Store Tour: Ghurka's New Spot Has All The Classics

Amid all the grommets, shiny embellishments, and overpriced It bags that have taken over as of late, it's become increasingly difficult to find quality, no-B.S. luggage that's simple, classic, and refined. But now we know exactly where to look. Legendary American accessories brand, Ghurka, has opened a flagship at the storied Sherry Netherland hotel, complete with a full helping of so-smooth leather goods, awesome travel bags, and timeless gifts for him (including a Steve McQueen-esque sidecar motorcycle, to boot). The opening of the label's new NYC digs — think Robert Falcon Scott all GQ-ed out — coincides with the first collection under the helm of Creative Director Steven La Guardia, who has re-energized Ghurka's image and product offerings without sacrificing the company's core aesthetic.
We all know traveling is grueling enough without having to fight an ugly rolling bag or wage war against an over-designed duffle that just won't hold up. So, cross one worry off your to-do list: Shoddy construction and useless bells and whistles are nowhere to be found at this shop. Ghurka's tough-as-nails carryalls can withstand tons of punishment (and manage to look even better with age). Stay calm, and carry on…literally.
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Click through for pics of your new luggage go-tos (and Ghurka's cute CD), plus tips on traveling in top form.
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What's your brand motto?
"Gentlemen never sail to weather."

Describe Ghurka's design aesthetic in 10 words or less.
"Marley Hodgson, Ghurka's founder summed it up best: 'Quiet confidence and adventurous spirit.'"

Photographed by Mindy Best
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How closely does your personal style reflect Ghurka's aesthetic?
"I too was raised in Connecticut and refined in NYC."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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What do you look for in a good bag?
"Hands free, indestructible and POCKETS."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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What are some things that are ALWAYS in your carry-on bag?
"Sleeping pills and clean underwear — I am forever jinxed with lost luggage."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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Any awesome packing tips?
"Dark blue everything."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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What are your favorite stores in NYC?
"Dashwood Books, because David Strettell is a true Renaissance man. Paul Stuart for classic awesomeness, and Aedes de Venustas for a beautiful shopping experience. Barneys Hardware, because whatever stupid problem you bring them, they always have what you need in stock. I also love the Bergdorf Goodman women's shoe floor, because those ladies are COMMITTED. And, APC — except for those fucking uneven floorboards."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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What would Ghurka's theme song be?
"'Brothers in Arms', by Dire Straights."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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How do you keep such a classic item modern and exciting for your shoppers?
"Update the context — great design transcends time."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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Any man-bag philosophies? Any tips for how a man can pull one off?
"Well, you can cram all that stuff in your pockets and look like an asshole or you can carry a man bag. Plus, remember to adjust the shoulder strap so your bag isn't banging against your ankles when you're running for the train. If you're concerned about carrying a man bag, you definitely don't want to fall on your face."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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Tell us about the bag-making process.
"A well-constructed bag is as unique and complicated to make as a custom-made suit."

What should we know about the brand revival? Why did you decide to re-energize the brand?
"Ghurka speaks to men in a way that few brands do. Ghurka is about adventure, about seeing the world... but doing so with style and grace. There is an understated pride in construction and ownership of a Ghurka bag that is unique to our brand."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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Why the motorcycle?
"It's the sidecar. Our CEO John Reuter saw an identical one in the Steve McQueen motorcycle collection, and the design is like nothing nothing we'd ever seen before. It's a sometimes impractical, always stylish way to travel."

What should we look forward to from Ghurka this year?
"Evolution, innovation, and integrity."

Photographed by Mindy Best
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