Rimowa x Art store front mandarin gallery

If you’re shopping on Orchard Road this weekend (but of course you are – it’s GSS season), find your way to Mandarin Gallery and the Rimowa store. From today until July 30, the German luggage brand’s local flagship store will be dedicated to a pop-art exhibition that showcases 12 specially illustrated versions of the brand’s bestselling Topas Multiwheel. It’s a nice little case on its own, but thanks to Rimowa x ART, the brand’s collaboration with six local personalities and six local creatives, 12 of these trolley suitcases are now one-of-a-kind collectibles.

Radio producer and presenter Rosalyn Lee, photographer Geoff Ang, bespoke menswear tailor Kevin Seah, stylist and fashion designer Keith Png, coffee purveyor Leon Foo and freelance writer and photographer Willabelle Ong all drew from personal experience to create illustrations that they felt represented themselves and their take on local culture. Foo’s (below, second from left), for example, features traditional local kopi icons.

My favourites of this lot: Lee’s piece (below, third from left), which has “CHOPE” across the front (talk about a multitasking piece!) and Ong’s (below, far right), a whimsical affair with dripping paint and a rather romantic-looking drawing of a fur-clad woman.

Rimowa x Art personalities

Though the pieces by the local personalities are the focus of the Rimowa x ART exhibition, the ones by the six local creatives – illustrator Candice Phang, craft purveyor Colin Chen, artist Dee Chia, coffee purveyor Ivan Kuek, illustrator and aspiring tattoo artist Lee Wai Leng, and advertising creative Wang Yuhui – really should have been given centre stage. They’re a good deal more attractive – unsurprising, given that three of them draw for a living.

Chia’s (below, left) will appeal to anyone who’s got a thing for local architecture – it features a sketch of two very recognisable shophouses on Emerald Hill (hint: you’ll pass these if you’re heading to No 5 Emerald Hill or Ice-Cold Beer for drinks). For those who like things a little less loud, check out Lee’s piece(below, right), accented with dainty drawings of birds.

Rimowa x Art Dee Chia Lee Wai Leng

I’ve saved the best for last. This is one I’d get if I were in the market for a new suitcase: Phang’s (below, showing both front and back), covered in quirky characters in cheery colours. I’m not a fan of the Merlion at all, but this is the cutest iteration I’ve seen.

Rimowa x Art Candice Phang

Each Rimowa x ART suitcase will set you back $5,000. A hefty sum for a trolley case, but all proceeds go to local humanitarian organisation Mercy Relief. (Nice to know: Over the last 10 years alone, the organisation has provided disaster relief in 23 countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos and Taiwan.)

Rimowa x Art store front 2

Like this? Check out these Minion-inspired hats by Piers Atkinson.