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The Trifold


The Trifold

"Do not make a trifold suit bag – they don’t work”…were the exact words said to us by Taj, Managing Director of Huntsman, Savile Row, when consulted in the early stages of the Trifold project.


The desire to create a trifold was three-fold. (Apologies). Firstly, the squat proportions make the object infinitely more user friendly than a standard bifold garment bag. Secondly, the shorter overall height lends itself to being mounted onto wheeled cabin luggage, an unavoidable case used among business travellers. And thirdly, Taj said we shouldn’t.

The project was born out of our now two year experience on Savile Row. Customers to our shop would often mention that they were in town to visit a tailor but the trip didn’t warrant the storage capacity of our Suit Carrier Holdall. A decision that inevitably resulted in their cherished bespoke suits being tamed via thin wire hangers poked through fly-away bifold garment carriers at the mercy of the London wind and on the verge of complete disintegration. We see it every day. It was clear that the stand alone garment bag had been neglected and in need of reinvention.

The Bennett Winch Trifold, Olive

As with all design projects, the first stage is to research every existing product. We analyse their successes and shortcomings and then design out all bug bares until, hopefully, landing on a solution – bound initially by no preconceived notion of format, only of meeting the fundamental objectives. One such research mission involved measuring the handle drop of every carry-on wheelie case for sale within a square mile of Savile Row; information that I’ll happily pass over to anyone who wants it, as no-one should have to go through that again.

Two concepts emerged: a variant on the classic bifold, and a trifold that shared the DNA of our S.C Holdall. The latter was the most compelling – so much so that after deciding to kill the concept completely after several failed attempts to get the folded unit to balance correctly, we stubbornly went back to the drawing board in Farringdon and returned to the factory with the solution.

After months around the cutting table, we eventually finished the final production sample 12hrs before Bennett and Ryan flew out to show the collection to our US retailer partners. At the end of a four day tour, and the endorsement of America, our test suit emerged creaseless. Bennett shed a tear. And the trifold was gold sealed for production.

Initial Trifold concept sketches

“They’ll happily tell you I said it would never work…but I have to say, it is the best suit carrier I’ve ever owned. I travel six months of the year, and always with multiple suits, three on the last Trifold outing. This has genuinely changed the game – I’m so glad I gave them the idea!”

Taj Phull, Managing Director, Huntsman

Handcrafted in England, our Trifold Garment Carrier is made using the same 600 denier Nylon that we use for our cargo bags. This makes the outer shell lightweight, hardwearing and waterproof, while the inner is cut from a soft 12oz cotton to minimise pinch points and making the unit easy to fold.

In transit, the carrier is held together via a set of three magnets and secured on either side by a pair of leather retaining straps. These fixing methods purposefully avoid tight radiuses along the fold axis to alleviate any hard creasing on the suit. A reinforced leather spine prevents the top line from caving in and provides rigid anchor points for the shoulder strap.

On the reverse there is an additional reinforced panel that can be mounted over the handle of a wheelie suitcase (we’re confident this fits all models – at least those within a mile radius of Savile Row!) and doubles as a pocket for passports, books and iPads, meaning that everything required for a flight is at hand.

Trifold, Olive

Trifold, Black

Trifold, Navy

If product design is problem solving, then luggage design is more specifically the art of making the cumbersome, less so. Our challenge then, was to make a suit, bag shaped, and vice versa – without destroying the tailors' work. It was this thinking that led to the S.C. Holdall and now to our Trifold Garment Carrier; a step change in format that in our, and our friend Taj’s opinion, is now the smartest way to travel.