How Away Shook Up the Sleepy Luggage Market With a Simple, Colorful Carry-On

Co-founder Jen Rubio shares the story behind the startup's rapid growth

Jen Rubio (pictured here) co-founded Away with Steph Korey in 2015. Photographed at Hudson Yards Loft by Justin Bettman for Adweek

Jen Rubio remembers the first time she saw a piece of Away luggage out in the world. It was February 2016, and Rubio—who founded the company with fellow Warby Parker alum Steph Korey the year before—was on a moving sidewalk in JFK’s Terminal 4. The brand had just begun shipping its first batch of 2,000 colorful, hard-shell suitcases. And suddenly, there was one of them in the hands of an ordinary traveler.

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2018, issue of Brandweek.
@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.