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Q&A with Rashida Jones and Away co-founder Jen Rubio on their Recent Collaboration Inspired by Stockholm & Traveling Tips

Celebrity cult-favorite luggage brand Away launched a collaboration with Rashida Jones with an exclusive dinner at Chateau Marmont. Rashida is collaborating with Away for a new limited run collection inspired by her travels in Scandinavia. On her frequent trips to Stockholm, Rashida connected with the colors and patterns of classic Scandinavian design. Check out our fun Q&A with Rashida Jones and Away co-founder Jen Rubio on on their recent collaboration inspired by Stockholm and some useful traveling tips.

Why did Away choose to partner with Rashida?

Jen Rubio: We’ve always been huge fans of Rashida’s ­ aside from being funny, smart, and warm, she’s an expert traveler with an incredible eye for design. As soon as we met, I knew we had to collaborate in some way. When the opportunity arose to work together, we felt like it was a no-brainer.

How did you come about this collection¹s color palette with Rashida?

Jen: The colors Rashida chose for this collection are based on her love of Stockholm and inspired by tones in the colorful patterns she encountered during her travels. We worked with her to narrow the collection down to three shades: cactus, clay, and violet ­ they¹re these beautiful, somewhat muted shades that perfectly complement a neutral, minimal Scandinavian backdrop.

What are your favorite places in Stockholm?

Jen: The chic yet cozy Ett Hem in Stockholm feels like the home of my dreams, there’s no place I’d rather stay in Stockholm. I always try to make it out to Acne Archive, where I can find deeply discounted previous season pieces and show samples from my favorite brand. Lilla Baren (next door to famed restaurant Riche) is my favorite place to post up for cocktails.

What inspired you to partner with Away?

Rashida Jones: I had an earnest desire to design luggage for a really long time. I think it’s probably because I travel so much, and when I first traveled with a piece of Away luggage, I found it to be my dream idea of what luggage should be, i.e. durable, functional, cute, simple, not fussy and not too serious.

Why create a collection inspired by Stockholm / Scandinavian design?

Rashida: I have always been incredibly charmed by Scandinavian design (furniture, textiles, and architecture, clothing). There’s just something about really magical to me about Sweden. They haven’t formally been part of any wars for hundreds of years, it’s an incredibly old country, they have extremely evolved attitudes towards gender equality. And then aesthetically, they¹ve done this masterful job of combining what’s great about every era of the history of their design, which they manage to do this with simplicity and elegance and discipline. All this, AND it doesn’t keep them from being playful! I think they do that combination best.

What makes Edition: RJ so unique?

Rashida: I love the idea of being able to bring some magic into something banal. Anybody that’s been to a major international airport in the last five years can attest to the fact that it can be really grueling to travel. I look for places to find whimsy so that I don’t crumble under the pressure of traveling. On a practical level, I’m so happy with the way the colors turned out mainly because you always want to know what luggage is yours when you’re traveling and there’s no mistaking these colors from a distance, whether you’ve checked it or just left it somewhere, you know where it is at all times. (Also please don’t leave your bags unattended)

What are your top travel tips?

Rashida: Try not to check luggage if you’re on a short enough trip. You’re always better off just having your things with you. That being said, I think we underestimate the toll that carrying luggage has on us, especially if you travel a lot. Anything you can do to take bags off your back, which was kind of the inspiration for the tote because you can hold it, you can crossbody it, but it also has that great slat so you can stick it over the handle of your bag, taking all the weight off your body. I always try to protect my immune system so I bring Wet Ones, I put this stuff called do TERRA On Guard (essential oils) on my hands for my immunity. I try to wash my hands as much as I can and I stay hydrated.

What kind of packer are you?

Rashida: I’m a very deliberate packer, but that being said there¹s times when I don’t get it right and I get really upset. I’m somewhere and I need something or I don’t need something but I packed it anyway. I’ve gotten better about this over the years. I have all my basics in small travel sizes and I always keep my toiletries bag packed, so it’s something I don’t have to think about. I’ve traveled enough now that I’d say I’m pretty efficient, it’s just the basics for me.

What are some of your favorite places in Stockholm?

Rashida: My number one is Ett Hem, a beautiful hotel. It’s means “at home” and it genuinely feels like I’m at home when I’m there. I really love visiting the Modern Museum, so beautiful, and there’s a great view of the city upstairs. There are so many inspiring female designers that I’ve met: Carin Rodejber, Kristina Tjader from House of Dagmar…just badass smart feminists who design beautiful clothes for powerful women. I also enjoy visiting all of the little islands in Stockholm, which I just find to be so cool. All the bridges you walk over connecting the individual islands may just be my favorite part.

What’s your in-flight beauty routine?

Rashida: When I get on the plane, I usually spray on my face with Caudalie Mist. I also have this Tata Harper oil that I usually put on or this new oil I just picked up from True Botanicals. Then I’ll put some Charlotte Tilbury eye cream on and slather a ton of Lucas Papaw papaya on my lips. I’ll finish with a spritz every couple hours. I also mask when I land, I love those SK-II masks or Dr. Jart+ makes a lot of great masks. If I’m feeling brave enough I’ll do a mask on the plane, I just accept that everybody is going to think I¹m crazy and just go for it.

Can you share a travel nightmare story? Have you ever been on a trip where it felt like everything went wrong? How’d you deal with it?

Rashida: Oh my god, yes. I actually often think that I’ve had too many good travel experiences in a row that I must have a bad one coming for me sometime soon. The ultimate nightmare experience was when I was traveling for work with my writing partner, on a trip to Italy, nine cities in eight days, ending in London. That crazy Icelandic volcano hit and grounded most the flights in Europe. So we took the last train out of London on a Sunday night, headed to Paris. It took us seven hours to find a rental car in Paris. We then drove through the night to Madrid where we got lost and ended up running through the airport to catch our flight to Dallas, and landed just in time to catch our connection to LA. 40 hours door to door.

What’s the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?

Rashida: Tokyo, I went there for the first time four years ago and it just felt like I belonged there. The city has its own beautifully unique vibe, and I love the attention to detail and the sense of respect. I loved crossing the intersection, Shibuya, which is one of the biggest intersections in the world and yet it¹s so quiet, the opposite of Times Square, so magical.

Anywhere you haven’t been that’s on your list?

Rashida: Yes! I want to go to South America, I’ve never been there, and I want to go to Australia.

How do you deal with jet lag?

Rashida: I take this homeopathic thing called No Jetlag, which is what it says it is. It has a bunch of chamomile and arnica and is really effective, so I take that on the plane every couple of hours. Somebody once told me that when you get to the place you’re going, to either take a bath or try to find an ocean and jump in, if that¹s where you’re going, if you’re lucky enough. I’ve also been told that miso soup is really good for jet lag, so I try to do that if I can.

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