Sebastian Manes, the former buying and merchandising director at Selfridges, has formed a collaboration with Jaden Smith to introduce a new luxury luggage brand called Harper Collective. The brand has recently unveiled its webstore, offering customers the option to pre-order items before the official launch scheduled for early August. The standout feature of the luggage pieces, which start at a price of £595, is that they are partially made from reclaimed sea plastics, making them the first of their kind in the market.

The partnership between Manes and Smith is expected to generate substantial attention for the brand. Manes brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record from his successful tenure at Selfridges, where he spearheaded a multimillion-dollar transformation of the footwear and accessories departments. He has also worked as an agent for high-end brands such as Lanvin, Céline, and Ann Demeulemeester. On the other hand, Smith is recognized for his activism and entrepreneurial ventures. As the son of Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, he possesses his own clothing and lifestyle brand called MSFTSrep. Furthermore, Smith is a co-founder of 501CTHREE, a nonprofit organization devoted to driving innovation in global energy, water, and food challenges.

Although Manes and Smith both possess global recognition and extensive backgrounds, they face a formidable challenge in entering a highly competitive market dominated by established players like Samsonite and Antler. Additionally, luxury conglomerate LVMH continues to support its popular Rimowa label. However, the Harper Collective distinguishes itself by focusing on sustainability. The founders express their dedication to ongoing improvement and innovation in order to create better and more sustainable products. Striving for transparency in their operations, they share their sourcing process with customers.

The brand’s unique selling point lies in its utilization of reclaimed sea plastics and post-consumer recycled plastics. After five years of incubation and research, Manes and Smith have developed an innovative technology that allows them to manufacture a luxury luggage line using these materials. The sea plastic used in the cases is a pioneering material that has never been utilized in luxury products before. To make their vision a reality, the founders partnered with external firms such as Epsotech in Germany and LineCross in the UK, to develop products using the sea plastic.

Each case is meticulously handcrafted in Blackburn, UK, through collaboration with specialist manufacturer VGTEC. The construction process guarantees durability and longevity, with no glue or chemicals involved. Every component is carefully riveted and stitched by hand. The interiors of the cases feature a collaboration with iconic British brand Barbour, incorporating their signature diamond-quilted trim made from environmentally friendly recycled nylon. The cases also include a removable and washable zipper feature for the Barbour trim.

The Harper Collective’s emphasis on sustainability, innovative use of materials, and meticulous attention to detail sets it apart in the competitive luggage market. With the combined expertise of Manes and Smith, the brand is well-positioned to make a significant impact and attract a discerning audience. As the demand for environmentally friendly products continues to rise, the Harper Collective’s commitment to sustainability positions it as a frontrunner in the luxury luggage industry. With the official launch just around the corner, all eyes will be on this exciting new venture.

Useful links:
Harper Collective Official Website
Luxury Daily Article on Harper Collective