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Royal Traveller Attaché Case
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Royal Traveller Attaché Case

Carroll Gantz
Samhammer, Claire
Royal Traveller Attaché Case

This elegant Royal Traveller attaché case, designed by Claire Samhammer of Design West, Inc. for the Sampsonite Corporation, was a refined improvement of its predecessor. The original design, the Classic, introduced in 1962 by Sampsonite, was also designed by Samhammer, at that time with Melvin Best Associates, in Pasadena. CA. With its flush latches and slim, chrome-trimmed, charcoal grey case, the Classic indeed became a classic among the grey flannel suit crowd, replacing the traditional box-like attaché cases which had remained essentially unchanged in design for years before. Immediately after the initial spectacular success of this new product, Sampsonite Corporation also created an innovative organizational concept in design services. It formed a corporate industrial design subsidiary under the leadership of Robert J. Fujioka, formally with Melvin Best Associates, named it Design West, Inc., and gave it the unusual authority and flexibility to solicit and provide independent design services in the open market, as well as providing design for all Sampsonite products. This was at a time when many design consultants referred derogatively to corporate designers as "captive designers." Claire Samhammer also joined the new organization and proceeded to design the Royal Traveller. Claire had studied at Pratt Institute.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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