Scottish vintage specialist Scaramanga has invested in curating its biggest & best range of original antique and vintage travel trunks and suitcases to satisfy an expected home furnishing trend created by the inaugural exhibition at V&A Dundee.
Scaramanga founder and Managing Director Carl Morenikeji started the company in 2006 after spotting the potential for reinventing the traditional leather school satchel as a fashion item. He’s since gone on to diversify the award-winning Cupar firm into a vintage lifestyle firm – selling a range of high-quality leather bags and briefcases designed by him and his team as well as upcycling furniture and importing original vintage and antique furniture and homewares.
Some of their products have been used as props in eight major movies – from Maleficent to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – as well as TV shows. One of the first was Tim Burton's 2012 movie Dark Shadows, in which Scaramanga trunks appeared in Liverpool Docks scenes.
Following the recent opening of V&A Dundee, Carl is predicting a surge in demand for ocean liner era-style home décor and furnishings sparked by the design museum’s first temporary exhibition - Ocean Liners: Speed and Style – which is being visited by thousands and the publicity for which has been seen by millions worldwide.
The exhibition is the first to explore the global design and cultural impact of the ocean liner and showcases more than 250 objects including paintings, sculptures, wall panels, furniture, fashion, textiles and posters. Visitors experience what it was like to be on-board the ‘great floating palaces’ and Carl believes that will inspire many to bring the liner style into their homes.
As a result he’s spent months investing time and money in scouring the world to assemble Scaramanga’s biggest & best range ever of the finest original vintage travel and military trunks and suitcases from the era for their Autumn Collection.
They number more than 40 original pieces from all over the world and include several an Art Deco trunk, several Belgian and French travel trunks, Saratoga trunks, steamer trunks, cabin trunks and some military trunks and cases.
A pair of travel trunks in the collection belonged to Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Robert Mends, who saw combat in both world wars and was awarded the Legion of Honour by France and made a Knight of the Order of St Anna by Russia. He was later made King's Harbour Master at Cromarty.
Lt Cmdr Mends clearly inherited his naval skills from his family’s long combined service in the Royal Navy - his father was a Royal Navy surgeon and he was also great-great-nephew of Captain Sir Roberts Mends who lost an arm fighting in the American War of Independence, was later twice injured in an action and was made a Spanish knight for his services in the Peninsular War. Commander Mends’ grandfather was 19th Century Royal Navy admiral Sir William Robert Mends and his great-grandfather was Admiral William Bowen Mends.
Design-loving Scaramanga customers don’t usually take these kinds of trunks and suitcases on their holidays – instead they use them as stylish and hardwearing storage.
Speaking about the bold business decision, Carl said: “When I saw the first publicity for Ocean Liners: Speed and Style I immediately knew the immersive experience of being surrounded by all the grand Art Deco and Art Nouveau design from the cruise liner era would make a huge impact on lovers of great design visiting Scotland’s first design museum.
“It inspired me to create our Autumn Collection to allow them to bring that look into their homes. And, as our store is only 12 miles from V&A Dundee, they can literally pop in on their way home. Or jump onto our website when they start planning their new look.
“I think V&A Dundee is amazing and looking forward to visiting it with my family soon. We all love great design, so I can see us going there regularly.”
Anyone wanting to catch the ocean liner design wave will find the Scaramanga Autumn Collection on its website at www.scaramangashop.co.uk