It’s easy for some of us to overlook BMW’s lifestyle collections and accessories. Typically not a bargain unless you wait a few years, it can be hard to justify that new t-shirt or jacket when you already have a closetful of clothes. Luggage, drink ware, tumblers, and other odds and ends aren’t typically things we absolutely need, but adding a BMW roundel and thoughtful, modern design usually helps to entice. On the other side of the same coin, some of the more BMW-obsessed among us might actively avoid looking at the newest BMW Lifestyle offerings, as they’re likely to end up wanting nearly all of it.
Wherever you fall on the continuum (I’m in the latter camp, often desiring more than I truly want, much less need), there is no denying that there’s always something undeniably cool in the BMW Lifestyle catalog. Whether it ends up being a watch, water bottle, coffee cup, or some piece of fine leather by Montblanc, there is truly something for everyone. In years past, BMW has doubled down on the carbon-fiber tech they’ve made a mainstay in M cars, offering it to fanatics in the form of phone cases, carryon suitcases, and the like. More recently, the collection has swayed towards sustainability, with innovative recycled and plant-based materials used for construction of accessories and clothing.
For 2020, BMW is returning to its roots, and by this we mean the brand is taking a fresh look at modern design. Rather than shirts, jackets, and golf bags slathered with broad strokes of M colors, the new collection has a decidedly modern appeal to it, which capitalizes on BMW’s latest branding and style themes. Bold, attention-demanding colors like orange and gold are prominent, while a subdued blue also plays a part. There’s a chronograph watch, but it’s sub-dials are within the shape of BMW’s new wide kidney grilles use on cars like the current 3 Series and M8, while the hour indices use numerals in the style of BMW’s model designations.
There’s a thermal mug, coffee cup, and thermos, and all of them feature the same metallic gold color found on and within the Concept i4. The same tone is used on a women’s t-shirt, with the BMW roundel front and center—no blue and white prop to be seen outside of the hangtag. This leads us to another point, and that is the use of the BMW emblem (the roundel). Consistent with the lack of heavy M tricolor use, when the roundel does make an appearance on an item within the 2020 Lifestyle collection, it’s often a design that uses a single, muted color.
The M and M Motorsport collections (no, we can’t really tell them apart) are a bit more liberal in this regard, and it is in these selections where we find our favorite new item. No, it’s not the M Collection zip-up sweatshirt which has a window on the wrist for your BMW Chronograph watch (or Rolex Daytona, Omega Speedmaster, etc.), or the sharp looking insulated water bottle. Instead, it’s the M Collection suitcase.
This isn’t the only piece of luggage in the collection. There are actually two others by Horizon Studies for BMW in a visually pleasing dark blue color, offered in two different sizes, but the one that immediately caught our eye was the gold hard-side spinner suitcase emblazoned with an oversized M logo. The finish isn’t just any gold color though, and it’s not be confused with the soft metallic gold finish used on other 2020 BMW Lifestyle offerings. Instead, it’s the same gold tone that is exclusive to BMW’s M Carbon Ceramic brake calipers that add somewhere between $8,000–$10,000 to the MSRP of whatever M car you’re building in the configurator. The brakes themselves are known for astonishing, all-day performance (just drive one of the M cars at the BMW Performance Center and stand on the pedal from triple digit speeds at the appropriate time, and you’ll see), and the suitcase wears the same deep, dynamic finish as the calipers doing much of the work. Swiveling castors that resemble a certain M wheel design aren’t bad either.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]