“I have packing down to a science,” says Tumi executive creative director David Chu, who launched Nautica in 1983. He carries a well-organized suitcase when traveling the world, from business trips in Asia to family vacations in Europe to golf weekends in the States. Chu claims he can pack a suitcase in 30 minutes or less, so it’s no wonder that Tumi picked him to inject the brand with his streamlined style and sophistication. Here, he shares his secrets and must-have travel essentials.
Use every part of the suitcase
“You don’t want to waste space,” Chu says. “Fill all the small niches and pockets. I put shoe trees in my shoes, place them in a flannel bag, and put it in a side pocket.”
Remember accent pieces
Pack something small that will tweak every outfit. “I always take along a selection of pocket squares. I wear them with either my navy blazer or my suit—they add a finishing touch.”
Keep your wardrobe separated
Chu prefers to keep like pieces together. He gets organized with Tumi’s zippered, stackable Packing Cubes. “I put my shirts in one cube, sweaters in another, and trousers in a larger one. That way, I don’t have to dig around for what I need.”
“My electronics—especially my Bushnell laser rangefinder, BlackBerry Curve 8310, MotoRAZR2 V8, and Leica C-Lux 2 camera—go everywhere with me, which is why I always pack extra batteries or a rechargeable pack.”
Know your fabrics
Sure, most people put a suit into a garment bag. But what’s the best kind of suit to travel with?“I have my suits made of high twist wool,” Chu says. “They don’t wrinkle. When I take them out after a flight to Asia, they look perfect.”
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