Designer David Chu's business is in the bag

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 February, 2008, 12:00am

Safari was the theme at the launch of Tumi's new travel bag collection at Landmark Mandarin Oriental's Amber restaurant on Thursday. Amid the glittery restaurant decor was a faux tent with models in khaki pretending to brave the wilderness while pawing luggage. Yes, it's an odd juxtaposition, but it didn't bother designer David Chu.

The Taiwanese-American - who founded and in 2003 sold sportswear brand Nautica for US$1 billion - was all smiles as he showed the new products of his new job as Tumi's creative director. But the super busy Chu has little time to use his own accessories on exotic treks. Lately, his travels are mostly back and forth between here and New York.

'I come to Hong Kong about four or five times a year,' the Manhattan-based designer says. 'I have some investments here, family and friends, and a lot of the designs are done from here.'