Patti Smith Wrote a Poem About Travel for Stylish Luggage Ad

LeBron, Rihanna, Federer also pitch RIMOWA

Punk priestess Patti Smith serves as a brand poet for RIMOWA luggage, versifying about the transcendent lure of travel in ads with kindred spirits LeBron James, Rihanna and Roger Federer.

All four A-listers appear in the anthem film below, with Smith, a longtime RIMOWA customer, reciting her poem "Never Still," composed expressly for the campaign.

RIMOWA Never Still | A New Era of Travel

"Travel is its own book.
Images we have captured in film, in memory, form its leaves.
That when turned, reveal a story of a life.
We long to add new pages.
We long to explore."

That's a long way from Patti's raw, erotically charged Carter-era stylings. But her acclaimed books and raucous albums belong to a bygone day. In the :90, she journeys from her coastal retreat to Manhattan. She passes One Fifth Ave., where she posed for the iconic Horses LP cover, and Electric Lady Studios, which birthed generations of sounds that shaped the popular culture.

At 74, Smith has clearly mellowed—but she can't be selling out, because that concept doesn't exist anymore. It's lost in the mist, stranded on an island back in 1979. Besides, even aging, ageless rebels need luggage sometimes. Might as well pick something stylish to transport those toothbrushes, tank tops and copies of On the Road.

It's notable that RIMOWA and creative partner Anomaly Berlin put Patti at the center of the campaign, and her participation has generated considerable attention. She's in basically every media headline (see above!), upstaging her mega-famous co-stars for the most part. That speaks volumes about the power of Smith's enduring legacy, forged pre-internet and nurtured with unflinching artistry and integrity. (Indeed, her personal story dovetails with the campaign's theme, "No one builds a legacy by standing still.")

"Patti is the one voice with the authenticity and gravitas to truly bridge that gap and help us usher in the next chapter of travel," Anomaly creative director Sebastian Lyman tells Muse. "She embodies the ceaseless spirit in all of us. Travel has always shaped her work and her perspective. She's seen it all, everywhere, and yet she still has this relentless hunger to experience more, to create more."

Smith and the other subjects get solo spots, too. Rhianna's contemplative take, set in the desert and directed by the singer herself, feels particularly on-point.

Never Still | A New Era of Travel with Rihanna

The stuff's classy and a tad pretentious, like the German luggage maker's luxe bags themselves. A world away from predictable celebrity travelogues, the work packs breakthrough potential.

Click / tap to enlarge images:

"The world doesn't need another typical advertising anthem," Lyman says. "We knew when we started talking to Patti that it was her voice and her words that could really express our collective hope toward getting back out there. This was a rare opportunity to co-create a true piece of art with one of the world's greatest writers and poets."

He continues: "The collaboration with Patti was one of the most special experiences of my life. We talked a lot about the message, our perspective on travel, and the idea of her story, which depicts the journey from the stillness of Rockaway to the bustle of NYC—a symbolic return to life. Eventually, we developed a narrative framework and general arc for what we wanted to tell the world. Then Patti went off and penned the poem that you hear in the film."

Individual lines will appear in various locations in coming weeks, Lyman says, "from projections on the Berlin Wall to tables at Café de Flore [a classic Paris coffee house, frequented by writers and intellectuals] to wild postings in the heart of NYC."

Here's the full poem:

"Travel is its own book.
Images we have captured in film, in memory, form its leaves.
That when turned, reveal a story of a life.
We long to add new pages.
We long to explore.
We long for new sights.
New noise.
Unknown faces.
Unentered doors.
A pyramid.
A towering spiral.
An ancient gaze.
The muscular history of past civilizations.
The face of justice.
We long to return.
We do not look back.
We revisit.
Places one trod in a new light.
New shadows forming on architecture.
On winding streets.
We long to cross welcoming bridges.
Connecting sea, and sky and city.
We are ready.
To break through barriers.
To don our coats.
To gather provisions.
To reclaim motion.
To see with new eyes.
The familiar.
And the strange.
New pages for our story.
The unceasing turning of the leaves of life."

CREDITS

RIMOWA
Emelie de Vitis: Chief Marketing Officer
Tania Delamotte: Senior Marketing Manager
Yannis Henrion: Senior Global Art & Creative Manager
Samantha Garrett: Head of Global PR
Lorenzo Garizio: Creative and Content Manager
Julia Serafin: Digital Marketing & Media Manager

Anomaly
Sebastian Lyman: Creative Director
Justin Fly: Creative Director
Omar Khary: Copywriter
Julia Saumande: Creative Project Manager
Ashley Mini: Account Manager
Elizabeth Asselin: Account Director 
Anneliese Rapp: Strategy Director
Matt Bunting: Communications Strategy Director
Belén Jerez: Business Affairs
Margit Sauk: Senior Producer
Eric Kim: Junior Producer
Simon Owen: Partner, CEO

Anthem
Karim Huu Do: Footage
Jonas Lindström: Footage
Philippe Tempelman: Footage
I AM HERE: Footage
Monika Lenczewska: Footage
Paul Ozgur: Footage
Nicolas Karakatsanis: Footage
Pat Scola: Footage
Julian Klincewicz: Footage
Eira Wyn Jones: Footage
Kevin Pham: Footage
Patrick Golan: Footage
Paul Herrmann: Footage
Moritz Matlick: Footage 
Scott Butzer @Cabin Editing: Editor
Tim Masick @Company 3: Colorist
Jamie XX: Music Composer
Wenke Kleine-Benne: Sound Design / Mix

Rihanna
Gray Sorrenti: Director / Photographer
Layla Nemejanski: Producer
Marilou Daube: Videographer
Jeremiah Shuff: Editor
Tim Masick @Company 3: Colorist
Jamie XX: Music Composer
Arc Lab Ltd: Stills Retouching

LeBron
Jonas Lindström: Footage
Philippe Tempelman: Footage
Monika Lenczewska: Footage
Pat Scola: Footage
Julian Klincewicz: Footage
Patrick Golan: Footage
Paul Herrmann: Footage
Moritz Matlick: Footage 
BWGTBLD GmbH: Production support
Iconoclast GmbH: Production support
Scott Butzer @Cabin Editing: Editor
Tim Masick @Company 3: Colorist
Jamie XX: Music Composer
Wenke Kleine-Benne: Sound Design / Mix
Hanna Moon: Photographer
GLAM Productions: Production Company
Frank Roller: Executive Producer
100Berlin Creative Retouching: Retouching

Roger
Karim Huu Do: Footage
Nicolas Karakatsanis: Footage
Julian Klincewicz: Footage
Eira Wyn Jones: Footage
Kevin Pham: Footage
Patrick Golan: Footage
Paul Herrmann: Footage
Moritz Matlick: Footage 
BWGTBLD GmbH: Production support
Iconoclast GmbH: Production support
Scott Butzer @Cabin Editing: Editor
Tim Masick @Company 3: Colorist
Jamie XX: Music Composer
Wenke Kleine-Benne: Sound Design / Mix
Hanna Moon: Photographer
WA GmbH: Production Company
Walandi Apoussidis: Executive Producer
100Berlin Creative Retouching: Retouching

Patti
Steven Sebring: Director
Paul Park: DOP
FireShot Productions: Production Company
Robert Mulligan: Executive Producer 
Chandler Clarke: Producer
TJ Sansone: Assistant Director
Percio Luciano: Assistant Camera
Annette Vetere: COVID Safety Specialist
John Osterman: DIT
Scott Butzer @Cabin Editing: Editor
Tim Masick @Company 3: Colorist
Jamie XX: Music Composer
Wenke Kleine-Benne: Sound Design / Mix
Steven Sebring: Photographer
FireShot Productions: Production Company
100Berlin Creative Retouching: Retouching

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