Tumi & Roam Luggage: Charlie Clifford

Over nearly 50 years in the luggage business, Charlie Clifford has built two premium brands and weathered three existential crises: the recession of 1982, the travel slowdown post- 9/11, and the extreme aftershocks of Covid. His fist luggage company, Tumi, was inspired by his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. Charlie began by importing hand-crafted leather duffels from South America, but quickly pivoted into more durable and distinctive ballistic nylon bags. Business travelers loved them, and by the 1990’s, Tumi was spreading to Europe and Japan. Today, Tumi is owned by Samsonite and its stores are in airports and shopping malls around the world. Meanwhile, Charlie—unfazed by the challenges he’s faced over the years—has launched another premium luggage brand, Roam. 

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