New brand Montroi caters to globetrotters seeking more than just accessories

For Enrique Hormigo, nomadism is not just a lifestyle, it’s a philosophy. His brand, Montroi, was created to “celebrate nomadism” through curated city guides, handmade travel bags and accessories, and cultural events. Except, of course, in this case, the stateless globetrotters in question are not exactly vagabonds — they have impeccable taste.

Enrique Hormiga Montroi

Enrique Hormigo

Through an online retail store and a pop-up showroom in D3, Hormigo is promoting his modern version of global nomadism. “Being a nomad means travelling the world, learning from other cultures and taking the best from each place,” he explains. “That’s why we travel the world looking for different expertise to develop our products.”

The leather products, a range of exquisitely made backpacks, briefcases, and accessories are manufactured in Italy, Spain, and France. “A nomad has less, but better quality things. Things that age well, are resistant but at the same time very practical,” says Hormigo.

It can take up to four months of work to make their signature backpack. This timing includes the preparation of the leather, time in the tannery, production of made-to-measure zippers, double anti-humidity treatment, and sewing. Over 20 craftsmen participate in the manufacturing process, with just the time in the workshop equaling two full days per bag. With this much painstaking labour it’s no surprise that the brand feels “much closer to the world of craftsmanship than fashion.”

But Hormigo doesn’t want to limit himself to retail. The purpose of the brand is to use travel as opportunities to meet people, grow, and to learn through dialogue and shared experiences. The studio frequently holds talks, cultural events, and exhibitions. Past events have included an evening with Alex Huynh, Creative Director of luxury home decoration brand Henryot & Cie and Mexican surreal artist, Gildo Medina. “By definition, Montroi clients are experienced travellers, who have already experienced the fancy of life and are now in search of the authenticity and good quality,” says Hormigo.

He could be describing himself. His grandfather served in the Spanish Army, his father was born in Africa, while Hormigo himself was born in Barcelona and arrived in Dubai eight years ago, after living in Paris for five years. “I come from a background where I was fortunate to have my needs covered,” admits the young entrepreneur. “But I quickly learned that the important things in life are not material.”

So far, it seems that Hormigo’s vision is coming to fruition. He says he recently met someone who visited the Montroi studio in the Dubai Design District and managed to leave an impression on him. “We had a chat and he flew back to his country. He sent us an email a few days later to tell us that he had bought a plane ticket to Barcelona because he was inspired by the brand and the studio. He said he wanted to discover another culture. That’s what we are here for.”