Just Back From

How TUMI’s Creative Director Rolls in Paris and Madrid

by Victor Sanz
Tumi Victor Sanz in Madrid. Photo courtesy of Victor Sanz.

We debriefed TUMI creative director Victor Sanz on his whirlwind business trip through Madrid and Paris.

So, what brought you to Paris + Madrid?
TUMI store openings in both cities. They are two cities that always inspire me.

What was the best tip you got before you left? And where did you find it?
Come hungry to Madrid. My cousin gave me this advice — he planned some amazing meals for me when I arrived.

How did you get there?
Usually there is a constant juggling of trains, planes and automobiles, but for this trip it was relatively easy. A quick car ride from the design studio in Manhattan to JFK, with a stop at the lounge for a coffee and last-minute emails. Being based in NYC, I have great access to direct flights. I am always amazed at seeing the city from the air — it’s such a nice perspective. 

Your itinerary:
Two days in Madrid, which included a stay at the futuristic Hotel Puerta America, a full day of press, a spectacular store opening event with some amazing individuals sharing travel stories, and an unforgettable dinner with my family enjoying tuna tartar being chilled with liquid nitrogen.

Three days in Paris, staying on the Champs-Elysees. We arrived early, which allowed time for me to take in a beautiful sunset at the Arc de Triomphe and do a bit of shopping (I love the Merci concept store). The following day, I spoke with individuals about art, food, design, and travel before heading off to our new store opening event on the Champs-Elysees and an evening of celebration. On my last day in Paris, I recharged by meeting a few friends for a traditional Parisian lunch, visiting Palais Galliera, and stopping by the Eiffel Tower.

Tuna Tartar
Tuna Tartar at Bibo. Photo courtesy of Bibo.

What did you know by the last day that you wish you had known on the first?
Two days in Madrid and three days in Paris is not enough time.

This was especially great:
Seeing old friends and family that I hadn’t seen in a long time and feeling that not a day had passed.

But this wasn’t:
The rain.

This was touristy and worth it:
The Eiffel Tower.

What’s the local specialty?
Escargot, paella, late-night stories at an outdoor café with a few beers.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.
Photo by Soroush Karimi/Unsplash.

Speed round of favorites:

1. Meals:
In Madrid: Bibo by Dani Garcia.
In Paris: Escargot in a small café in front of the Palais Galliera in Paris with two friends that just happened to be in town at the same time I was.

2. Neighborhood to explore:
Madrid: Chueca.

3. Thing you did:
TUMI store openings in both cities.

Hotel Puerta America
Victor's room at Hotel Puerta America. Photo by Victor Sanz.
Escargot in a small café in Paris.
Escargot in a small café in Paris. Photo by Victor Sanz.

4. One place you didn't get to visit, but wanted to:
Cascajares – my father’s home town in Spain.

Any surprises?
I made some new friends. And indulged in some late-night hip hop.

You can’t stop thinking about:
The food.

The Instagram moment:
Under the Eiffel Tower.

What's the #1 tip you'd give a friend who wanted to go?
Stay longer to enjoy everything these cities have to offer.

Would you go back?
One-hundred percent.

Keep Exploring Paris and Madrid

Find Happiness in Madrid's Funkytown
A Polished Hotel in Madrid Promises Some Grown-Up Fun
The Bartender's Guide to the Parisian Cocktail Scene
Paris According to Hotels We Love

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