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Suitcase Series: Nina Runsdorf

Don’t ask Nina Runsdorf for the time. The New York native admits that she doesn’t wear a watch to tell the time, but purely as a piece of jewellery.

Best known for her iconic ‘Flip Ring’ and use of slice diamonds, her motto is that fine jewellery is “never too precious to wear”, vacations included.

Nina believes she was always destined to become a jeweller. Growing up in upstate New York on a farm with horses, she designed her first jewellery line at the age of 12 on her mother’s kitchen table. After a successful career in fashion, Nina Runsdorf, the brand, launched in 2005 when she reconnected with her passion for jewellery after having her two daughters.

Her packing checklist for travels (besides the insanely beautiful bling)? “It depends on my destination, but I always travel with my favourite pair of Levi’s, a white t-shirt and a ball gown.”

Describing her vacation aesthetic as ‘classic luxury’, we delve into the suitcase psyche of Nina Runsdorf.


What does travel mean to you?

Freedom and endless inspiration from new cultures.

What is the first trip you remember taking?

As a child, my first trips were always to Nantucket in Massachusetts with my family. My first trip to Europe was in 1984 to Italy with my best friend from college. We had just graduated and had a great time travelling together.

What’s been your favourite vacation?

My favourite vacation by far is a boat trip with my family sailing around Turkish and Greek islands. It’s the only place I felt like I could truly unplug.

Where or what is your escape?

Binge-watching on Netflix – I watch some very silly TV shows.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

The world is such an extraordinary inspirational and beautiful place that you always have to keep your eyes open and be ready for any adventure.

My top three bucket list destinations I’m planning to visit post-isolation are:

Japan, Morocco and Mongolia.

If I could go anywhere tomorrow, I’d go to…

Lanserhof Lans in Austria. It’s my favourite place for ultimate relaxation, to take time for myself and reboot.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Anywhere I’m with my loved ones.

 

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Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

I always want to go someplace I’ve never been before.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?

My two daughters – they are my favourite people.

Describe your ultimate vacation outfit…

It depends on my destination, but I always travel with my favourite pair of Levi’s, a white t-shirt and a ball gown.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

I read a bunch of junk magazines from Hudson News.

Favourite Hotel? Why?

I have quite a few. I like Le Bristol in Paris because it hold a lot of memories for me when I started working in fashion. I love The Connaught in London because it’s centrally located and beautifully designed. I also love the Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul because the rooms on the Bosphorus make it feel like you’re on the sea.

Favourite airline?

Turkish Airlines – I love all of the detail they put into everything. The chef comes out in a chef’s hat to take your order, they have a faux candlelight dinner, and the food is really quite good.

What’s on your travel playlist?

I like all types of music, so whatever I am in the mood for that day. Usually, it’s whatever my girls put onto my Spotify playlist.

What are your must-have suitcase picks?

I’m a bit superstitious, so I always travel with my diamond Flip Ring and a gold coin from my grandmother – they both bring me good luck and make me feel safe. To keep my skin hydrated, I love MBR Cream Extraordinary and I also use the MBR Cream Mask post-flight. I often get cold on flights so I like cosying up on the plane in my cashmere turtleneck sweater, Brunello Cucinelli cashmere socks, and I’ll always pack my Loro Piana slip-ons for travel. These days, of course, I’ll take one of my artist masks from Wedel Art Collective.

First thing that comes to your mind?

Hand-luggage essential?

I always carry my laptop and a stack of magazines. I like to have a diverse selection, which usually includes Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest and Forbes.

Packing: roll or fold?

Fold.

Inflight book or inflight film?

Film.

Music or podcasts?

Music.

Time killer on a long-haul flight?

Sleep!

Holiday tipple of choice?

Tequila on the rocks.

Bucket list top destination?

Japan.

Best shopping gem found abroad?

Most recently (pre-pandemic), it was a painting by Brazilian-born artist, Samuel de Saboia.

Beach or City?

Both.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Taking a nap.

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