next stop NYC: RIMOWA celebrates 125 years with traveling retrospective

next stop NYC: RIMOWA celebrates 125 years with traveling retrospective

seit 1898: touring exhibition lands in new york


After its debut in Tokyo, RIMOWA‘s 125-year retrospective exhibition is geared to arrive in New York City, the second stop of its global tour. The show is titled SEIT 1898, which translates from German to mean ‘Since 1898’ — a nod to the legendary brand’s founding in Cologne, Germany 125 years ago. Since then, its luggage has become an iconic worldwide symbol of adventure, luxury, and craftsmanship, and is recognized at once by its signature body of anodized grooved aluminum. Just as travel has evolved rapidly over the past century, the cases have taken on new forms and functions with each generation. Visitors to SEIT 1898 are invited to read this history of travel, culture, and technology through the retrospective of over 100 RIMOWA cases.


Just in time for New York Fashion Week, SEIT 1898 will be open to the public at Chelsea Factory at 547 W 26th Street from September 8th through September 17th, 2023.

RIMOWA exhibition new yorkSEIT 1898 exhibition entrance | image © RIMOWA



discover the legacy of rimowa


At the SEIT 1898 New York exhibition, RIMOWA highlights a thoughtfully curated selection from its vast archive to uncover its rich history. Each diorama frames a moment from the brand’s past which has played a defining role in shaping its identity. This journey through time meanders through the expansive industrial space at Chelsea Factory and highlights the materials, locations, individuals, style trends, and craftsmanship that have together contributed to the brand‘s legacy. Establishing a foundation for the show, the iconic RIMOWA Cabin is ‘exploded’ in mid-air, exposing the clean skeleton of the classic case in suspended, observable detail.

RIMOWA exhibition new yorkwhat’s in a case? an ‘exploded’ RIMOWA Cabin exposes the case’s clean structure



reading the history of travel through 100 cases


RIMOWA’s 125th anniversary exhibition SEIT 1898 falls at a moment in time when the world is rekindling its love for travel — and redefining a modern lifestyle based on remote working and living. This current era marks another major turning point in the ever-changing timeline of what it means to move. What’s more, global travel is perhaps more accessible than ever in the 21st century. The show lays out a series of scenes which unfold glimpses into the past, as unique cases are displayed as both artifacts of our collective heritage, and reminders of once-new technologies.


A unique RIMOWA case that had traveled through Ellis Island has been preserved, and will be on view at SEIT 1898 — a meaningful artifact for New Yorkers. With its dents and scars, the case is shown as a reminder of immigrant struggles, especially during the tumultuous 20th century, while emphasizing the brand’s quality and resilience even from its earliest years.

RIMOWA exhibition new york
RIMOWA celebrates the history of aviation



Throughout the dioramas, visitors to RIMOWA’s New York exhibition will encounter experimental collaborations, including the rarely-seen cases belonging to public figures such as Billie Eilish, Martha Stewart, Roger Federer, Patti Smith, and Spike Lee. Together with these privately-owned cases, SEIT 1898 spotlights brand collaborations with icons including Off-White and Dior, and pop-culture artifacts like the briefcase from ‘Mission Impossible IV.’ The collection also features unique purpose-built pieces ranging from poker sets and cigar cases, to Stradivarius violin cases. Pivotal milestones in the brand’s evolution are noted, like the introduction of luggage’s iconic grooves in 1950.


All together, this curated selection offers an in-depth exploration of RIMOWA’s important contributions to the ever-evolving culture of travel from the late 19th century to the present day.

RIMOWA exhibition new york
each case tells a story: scuffs and scars show the brand’s history and durability RIMOWA exhibition new yorka ‘sound stage’ highlights various specialty cases purpose-built for musical instruments


SEIT 1898 documents the ever-changing history of travel

RIMOWA exhibition new yorka ‘leisure lounge’ shows evolving forms for a range of functions


brand collaborations show RIMOWA’s impact on the design world


project info:


exhibition title: SEIT 1898

brand: RIMOWA @rimowa

location: Chelsea Factory, 547 W 26th St., New York City

on view: September 8th — 17th, 2023

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