We want! Made in India, candy-colored, vintage-style luggage

We want! Made in India, candy-colored, vintage-style luggage

For travelers who value fashion and functionality, custom-made trunks and cases are making steamship style hip again
When looks trump convenience: Nappa Dori's trunks might not have wheels, but they've got plenty of style.

In today's age of frills-free travel, there's something about old school luggage -- unfunctional as it may be -- that brings back the joy of an era when the journey was as important as the destination. 

Trunk travel kicked off in the late nineteenth century, when most trips were taken by sea. Back then, the luggage business was dominated by French luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynet.

Though these big names still have a hefty hold on the classic travel trunk market, an increasing number of Indian designers are coming out with vintage-style luggage options.   

Ready to pack your trunks? Here's where to find some of India's best vintage-inspired luggage. 

No need for retro photo filters. Rajasthan Trunk's suitcases give travelers a real-life dose of vingage style.

Rustic retro: Rajasthan Trunk Co.

Amid the salmon-colored architectural splendor of its Jaipur headquarters, this tiny luggage company has been offering polished metal trunks for more than 200 years.

Surprisingly lightweight, and available in every imaginable hue, these suitcases are a great way to carry home extra purchases. They're scratch resistant and come with secret pockets for valuables.  

Most customers come from the villages around Jaipur, though the odd tourist ventures into the shop now and again.

"We have been color coordinating according to the customers' trousseau during the wedding season; the most popular colors are salmon pink, tamarind orange and deep blue," says owner Asfaq Khan.

An excellent value, Rajasthan Trunk Co.'s pieces range from RP 500 (US$9) to RP 2,000 (US$28).

150 Tripolia Bazar, Jaipur;  +91 (0)1 412 606446

Custom-made maharajas: Trunks Company 

The classic steamer trunk. For those who like to travel light. Another Jaipur-based brand, Trunks Company custom designs luggage to fit pretty much anything. Beyond the usual cases that hold jewelry and hats, there are even bar-on-the-go cases and trunks on wheels designed to hold sound systems.

"We have had crazy requests for trunks, like recently we just finished doing a trunk for guns for a client," say Trunks Company co-owners Paritosh and Priyank Mehta.

It takes around 100 to 120 days for the duo to finish a custom-made trunk.

Though heritage-inspired, most of their pieces have a contemporary feel and can include digital or manual locks, LED-lit interiors and made-to-measure compartments. 

Prices start from RP 100,000 (US$1,829).

44 Kartarpura Industrial Area 22, Godam, Jaipur; +91 (0)4 140 64999; www.trunkscompany.com

Fashionable packers: Nappa Dori

Nappa Dori's trunks are a great home decor storage accessory. A tiny shop in New Delhi's chic Hauz Khas Village, Nappa Dori is the capital's top stop for old-fashioned trunks, which come in bright colors or muted browns and beiges.

Made with metal and canvas and highlighted with leather embellishments and clean finishing, these travel trunks are a great weekend companion.

Nappa Dori is able to customize according to clients' needs. For instance, they've made special traveling trunks for a chef to carry his collection of knives, as well as lens-friendly travel cases for photographers. 

The company recently designed a new line of vanity cases and briefcases for business travelers. 

Prices range from RP 8,500 (US$154) to RP 16,000 (US$290).

Shop 4, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi; +91 (0)9 810 400778; www.nappadori.com  

More on CNN: Definitive guide to New Delhi's Hauz Khas Village 


Divya Dugar now freelances as a photojournalist for various publications, works on documentaries and travels non-stop.

Read more about Divya Dugar