Samsonite Black Label, A Love Story



One sunny afternoon, stomping down a London high street I spotted a beautiful pair of shoes in the window of the Samsonite store.  

In 2007, Samsonite suddenly started, then almost as abruptly stopped, marketing a high-end line of shoes, along with a bold range of luggage and accessories by designer Alexander McQueen.

Then, poof, the shoes, and McQueen luggage were gone. 

As a rebranding exercise, I suppose Black Label was a failure. Perhaps 97 years in business making hard wearing, serviceable products is too long to expect the public to switch it’s thinking and embrace you as a luxury brand. 

black label shopWhile the marketing and branding effort may have flopped the shoes themselves succeeded beautifully. Samsonite Black Label shoes are well made in supple leathers in sleek minimal designs. 

samsonite mcqueen
The Alexander McQueen collection, in bone and black


The shoes below are suede and leather they fit like a glove and are just as comfortable as they are handsome. I managed to rustle up four other pairs of Black Label loveliness before the company slammed the doors.


Here’s a 2007 skeptical article in the Wall Street Journal calling the Samsonite rebranding effort “social climbing”. 

samsonite shoes


Oh, Samsonite Black Label you may be gone, but the sumptuousness lingers on.