Mun Ka Young Shares Tips on Her Travel Style and Becoming TUMI’s Newest Ambassador

The South Korean actress apparently grew up with the brand, starting with her dad.
mun ka young tumi
Mun Ka Young carrying the TUMI Asra crossbody bag in “Cameo Rose”.

Ambassadorships are aplenty in the current atmosphere, but you can tell that South Korean actress Mun Ka Young was thrilled about her newest appointment as TUMI’s global ambassador. The excitement was palpable in her voice when she shared with GRAZIA Malaysia how her first memory of TUMI was of her father’s backpack in her younger days, and how happy her parents were when they learnt the news of her ambassadorship.

We were in sunny Singapore, ahead of the worldwide announcement of her ambassadorship and the unveiling of her first campaign with the brand: the women’s Asra bag collection. We sat down with the 27-year-old and chatted about her life with TUMI, what travel means to her, and more.

How do you feel TUMI aligns with your personal beliefs?
I love that TUMI creates bags and accessories that are both stylish and functional in equal measure. Their bags are built to last and perform to the highest standards, so you can fully focus on enjoying your trip or going about your day. As a busy woman who is always on the go, I want a bag that matches my personal style—something timeless, versatile, and chic. But for me, functionality is just as important. I’m super organised and I want to make sure there’s a place in my bag for everything.

What TUMI piece do you feel best fits your current lifestyle and why? 

It’s really difficult to choose just one from all the TUMI collections because everything is beautiful. However, if I had to select one, it would be the Asra shoulder bag in “Moonlight”. Whenever I go for a photo shoot or any recording, which is usually far from my home, it involves a long-distance trip. The Asra shoulder bag is perfect as it can fit a lot of things, and it even has a microfibre pocket inside for added functionality. It’s one of the reasons why I love it. The large silhouette also adds to its trendy style, making it look fashionable whenever I wear it. Another one worth mentioning is the Asra crossbody bag in “Cameo Rose”, which is the one that I brought to the airport this time. The small crossbody size is so cute.

Prior to being an ambassador, were you already a fan of TUMI?
Yes, I was already a TUMI fan! Since I started travelling a lot and noticing other people’s styles and choices of luggage, TUMI has been on my radar. The combination of style, function, and performance makes it the perfect mix and suits my personal style and values.

How did you feel when you were asked to be a TUMI global brand ambassador?

I was really surprised at the beginning but also really happy because it is a brand that my parents have been loving since my younger days. My first memory of TUMI is the image of my dad wearing a backpack from TUMI. I always thought of it as a very male-oriented design, but now that I’m becoming the first female ambassador to introduce the Asra women’s collection, I feel really grateful for how this whole story became a full circle.

Mun Ka Young and TUMI Creative Director Victor Sanz.

We are currently at the launch of the Asra collection. Did you know that TUMI also had women’s handbags? What do you think of them?
I’m so excited that TUMI is expanding its women’s range of bags! The Asra collection is feminine, versatile, and functional. It’s the perfect collection for busy women on the go, like me, who don’t want to sacrifice either style or function. We want a handbag that looks chic but can also keep up with our demanding lifestyles like taking them from the plane to meetings, and maybe even out to drinks with friends. I like hidden functions like the small microfibre pocket on the back of the bag, which is great for carrying my phone or a pair of sunglasses—anything I need to access quickly. I think the array of styles and colours make an easy addition to any outfit.

The Asra Collection

In hearing Mun speaking passionately of the Asra collection, we had to pick TUMI Creative Director Victor Sanz’s brain on how the collection came to be.

“The collection was intended to be sophisticated, refined, and playful,” said Sanz. “In the past, we’ve been focused on creating collections for women in business, but this time we want to create an emotional connection to the product. We wanted to lead with the aesthetic design, and then have the functionality side be a little more hidden and tucked away. With the Asra collection, while you can see the soft silhouette first, it still has all the functional features that TUMI is known for, like a small zip pocket, the anti-scratch microfibre pocket, the key leash, and more. It has those details that we’re known for, but it doesn’t have to be at the forefront,” he explained.

The colour range for the Asra collection is also more adventurous than the other women’s collections in TUMI. Particularly, there is a colourway named “Sunset Purple” inspired by Singapore’s Sentosa Island sunset. “When we were developing this season’s pieces, we were really inspired by Singapore,” said Sanz. “We were looking at all these different elements from the culture to the food and the architecture—and then we came across Sentosa Beach. We saw these beautiful images of the island and the sunset, and we thought, wow—anyone can relate to a beautiful sunset or this moment in nature that is almost quite overwhelming. Hence, we tried to capture that essence from Sentosa Beach to create this colourway.”

The TUMI Asra collection is available in all TUMI Malaysia stores and online.