LOJEL is a global brand for the global traveler that seamlessly blends innovation with design and exceptional craftsmanship. The brand aims to enrich the lives of modern travelers by actively seeking solutions focused on the wayfarer’s journey and designing from the perspective of the traveler. LOJEL finds inspiration for all designs through a transparent, direct digital dialogue with travelers. Unlike other travel-ware brands, LOJEL conducts an honest and forthright conversation that addresses the reality of modern travel and offers an interactive platform for travelers to connect in a more meaningful way. Thanks to an open line of communication with travelers using the products, LOJEL’s team understands what today’s travelers need and is able to adapt rapidly to the ever-evolving industry.
LOJEL was founded in Japan in 1989 by Chih Chang Chiang, who started in the luggage industry at the age of twenty-one with a simple sewing machine, making leather bags which he sold at markets. Mr. Chiang developed an international vision through his extensive travels, at one point gathering a staggering forty-three passport stamps in one hundred and eighty days. He was looking for travel experiences where he could learn something new, which ultimately formed the foundation of LOJEL’s brand promise – Let Our Journeys Enrich Life. Chiang saw an opportunity to start his own luggage brand in Japan, the world’s second largest economy at the time and a country whose artisans faithfully make their crafts while devoting themselves to enhancing their skills.
The brand was initially headquartered in Kobe, working with local partners in Toyama on product design, molding development, parts and components, allowing LOJEL to employ state-of-the-art manufacturing. Extraordinary attention to detail and craftsmanship enabled the brand to develop a premium quality Polypropylene Injection Case, resulting in lightweight luggage with re-engineered components that rendered the ultimate weight to durability ratio. Following a wholesale model at the outset, the brand recorded steady growth in the Japanese market, quickly expanding with wholesale partners into other Asian markets including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Eventually, LOJEL relocated its headquarters to Hong Kong – an ideal location in the middle of key Asian markets and an important international hub, with diverse culture and an abundance of talent to operate the APAC markets.
In 2014, An Chieh Chiang, the third-generation of the Chiang family took over the family brand after completing his studies in Product Design at Middlesex University in London. He worked closely with his family on the production floor, studying every aspect of the creation process from the ground up – including design, product development, manufacturing, supply chain, sales, distribution and logistics. He quickly realized the limitations of communicating the LOJEL story to consumers through wholesale channels alone, and in order to realize his grandfather’s vision for the brand, repositioned the company as a Hybrid business model incorporating both wholesale and direct-to-consumer sales.
He joined forces with the highly regarded Vancouver-based Creative Director Kenzo Yoneno, and the duo began to address a fundamental change that both felt needed to happen in the luggage industry. Product design had to evolve to keep up with travelers’ demands and the company made a pact to design all products from the “inside out” – ensuring practical innovation and sustainability were at the core of all design choices. An Chieh also spearheaded the opening of the LOJEL Lab in Vancouver, a city with an extraordinary creative eco-system and a multicultural population, ideal for growth in the North American market. There, as a global brand, a new chapter for LOJEL is underway as Kenzo and the creative team continuously identify the evolving challenges that travelers face today and attempt to resolve them head on.
Under the leadership of An Chieh, LOJEL is committed to being a functionality- and sustainability-driven brand, creating products with innovative features that simplify the journey for the traveler while easing their footprint on our earth. In order to care for voyagers throughout the entirety of their travels, LOJEL has expanded their product offering from luggage only to provide more comprehensive travelware including backpacks and accessories. LOJEL’s Hong Kong concept store services existing LOJEL products, while also serving as an epicenter for interactive travel workshops and direct engagement with the consumer community.
LOJEL believes in Attainable Luxury, giving their global consumers high-quality products that they can afford. The brand’s international customers and employees offer unique, Diverse Perspectives. LOJEL has taken on a philosophy of Design for Repair – an ethos from ages past that is fully facing the future. While many brands are quick to embrace the “dispose and replace” model, in order to speak to meaningful long-term consciousness, the design team is developing a system of modular, standardized parts that allow travelers to repair their own luggage easily and quickly, minimizing waste that ultimately ends up in a landfill. An honest, transparent conversation about the realities of travel and sustainable production practices embody Truth in Travel, and the core of the brand lies in Unwavering Respect - respect for the planet, local cultures, those who make LOJEL products and those who buy them.
LOJEL products are manufactured in ethical facilities that are widely accredited and certified non-toxic, and the luggage comes with a ten-year warranty. The production partners diligently maintain ethical standards and are pioneers of high-quality production. With over thirty years of rigorous real-life testing, LOJEL remains dedicated to using the most durable materials available and introducing new functional features that make travel just a little bit easier.
The company has grown to include structured teams of designers, researchers, engineers, product developers, digital, customer experience, business development and marketing representing ten different nationalities – making LOJEL an authentically global brand. The team’s multinational perspective and deep love for the journey has set them apart from the beginning. The brand is currently sold in fifteen countries and four hundred and fifty points of sale through LOJEL’s physical stores and e-commerce platforms. LOJEL’s vertical structure provides the company freedom to keep up with the changing times while continuously disrupting the travel industry, avoiding the pitfalls that many heritage luggage brands face today.
We are all travelers in an increasingly interconnected landscape in search of moments and experiences that matter. LOJEL aims to enrich all travelers’ busy lives by easing the journey through this vast world that we are all navigating together.
For more information, or to view and purchase LOJEL products, please visit www.LOJEL.com