Making the Box: Trunks Company Jaipur's Take on an Age-old Craft

A newcomer in a centuries-old industry, Trunks Company Jaipur has come to prominence for its bespoke trunks that embody the yester glory of wooden luggage cases, the cultural vibrancy of India and the functionality of modern design

By: Dimitria Vitanova

Posted on: January 20, 2017

Priyank and Paritosh Mehta Trunks Company Jaipur“We have created a modern lifestyle around trunks and are the only ones to do [so] across the globe,” says Paritosh Mehta, who co-founded Trunks Company Jaipur with his brother Priyank in 2011. 

Since then, Trunks Company has garnered international fame for its bespoke trunks that embody the yester glory of wooden luggage cases that boomed in the 18th and 19th centuries, the cultural vibrancy of Jaipur and Paris as well as the functionality of modern design. TV stars, artists and socialites aside, the brand’s masterpieces grace the homes of dignitaries in the likes of Maharaja Gaj Singh II and the Qatari ruling family.   

For the Maharaja, Forbes India has reported, Trunks Company created a watch trunk of navy-blue leather exterior, finished with a personalized brass panel, and duck-yellow suede interior that houses a Rapport watch winder. According to Business Today, Sheikha Hessa Al-Thani of Qatar visited Jaipur in 2013, spotted Trunk Company’s conceptions at the hotel she stayed, took a fancy for them and commissioned eight trunks to take home, including a one-of-a-kind piece to store flower-extracted ittar perfume. 

Six watch trunk by Trunks Company JaipurTrunks Company may have captured the media’s glare with its prominent clientele but the Mehtas and the label’s chief designer Livio Delesgues maintain reverential discreetness. Instead, they talk about – and take pride in – the attention and care they regale their clients with. “[E]very trunk that is created in our atelier is bespoke,” says Mr Mehta. “When we begin working on a trunk, we sit with our client to understand his tastes, hobbies [and] lifestyle, which in turn echoes in the final product. In this entire process, our client plays the major role.”

The cases – from travel classics like steamers and briefcases to whimsical novelties like bar, vault and jewelry trunks – might be unique extensions of their owner’s personalities, but they all rest on two distinct features that have earned Trunks Company its reputation. Exquisite materials and craftsmanship. The latter oozes from some 50 talented local artisans – “the creators of [the] trunks” who “[w]e personally identify […] and educate […] as per the requirements of the brand,” Mr Mehta says. These craftsmen usually invest around 400 hours in the refinement of a single trunk. 

“From sanding down a piece of wood, finishing process of leather, carving, stitching of leather, to hammering the nails – every aspect is handled with singular focus, care and discretion,” says Mr Mehta. “The expertise of Indian craftsmen, [their] great attention to minute detailing, and uncompromising quality give life to these classic, timeless creations.”

Music trunk by Trunks Company Jaipur

At the brand’s Jaipur-based atelier, this undivided devotion to artistry fuses with the most superb raw materials. Leaning on the expertise gleaned at their family export business, which often took them to Europe, the Mehtas meticulously source the label’s materials from India, Germany, Italy and France among other destinations. As a result, world-class grain leather and suede, vintage brass embellishments and teakwood contouring form the brand’s creative codes.

Polo trunk by Trunks Company Jaipur

Yet, Trunks Company’s contraptions do not only denote the label’s signature design aesthetics as “an antidote [to] routine treasurables.” They test it. The Music trunk, for instance, subverted the brand’s recognizable style to complex acoustic and electronic installations that needed to be imbedded within in order to build a cutting-edge sound system. “Eventually, the design came out to be a real delight, both in ways of appearance and the functionality,” Mr Mehta says. 

Such challenging concepts, Mr Mehta says, prompt the evolution of Trunks Company, which functions in a quaint field dominated by established giants like Louis Vuitton and Goyard. A novice in the industry, the Indian label, betting on its piquing blend of the West and the East, past and present, luxury and practicality, has indeed grown. With no international physical-store presence and little social media engagement, Trunks Company has somehow garnered a global following. 

Perhaps, the secret to Trunks Company’s success lurks in its simple philosophy. For the Mehtas and their team trunks are not just a business venture. They represent a “way of living life on our [own] terms.”

Trunks Company’s creations can be found at: 
Boutique at Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, (0141) 2385775 

Trunks Company at Sabyasachi, One Style Mile, Kutub Serai 6-8, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi 30 Inquiries: (011) 26644350

Bespoke orders: Trunks Company Jaipur Atelier, 44, Lane Number 4, Kartapura Industrial Area, BaisGodam, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006, (141) 4064999

The company intends to launch an international store sometime this year. 

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