The idea of form versus function is often a conundrum that's faced by designers. Should the former supersede the latter or vice versa? Or is there a middle-ground where both tenets of design balance out each other such that there isn't much of a compromise to either? The considerations are heightened further when it comes to meeting the needs of travellers who now care more than just getting from one point to another.

For TUMI, that steely balance of form and function is best exemplified in its innovative 19 Degree Aluminum series. Launched by creative director Victor Sanz in 2016, the 19 Degree Aluminum series was a breakthrough for the performance luxury lifestyle and accessories brand as it manipulated aluminium in its own vision for the first time. Each piece is crafted with the now-signature sinewy lines enveloping the entirety of its contours—both as a bold, visual manifestation of the toughness of the material as well as an engineered element for added rigidity. It helps too that the look is as striking as it is durable.

As we said, good looks would only get a design so far, especially in the travel space. TUMI clearly knows this too. The 19 Degree Aluminum series is packed with nifty technical specs that make travelling with one—on pretty much any kind of journey—as beautiful as the intended destination. Rollers are fitted with dual-recessed, ball bearing wheels to ensure smooth, effortless glides, while the telescoping handle fits comfortably when gripped. These innovations (and more) add to the beauty of having a 19 Degree Aluminum piece as a companion—they're beautiful, and essentially so.

The 19 Degree Aluminum Backpack is another first for TUMI.

In the latest chapter of TUMI's "Essentially Beautiful" campaign, global ambassador and pro-footballer Son Heung-Min makes a return to introduce an expansion to the 19 Degree Aluminum family. Highlighting both the aesthetics as well as the inner-workings of the series that make it essentially beautiful, the campaign is arguably TUMI's boldest yet as Son traverses an abstract world inspired by the elements of the series. His main companion of choice? A 19 Degree Aluminum Backpack that once again, sees TUMI challenging the idea of form and function.

The backpack design is a first of its kind for TUMI, allowing the already iconic luggage design to be carried in a new way. But instead of simply slapping on leather straps to the existing design, the brand reconfigured the entire construction. The leather straps of the Backpack are connected to a leather back panel—marked with the same 19 Degree contours—that's fitted with a top handle and a sleeve meant to easily slip over extended luggage handles. The Backpack itself opens up from the top with a frame opening, while a front pocket reveals itself with the push of the leather monogram patch.

19 Degree Aluminium Luggage.
19 Degree Aluminium Carry-On and Luggage.
19 Degree Aluminium Backpack.

But that's far from what TUMI has to offer. The new line-up includes a Compact Carry-On that's essentially a scaled down version of the 19 Degree Aluminum, designed for travellers who prefer something smaller. It also comes with a removable file divider, making it quite an upgrade for those looking to transport documents. If not, there's the new Briefcase that's categorically sleek at every angle yet still sturdy and durable.

Form versus function? That's certainly hardly the case here.

The new TUMI 19 Degree Aluminum series is now available at the TUMI ION Orchard, Mandarin Gallery, and Marina Bay Sands stores. And check out the other signature TUMI lifestyle bag styles too while you're at it.

The Alpha Bravo Navigation Backpack.
The Harrison Gregory Sling.
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