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Moving Right Along

Get Them Going With Luggage and Leather Goods

By Emily Tipping

Colors and Materials CEO John Ebb explained in the company's 2011 report on luggage trends that exteriors are seeing a transformation, incorporating unique and eye-catching designs.

When it comes to flashy materials, polycarbonate—or hard-sided—luggage can pack a real punch.

"Polycarbonates are huge and going up dramatically now," Cassius said. "More and more people are using it."

Erdman agreed that polycarbonate is a growing trend. "It is extremely lightweight and provides the fashion color and pattern trend that is growing," she added.

The new Z-Tex Collection from Zero Halliburton, available through Earth Gear, is made from polycarbonate and is lighter and stronger than the existing Z-Flex line. With its new textured exterior casing, the Z-Tex exhibits better scratch resistance. It is available in Cranberry Red, Black, Blue and Silver in 19-inch 2 Wheel, 21-inch 2 or 4 Wheel, 24-inch 4 Wheel, 27-inch 4 Wheel and 29-inch 4 Wheel configurations.

Mitchell agreed that polycarbonate has seen a rise. "Originally it had durability issues, but as technology has evolved, it's much more durable than it was," he said. "In the United States, it's a small but significant piece of our business."

Cassius also reported a surge in color and designs, and a return of designer brands. "That wasn't big before, but brands like Izod, Fazzino, Nicole Miller—I see lots of designer brands coming back."

The Heys Fazzino Collection, available through Earth Gear, is a unique travel goods series inspired by four international destination art pieces from famed pop artist, Charles Fazzino. Made from durable polycarbonate with built-in TSA-accepted locks and 360-degree, easy-glide spinner wheels, the cases are nearly indestructible. What's more, the carry-on easily fits into airline overhead compartments.

"We have been seeing an increase in color and patterned luggage," Erdman agreed. "It provides the opportunity to express your personality and helps to easily identify your luggage at baggage claim."

You can stand out at the baggage claim with colors and patterns from Rockland Luggage, available through Top Brands. The three-piece set is a lightweight, durable, hard-side ABS set with polycarbonate printed exterior shell. Each piece features a fully lined interior with mesh pockets and elastic tie-downs for separate packing, four multi-directional spinner wheels for easy mobility and a chrome push-button self-locking telescopic handle. The set includes 20-inch, 24-inch and 28-inch uprights.

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