Despite having been a mainstay of modern life for decades now, it’s only in recent years that travel has become seen as more than transit. Even though we now travel more than ever before and spend more time in planes and at airports – checking in, boarding, alighting, transferring – the tools we use to get from A to B have remained largely unchanged: simple, practical and purely functional.
As travel has become an ever more essential part of our lives, a handful of companies have emerged offering a more considered approach to travel that alleviates some of the frustrations of life on the move. Berlin-based company Horizn Studios is one of them, addressing the needs of modern travel with a smarter, more stylish take on luggage and travel essentials.
Launched in 2015, in just three years co-founders Jan Roosen and Stefan Holwe have established Horizn Studios as a pioneer in luggage design with its “smart” luggage — with the ‘smart’ coming in via built-in charging functions and optional GPS tracking. “In our fast-paced world, travel should be easy and every journey an adventure,” Holwe explains. “Every product and service we develop is for the creators, the boundary-pushers, the movers and the shakers.”
As a result, Horizn Studios’ luggage and travel accessories feature simple, considered elements tailored to the needs of modern travelers. Its M5 cabin luggage, for example, features a fold-out pocket on the front, giving easy access to a laptop and other essentials for a quick transition through security. Like all Horizn Studios luggage, it also features a removable USB smart charger with enough power for three full phone charges. Smaller bags such as weekender, totes, and backpacks are designed with an exterior strap to secure them to their suitcases’ telescopic handles.
Holwe and Roosen’s progressive ethos has already seen Horizn Studios join forces with a number of like-minded partners for collaborations. Last year they teamed up with renowned DJ Seth Troxler for the Pro Model ST – a suitcase specifically designed for the needs of DJs, complete with equipment storage cubes and a modular vinyl stand. More recently, the company’s collaboration with international hotel chain and members club Soho House saw its popular cabin and check-in luggage fitted out with Soho House-inspired design elements, including a refined pinstripe lining and branded luggage tag.
Beyond luggage and accessories, Horizn has begun expanding into services designed to make the entire traveling experience as seamless, convenient, and comfortable as possible. The recently-launched Horizn GO service works as an on-demand, personal travel assistant that takes care of every element of the user’s trip, from flight and hotel bookings to dinner reservations, and also offers exclusive access to a worldwide network of insider travel tips.
It’s a move that indicates how our understanding of travel has evolved over the past two decades. With the rise of air travel in particular for business, leisure, and everything in between means that many of us are desperate for a more streamlined travel experience, particularly in the face of ever-changing security rules and restrictions.
While many other industries gradually recognized this need by developing apps that facilitate every step of your trip, it may be that the most challenging thing to modernize is the glue that connects all the parts of travel together – something as simple as your luggage.
At a time when the choice seems to be between hyper-luxurious travel goods that cost more than the plane ticket or affordable options that are unlikely to last longer than one or two trips, Horizn Studios has made strides in elevating the experience of contemporary travel with its thoughtfully-designed goods created with modern travel—and the modern traveler—in mind. The destination is always going to be the important part, but that doesn’t mean the journey can’t be just as considered.