If there’s one thing to know about Briggs & Riley, it’s that every feature—from intricate accents like polished chrome, to proven and patented innovations like CX™, our compression-expansion technology—was designed with one thing in mind: the consumer. And no one knows more about those designs than Georgene Rada, Vice President of Global Product Design, and an 18-year veteran, at Briggs & Riley.
“I would hope that the consumer realizes we are thinking of them first,” Ms. Rada explains. With a hyper-focus on “purposeful innovation” as she puts it, the Briggs & Riley design team doesn’t just create luggage that is aesthetically pleasing. Every design, and every idea, has to solve a problem for our consumer, the road warrior.
Cue the creatives.
“At the start of a project, I ask my design team, ‘What are the problems? What are the challenges?’ And then, ‘What do we do to solve those?’” Ms. Rada’s team then taps into their strength of looking at a challenge from multiple angles.
“All of my designers are artists, and that’s really what it takes to be able to put together this type of product,” she says. But artistry is merely one spoke in the creative wheel.
“Luggage is very much like architecture. We have to think about the framework… the structural integrity… as well as the aesthetic,” Ms. Rada explains. That’s precisely why her team benefits from their collective experience in industrial design. But no one’s background benefits them quite as much as Ms. Rada’s.
let’s just say, some things run in the family.
“My grandfather actually was a luggage designer,” Ms. Rada reveals. “And I was named after him. So I say it’s the family curse.” Curse or not, it doesn’t stop there. Ms. Rada’s mother was an artist, designing and sewing her own evening gowns, her uncle was a handbag designer in Italy (a career Ms. Rada also took up for a while), one cousin was a set designer, her great-grandfather was a coppersmith and many of her other family members also span the spectrum of creative backgrounds. So to say that she was born to be a designer would be an understatement.
As impressive as her family history, Ms. Rada’s career path is equally interesting as it took some amazing twists and turns before landing at Briggs & Riley—from illustrating handbag designs to more traditional fine arts endeavors. Since then, her and her design team haven’t stopped creating. Or, as Ms. Rada points out, traveling.
finding inspiration in everything. everywhere.
“We all travel extensively all over the world. We do research. We observe. And we explore,” Ms. Rada says. And while it’s not surprising to hear, it is integral to the design process.
“We are observers of people… of all things. And we are inspired by everything,” Ms. Rada says. It’s the inspiration they find across the world—from the desert to the rainforest—that often leads to the design team’s most innovative ideas.
“A lot of times, it’s a gut feeling. You just have an instinct about what will be the next right color,” Ms. Rada explains. She goes on to say, “A lot of great innovation comes out of an intuition.” It’s the people, the places and the experiences that “stay with you for days and days,” as Ms. Rada puts it. Until one day, a light bulb goes off—and a new idea is born.
In her 18+ year tenure at Briggs & Riley, Georgene Rada (with the help of her design team) is no stranger to new ideas. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see what new idea will be next.
Learn more about the inspiration behind Sympatico CX™
Learn more about the inspiration behind the Sympatico U Zip Backpack
Designing for the road warrior