Founder, Steamline Luggage
Who needs sexy back when we have glamour back thanks to Sara Banks who had a longtime desire to bring back old-world charm to travel and by creating SteamLine Luggage, she has done just that! SteamLine Luggage is a series of six vintage-inspired luggage collections, where each piece emanates the nostalgia we've been longing for. It all began when Sara spent time at airports all over the world and saw beautifully dressed women carrying tatty luggage — something she made her ambition to change. By fusing her passion for both travel and fashion, SteamLine Luggage was born. And naturally, we needed the details from the woman herself whos giving us something equally as fab to tote our Celine and Chanels around in! Take a peek into Sara's life as she talks Sri Lanka, the secret to good-packing, and the art of dressing in-transit (especially when you're a mom of two!).
Read on and #JETSETSHOP the chic collections here. Enter VACAY10 to receive 10% off your chic new luggage. Offer valid for all orders placed before June 24!
VacationStyle: We absolutely love that you started SteamLine Luggage with the intention of bringing glamour back to travel. Can you tell us a little bit about your story?
Sara Banks: I used be in the fashion industry and would see women in these beautiful coats and handbags travelling with a tatty black boring case. It let the whole picture down. I loved the glamour associated with of old-world travel and created a sample suitcase based on this. When I travelled with it for the first time, my husband noticed everyone spinning around to look at it. When we got to the gate he said, 'you have to do this.’ So I redirected my fashion focus to put the elegance back into travel. And that is when SteamLine was born.
VS: How do your collections change each season and where do you find your inspiration?
SB: I find inspiration for each season’s collections by traveling, of course! We are always looking to introduce new colorways and recently more fun interior patterns - to spice up the vintage look of each collection. I really try to keep the collections classic and elegant as that is what they are about but adding in the pop of colour for seasonal collections is irresistible. I am on an art deco buzz at the moment so stay tuned for some amazing pieces this Holiday season.
VS: What type of woman do you have in mind when you design your collections?
SB: Each collection is based on an aspirational character of yesteryear from a different profession (i.e. The Editor, The Diplomat, The Entrepreneur, The Correspondent, The Starlet). Each name invokes the personal story that everyone experiences on their journey- depicting a person on the move, in the midst of adventure, confident with all their favorite possessions in a classic leather bound case.
VS: Can you tell us a little bit about your collaboration with Reiss?
SB: We’ve loved working with Reiss, which is why we didn’t stop with just one collection! Reiss wanted to focus on men’s luggage, which is a growing market for us so we launched the black body, black strap Correspondent style case in Spring 2015 and people really gravitated to the classic look so we partnered again in Spring 2016 and launched a new smokey grey case/black strap collection. Reiss has a sophisticated, fashionable consumer that was in need of a luxe suitcase for their travels.
VS: Can we expect there to see other collaborations in the future?
SB: Absolutely! We love working with creative brands looking to expand into the world of travel. It is such an important necessary accessory these days as we all jet-set as much as we do. There is no reason why your luggage shouldn’t be as beautiful and attention grabbing as the rest of your ensemble.
VS: Where is your favorite place to vacation? Any hidden gems we should know about?
SB: Several years ago we went to Sri Lanka, bought a tuk-tuk (a local taxi) and spent 6 weeks travelling around the island picking up passengers and taking them to their destinations for free. It was such a beautiful way to see an amazingly diverse and accessible island with everything from calm white sand beaches to surf waves to rain forest climate to the climbing hills of tea plantations. The people were wonderful, generous and open. The food was amazing- it’s primarily based on a coconut-based diet and the history and culture is fascinating. We found one place, a remote Buddhist monastery that was so spectacular and magical and otherworldly that we extended our stay by 3 days just to revisit the location and soak in the complete serenity of the area.
We stayed in The Villa Bentota. Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa designed the original villa and gardens. Paradise Hotels has renovated them in the last few years maintaining all the original features.
Amangalla in Galle is also sublime, really old school colonial, dark wood and tiled floors, staff wearing white linens, etc. It’s a great place to stop by even for a drink and absorb the atmosphere.
The heart of Sri Lanka is in the small places- family run guest houses, grabbing a lunch on the side of the road, exploring like a local.
VS: Any places on your bucket list?
SB: Recently I have been obsessing over natural wonders of the world. I would love to visit the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province, China. I have can’t quite imagine how something like this exists in real life.
I am equally a sucker for spectacular turquoise waters. We were recently on the coast of Kenya and got to explore a stretch of coral reef. Our 3-year old took to water so easily and adored the underwater world so really getting the lads into snorkeling early is something I would love to do. The Seychelles are definitely on my hit list some day.
VS: Do you have a packing strategy? If so, can you let us in on the details?!
SB: Less is more! I always try to take only the essentials because I don’t like to waste time deciding what to wear when travelling in order to explore the place I’m visiting. When on vacation it is so nice to reset – embrace values associated with liberation and exploration that is not always possible at home. “Live with less and live more” is what I like to practice when I am travelling.
VS: How would you describe your style while you’re on vacation? Does it differ when you’re on vacation?
SB: As a business owner and mom to two young boys, I’m always on the go. I tend to wear classic items that easily fit into any situation - whether that’s getting on a plane, going to a business meeting, or meeting friends in the park. It’s easiest for me to incorporate trendy accessories into my wardrobe and stick with the basics for day-to-day wear.
VS: Beauty essentials you cannot travel without?
SB: I moisturize with Trilogy Everything Balm. Believe what it says on the lid: You can use it everywhere — hands, lips, body. It smells great and comes in a plastic tub so it is easy to get to on bouncy flights without worrying about spills or leaks.
Trish McEvoy’s Beauty Booster Serum is my ultimate travel companion. It absorbs instantly to hydrate, plump, and brighten travel-worn skin. You can even pat it over a made-up face.
Trish McEvoy also makes a great tubular lash-curling mascara that is tear-proof, sleep-proof and travel-proof. If you want to de-plane looking good, it will withstand even the longest travel route.
Upon arrival, I'll dab a little Benefit Benetint color on my cheeks and lips. Then I'm off!
VS: What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
SB: I have received a lot of really good advice. But one piece of advice that I have been thinking about recently is to divide your life into marked adventures (i.e. big trips, special occasions, etc)- it makes your life feel longer and you build more memories in your life. This motivates my husband and I to embrace challenges and try new things – and to keep moving!
While on vacation...
Underpack or overpack? Underpack – and never regret leaving something behind
One-piece or two? Either!
Kaftan or sarong? Sarong – the multi-use suits me perfectly
Hair up or down? Out of the way
Makeup or no makeup? No makeup
Flats or heels? Flats – to keep up with 2 boys, I need to be on the run!
Jewelry or no jewelry? Jewelry – I feel naked without earrings at the least
Detox or retox? Both – I am a Libra – balance is key!
Stick with what you know or try something new? Always try something new! It is tempting to do to the same things again and again, but this world has too much to offer in regards to everything. You can only learn more by experience.
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