Coronavirus has changed life as we know it, with the UK government enforcing a second lockdown.
Socialising is restricted to inside the home with your household members and shopping is only for essentials, but one of the biggest sadnesses has been the month-long ban on travel, and future restrictions in place.
'For me, travel is always aspirational,' she explained. 'The idea of planning to go somewhere, whether it's tomorrow or in a year from now (hopefully!) and the excitement that I get from aspiring to a trip is a huge part of how I interact with travel. Right now it’s important to remember why we travel and the curiosity and inspiration that it can spark. Finding small ways to experience that right now and then also looking forward to future opportunities to experience it—that feels like hope to me.'
Life-long traveller Rashida has teamed up with global lifestyle brand AWAY to launch a new collaboration and it's the perfect thing to get us all inspired over lockdown.
The Away by Rashida Jones collection is inspired by her unique experience with the outdoor environment and evokes elements from the local landscape surrounding her home - a place that fuels her creativity and keeps her grounded, now more than ever.
We're talking luggage, packing cubes, duffles, belt bags and tablet cases - in canvas and vegan leathers in the most autumnal colour palette.
MC Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot caught up with Rashida Jones to talk about the stunning new collection, travelling hacks and staying positive over lockdown...
How have you found lockdown?
As a lover of travel, of course the lockdown has been challenging, but I consider myself very lucky to have been able to spend this time at home, in a place that brings me so much peace and serenity. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time reflecting and re-centering, and I think I’ve all learned a lot about myself during this time.
What drew you to this collaboration with AWAY?
I had so much fun working with Away on our first collab that I jumped at the chance to co-create another collection. I’m always left feeling inspired by my travels, and I loved the development process and synergy between travel and colour and how all of those things are interconnected. Jen (co-founder, President, and Chief Brand Officer of Away) and I have become friends through working together and it’s exciting to be a part of that journey with her and the company. I was thrilled to be a part of that growth to see what we can do next.
What was your favourite part of the process?
I’ve really enjoyed the creative process and working closely with the Away design team. The collection is inspired by Ojai, a place that I’m lucky enough to call home. There is natural beauty all around in Southern California, so we had a lot of inspiration to work with. We played around with different colour palettes, landscape materials, mood boards and it was amazing to see how the team was able to bring my vision to life. It’s always great to work with people who really understand and align with your vision and it makes the whole process feel easy and exciting.
Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
I have to say I love the ombré. I love being able to do something that hasn't been done before and that was important to me for this collection. I wanted to do something that was new for Away and introduce a new element. The ombré suitcase has this subtle but impactful beauty - from a distance you can see the transition of color - it has the same impact as a sunset.
What country is next on your bucket list?
Italy, I absolutely love it there. I really miss the coast—I was there last July and I can’t wait to get back. Other countries on my bucket list include Korea, Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand.
Do you have a favourite country you’ve ever visited?
I love Japan, and for me, there is something about Tokyo that I connect with so strongly. Despite being a world apart from Ojai, it truly does feel like home whenever I am there.
As an experienced traveller, do you have any packing hacks?
What you pack in your carry-on bag is essential to a comfortable journey. I like to bring a lavender spray and a facemask to make my situation feel like a spa — so wherever I am going, whether work or pleasure, it feels like a vacation even if it is not.
How will this collection bring comfort and hope of a world on the other side of the pandemic?
For me, travel is always aspirational. The idea of planning to go somewhere, whether it's tomorrow or in a year from now (hopefully!) and the excitement that I get from aspiring to a trip is a huge part of how I interact with travel. Right now it’s important to remember why we travel and the curiosity and inspiration that it can spark. Finding small ways to experience that right now and then also looking forward to future opportunities to experience it—that feels like hope to me.
The collection is available for purchase exclusively at awaytravel.com or in-store at any of the brand’s twelve retail locations, starting October 20th.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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