No matter where you live in the world, July will look different this year – especially if you are based in this neck of the woods. There won’t be any galivanting around the Greek Islands, stopping in Positano or Formentera. And there won’t be trips to Paris or London either.
But that hasn’t stopped the somewhat new Melbourne luggage label from finding a unique way to not just inspire, but also help a section of the community savaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li founded July in late 2018 to fill a gap in the travel industry and help improve the way people travel. They named the business after the month of the year where those from Australia and New Zealand usually flee freezing weather for adventures in the northern hemisphere.
Except for this year, things are a little different for the July brand. For when when COVID-19 shut down the world in March, July lost all its revenue.
But they haven’t wasted a crisis to find opportunity elsewhere. Didaskalou and Li knew no one was going to purchase luggage at a time when the world’s borders were slammed shut, but in the Instagram age, photos are the next best thing. And that’s where July Travel Editions came in.
July partnered with a handful of artists and used their ability to print, frame and ship gallery-quality products at up to 40 per cent cheaper than the market rate, resulting in original travel-inspired photography for just $295.
The photographers for the first round of Travel Editions’ are Sam Wong, Jackson Loria, Jess Brohier, Aleksandar Jason, and Tess Kelly. All had worked previously with July and all had the rug pulled out from underneath them when the pandemic landed on our doorstep.
“They were really hurting. We work with a lot of them [photographers] and have actually become friends
with them, so we wanted to help where we could,” says Athan Didaskalou.
“We saw that there was a home renovation, home improvement boost happening during COVID, so we saw an opportunity with our resources and our platform to create something that could help them sell more art and get people inspired about future travel.”
“We used our scale to get these sort of original artwork and framing down to a fraction of what it usually costs. We had a perfect mix of things and it has worked well so far.”
July has also used the past few months to fast-track their soft goods. Backpacks, tote bags and weekenders have all landed, complementing a stylish checked-in luggage range that now includes 40-litre, 80-litre and 110-litre options.
This July might be different, but the storm won’t last forever. Attitudes towards travel are slowly changing again with restrictions easing all across Europe in recent weeks.
By this time next year, the world should look much more normal than it does right now. And that should include a lot more July bags sitting comfortably on planes jetting across the globe.
For more information on July Travel Editions, visit the website here