eyes the familiar and the strange. New pages for our story.”
Smith’s words are the beating heart and compass of the latest campaign from world-famous premium luggage brand Rimowa. Four short films were produced for the effort, each starring a global icon: creative powerhouse Rihanna, NBA superstar LeBron James, 20-time Grand Slam-winning athlete Roger Federer, and Smith, legendary multidisciplinary artist, author of the universally beloved book “Just Kids.” All four reflect on the personal meaning of travel, and how being unable to follow their wanderlust for a long period affected their appreciation of it.
For entertainer, fashion designer, and business mogul Rihanna, the pandemic inspired an entirely new form of movement. Grounded in California, she took her Airstream caravan out for moments of escape in the nearby desert. Shot by photography protégé Gray Sorrenti, Rihanna’s film sees her enjoying moments of stillness and solitude away from her usually frenetic schedule. “When everything is minimized, you see what’s important,” she muses aloud in an unscripted moment of reflection.
After championships were cancelled during the pandemic, Roger Federer’s usually relentless pace was exchanged for a more settled period that allowed the athlete to explore sights closer to home. With footage from Karim Hu Doo, the film shows Federer’s return to the snow-topped mountains of his native Switzerland.
“Like many others, I became accustomed to a demanding travel schedule that allowed little time to appreciate the places I was visiting,” says Federer. “But the pause that came with not being allowed to travel allowed me a new perspective. It gave me a chance to connect with the beauty of my surroundings in a much more meaningful way.”
Heralded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, LeBron James has spent his career traveling across the country surrounded by crowds of fans. With that taken away, the athlete and influential philanthropist enjoyed the opportunity to focus more on his family and the community he supports through the LeBron James Family Foundation. With footage by Philip Templeman and Jonas Lindstroem, James’ film features a medley of snapshots that capture the athlete’s shifting mindset towards a more intentional way of traveling and the importance of the company he keeps on his journey.
“Travel as we know it is over. Now it’s not about how far you go, but why you go. And who you bring along for the ride,” James says in his film. “For the first time in my career, the constant travel stopped for a period during the pandemic. That allowed me to have very rare, uninterrupted time with my wife, my kids, and those closest to me. It gave me a chance to recalibrate and refocus on what’s most important in life, and for me, that’s family.”
Meanwhile, Patti Smith retreated to her bungalow in New York City’s popular beachside peninsula, The Rockaways, during the pandemic. Shot by friend and creative collaborator Steven Sebring, her film follows her journey back to the heart of Manhattan. Pictured outside locations that have played an important role in her life –such as One Fifth Avenue where she posed for the album cover of Horses, and Electric Lady Studios that was established by Jimi Hendrix in 1968 and used for the Rimowa recording – Smith’s video is a testament to New York City’s perpetual spirit of perseverance and creativity.
“When we could not travel physically, I was grateful for the imagination, allowing me to travel where I wished. I was able to write, study, and rethink my priorities,” says Smith. “But I continually longed for action, to be on the move and now I am grateful to step back into the world.”