Flight 001 brings back fun and glam in jet settingBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
If flight 001 designs seem retro, that’s because they are. The founders of the one-stop travel shop that first opened in New York in 1999 create and “curate” their products with a nod to 60s travel glam.
Way back then, when the Twiggy look was so a la mode, air travel was still new and few people had the means to try it. It was no surprise then, that 60s travelers traveled in fashionable clothes and designer suitcases.
These days we call suitcases “luggage,” the word itself sounding “heavy” and “drab,” says John Sencion (one of the founders), and Flight 001 wants to put the fun and function back into this travel item.
Want fun colors in a bag that lets you fit 15 pieces of clothing from shirts and jeans to trousers and a jacket, with a reverse opening to store used clothes in?
There’s the Spacepak system that’s suited as both a carry-on bag or as a clothes organizer in your luggage. Flight 001 even has laptop cases, adapters, and toiletries. To make the shopping experience even more fun, it’s all colorfully arranged in a fuselage-inspired shop.
Flashback to 1998, when, according to Flight 001 legend, Sencion met another “John” in the person of Brad John, who is a garments expert.
The two happened to go on a business trip to Paris from New York. On the way, they got to talking about how they prepared for their trip.
Sencion purchased a map and a phrase book on his destination, then passed by the luggage store for a “stowaway bag.”
Brad John, on the other hand, bought his personal care products first and went to the pharmacy.
During the flight, as they swapped prep stories, the two had a common question: “Wouldn’t it be great if all these were under one roof?” And so, somewhere between New York and Paris, among the clouds, an idea was born.
Six months later, the pair opened the first Flight 001 store in New York’s West Village in 1999 and became the first one-stop travel shop in the neighborhood.
The shop was conceptualized to bring the nostalgia of the glamorous days of travel in the 50s and 60s. Flight 001 has a retro modern look from its interior design to its products. The retro feel, however, is matched with innovative and functional design, notably in
Flight 001’s Spacepak and Go Clean travel systems. In addition to items unique to the brand, Flight 001 also curates the best travel products available worldwide.
Since 1999, Flight 001 has made its mark all over the world, the US, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Included in the company’s “flight plan” are the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, China, and South America.
This year, Flight 001 finally made its way to the Philippines, as the Primer Group of Companies helps the brand lay its foundation in the country and the rest of the region.
With the Primer Group of Companies set to become Asia’s next biggest retailer, the founders of Flight 001 are confident that this partnership and experience will help them expand their company and set up stores in the region.
“It’s more fun in the Philippines, it really is,” says Brad John on the sidelines of the recent launch of Flight 001 at the Bonifacio Global City. “Flight 001 fits right in.”
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