The generation that grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s would remember Lenny Kravitz, with notable hits like ‘Fly Away’, ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ and ‘American Woman’ – all of which have earned him Grammy nominations, as well as Best Male Rock Vocal Performance (1999 and 2000) and Best Rock Song (2001) wins. Not to mention, one of the musicians on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list, following his latest and 11th studio album release Raise Vibration, just last year.
The generation that grew up in the Noughties, however, would instead be more familiar with Lenny’s daughter, Zoë Kravitz, in indie-capacity films like It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010), The Road Within (2014) and Dope (2015); as well as bigger hitting blockbusters such as the Divergent film series released in 2014, 2015 and 2016, X-Men: First Class in 2011 and more recently, in the Fantastic Beasts sequel as lead Eddie Redmayne’s character’s old flame Leta Lestrange, and in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in which she lent her voice for the celebrated Mary Jane Watson character.
Despite father Kravitz’s occasional stints in the movie industry (Precious in 2009 and The Hunger Games in 2012 and 2013), as well as daughter Kravitz’s musical side project with Lolawolf, formed when she was filming The Road Within in 2014 in Los Angeles, they have never crossed collaborative paths, until TUMI approached them for its latest global campaign in exemplifying the meaning of personal journeys.
Under the directorship of Eliot Rausch, TUMI packed up bags with Lenny and Zoë, and headed to The Bahamas, the beloved haven that established the soul of the Kravitz family, and where till this day, the music legend is still actively contributing to the community, such as the time he put in with GLO Good in ending the oral health crisis with a confident smile.
At The Bahamas, TUMI honoured the passing of tradition, storytelling, and family values from generation to generation, through the Kravitzs’ first film project together. While embarked on an intimate quest to where it all began for the family, through the campaign, TUMI illustrated the strengthening of the bonds the individuals create, and the significant and supporting role the brand plays in understanding that it’s not about the destination, but the invaluable moments created along the way.
Featured in the campaign is the new Alpha 3 collection, a remaster of the brand’s signature Ballistic Nylon – a material that revolutionised the travel market since its creation in 1983. Originally used by the military to protect WWII troops from shrapnel, TUMI incorporated the ultra-tough material into its luggage designs to make bags that would withstand the wear and tear of a life well-travelled.
After rigorous testing, TUMI added its patented functionality: U-zip pockets, telescoping handles, dual wheel systems, Add-a-Bag, expansion systems, and the TUMI Tracer® — interior and exterior features designed to make life on the move easier, found in a wide range of Alpha 3 travel products, backpacks, day bags, accessories and more.
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What attracted you to working with TUMI, and how was your experience being part of the campaign?
Lenny Kravitz: I’ve been a TUMI customer and admirer of the company for as long as I’ve been touring. It’s something as simple as my love and passion for the brand that attracted me to work on this campaign. Working on the campaign was very gratifying; not only did I get the opportunity to represent a great product, but it was a very collaborative experience, as I was involved in many creative aspects of the campaign.
Lenny, you have been a long-term customer of TUMI.
When you were first introduced to the brand?
LK: I was first introduced to TUMI years ago on tour, when I started going over to Europe a lot. I needed luggage that I could depend on. When you’re traveling and living out of a suitcase, your luggage becomes an extension of your home — and yourself for that matter. It’s the one thing that’s always with you: on the plane, on the tour bus, in the hotel room, backstage or on set… You’d want it to be reliable, durable, and making a statement. For me, TUMI embodies all of those qualities to the fullest.
My first bag was most likely a TUMI carry on suitcase, and I dug how simple and elegant the brand was. Overtime, it invariably becomes an outward reflection of your style, a part of how you project yourself.
How has TUMI made life a bit easier when you travel?
LK: TUMI has definitely made my life easier. I can definitely depend on my luggage: it’s portable, it can withstand the road, and my constantly moving life. At the end of the day, it’s one less thing to worry about.
Zoë Kravitz: It’s great having a durable luggage that isn’t an eye sore! I love how light the luggage is; you don’t ever feel burdened by a TUMI luggage. I’ve gotten to add the classic carry-on to my collection, and now, I can’t live without it!
This campaign is the first time both you have worked together on film.
What did this campaign mean to you, as a father or a daughter?
ZK: I’ve always loved the idea of telling a story about travel, family and connecting with one’s roots, and this campaign is the embodiment of it all. Being on-camera together for the first time was really special. It’s kind of surprising that it took this long, but it was all meant to be. It was also really fun working with him. I can’t believe it took this long! But the universe has a funny way of working things out.
It was amazing to go to where my family is from, The Bahamas, with my father. The place holds a lot of meaning for me: when I was a kid, it was like this magical place that my dad talked about a lot with so much love and passion. I think it always made him feel connected to his mom — my grandmother — who called it home. I also saw it as a peaceful place where you could go and rejuvenate. It’s a special trip he shared with me. I have so many wonderful memories associated with The Bahamas too.
LK: In the campaign video, I “passed down” a family heirloom to Zoe, my mother’s necklace, which was a great significance for me as a father to my daughter. I always associated that necklace with my mom. She wore it all the time, and it is something I can see in my mind vividly to this day. To give it to Zoe was a very powerful and emotional moment for both of us.
Which words would you use to describe your father/daughter bond?
LK: Unconditional, eternal, loving, creative and inspiring.
ZK: Not to mention, honest.
What is the quality you most enjoy of each other?
ZK: I love my dad’s good heart, respect for others, and his sense of humour.
LK: I love how Zoe doesn’t settle. She works harder than anybody I’ve ever met. When she says she’s going to do something, she does it better than anyone. She pushes harder, and she fights harder. I couldn’t be prouder of the woman she has become today.
How do you ensure getting quality family time together when your respective schedules are so busy?
ZK: If that’s something that is important to you, which it is to us, you will just have to make the time.
LK: Yeah, you make the time for it. Family is the most important thing to both of us. We talk as much as possible on the phone. It keeps the connection is strong, and the communication always open. When we get the chance, I’d find a way to see her, regardless of where in the world I am, or she is.
What is next for you? Where do you go from here, and what are you pushing towards?
LK: This year has been transformative and important for many reasons: I put out a record that I’m very proud of, and I’ve been on the road a lot. There have been a myriad of design and creative projects, and in the middle of all this, we’re trying to do as much as we can to give back, especially in The Bahamas where I live. I’m pushing towards the same things I’ve always pushed towards: art, creativity, and doing whatever little good that could really use more of in the world.
ZK: I am currently developing a TV show. I am excited for the second season of Big Little Lies to air. Also, hopefully, spending a lot more time with my family and friends. Much of my schedule involves pursuing my passions, whether it be acting, music or writing. Although it’s a lot of work and sacrifice, it’s so fulfilling. I’m grateful that I’m able to chase my dreams every day. Each day may present its challenges and respective successes as a result, and you just have to adapt to everything as you go along.
TUMI’s current campaign slogan is #PerfectingTheJourney, coinciding with the brand’s flawless functionality with the spirit of ingenuity, committed to empowering journeys as a lifelong partner to movers and makers like yourselves in pursuit of their passions.
How do you define a perfect journey?
ZK: The ones that are so good, you forget to take pictures!
LK: To me, the perfect journey is one which I learn something about myself, as well as the people in the community where I am visiting. You take away an immaterial souvenir in the form of a lesson or a memory. You carry those with you forever.
How would you describe your path to self-discovery?
LK: I think it’s never ending. You don’t ever figure it out entirely, or reach some moment of self-actualization where you just know. You’re always learning, growing and evolving.
ZK: I’d say it’s imperfect, fun, challenging and never ending as well. Every day, I’m learning something new, and I’m facing and overcoming different challenges. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. It’s a constant state for me.
Where and when do you most feel like your authentic self?
ZK: When I am with people who I know love me for who I truly am.
LK: I feel like my most authentic self in The Bahamas. Everything makes sense there. It’s where my family is from, and it’s the place I’ve called home for a while now. There’s a connection to my roots and there’s a community I’m a part of. I can be me when I’m at The Bahamas.
What makes you the happiest?
ZK: Good food, good people and good places.
LK: That my daughter is happy, healthy and living out her dreams. Something as simple as that makes me the happiest.
What would you like to do more of?
LK: I’d like to help out communities that need it more. In The Bahamas, we’ve done some fantastic work, and I want to extend that work around the world.
ZK: I’d say travel for pleasure, and not just for work. You know, explore new places, and soak up new cultures.