Tokyo Tuesday Meet Up @Away Travel Jul. 26, 2016

Bottom Line: The Away Concept Pop-up Shop in NoHo opened its doors to friends and Asia Society’s young members in this little meetup.

USB-enabled smart, practical by Away

USB-enabled smart, practical by Away

Review: There’s always something happening on a weekday evening after work, especially by SoHo. With so many boutiques, bars and restaurants, after hours events are always popping up. Asia Society’s young Asia Circle members and friends organized a cocktail meet-and-greet at Away’s pop up boutique.

Horse figurines for travel ? ©WhereNYC

Horse figurines for travel ? ©WhereNYC

Asia Society members and friends ©WhereNYC

Asia Society members and friends ©WhereNYC

New to the scene, Away Travel Concept Store open its doors earlier this year to showcase high end travel suitcases and accessories primarily from Japan and Sweden.

Browsing and chatting at Away © WhereNYC

Browsing and chatting at Away © WhereNYC

It seems like an unusual combination, but both countries are renowned for their penchant for design and pragmatism. Rather than selling just luggage, Away is selling a lifestyle concept, similarly to high bath and kitchenware gurus Pirch, just a few blocks away. In addition to travel apparel, Away also features excerpts from its book, The Places We Return to.

Drawing on their own travel experiences and habits, the creators designed carry-on luggage are practical, well-organized and USB enabled, allowing travelers to charge their mobile phones. A novelty? Perhaps not. And they’re not the only ones on the neighborhood. Minimalist but upscale Raden also recently opened it shop in SoHo with its line of smartphone- syncable luggage also allow you to track your suitcases.

Sake cups and carafe © WhereNYC

Sake cups and carafe © WhereNYC

While it was nice to chat and enjoy a glass of rosé and canapé, some of us didn’t quite get Away’s concept. Quirky travel boutiques like Flight 001 have been in existence for some time and carry upmarket mult-brand suitcases as well as fun accessories. What makes Away’ own line unique? I wondered.  It would have been nice to have a little tour or an in-store demonstration of the carry-on luggage or other products on display. Unfortunately, it seemed out of focus and left us guessing why so many Pocky snacks were on display? Some other odd bits included horse statues. What has that got to do with smart, sleek travel? I couldn’t say. Keep it simple and narrow it down a bit more.

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Away Pop-up store continues through August 31.

 

Spirikal