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Talking Travel With… Athan Didaskalou of July

How do you make luggage exciting and new? In our latest edition of ‘Talking Travel’, we chat with Athan Didaskalou, co-founder of July, a Melbourne-based luggage brand that’s taking the industry by storm. With multiple colours and personalisation options – plus innovative features that we travellers can all appreciate – July has become one of the world’s fastest growing luggage brands thanks to Didaskalou and his co-founder Richard Li’s vision.

Find out what makes July so unique, plus Didaskalou’s best travel tips and trips of all-time below:

Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li, co-founders of July (Source: July)

How did you first come up with the idea for July?

July was born from the idea that we could make beautiful, unbreakable luggage that didn’t have to cost the world. All the stuff we wanted to travel with was expensive, while all the rest was poorly made and wouldn’t last one trip. We created July to fix that – making affordable luggage that lasts you a lifetime. 

Why the name ‘July’?

The name is a small tribute to the best time of year for travel, especially for Australians. It’s summer in the northern hemisphere; northerners have their summer holidays and us Aussies migrate up to get some of that sun in the middle of our winter. Everyone knows what a July holiday feels like, and we wanted to instil that feeling in every product we make.

I personally love July as a month for this reason, because if I’m not on the Greek Islands, the Amalfi coast, or the beaches of Barcelona, then most of my Instagram and TikTok feeds are filled with friends there. I’m either travelling, or wishing I was! 

What makes July different from other luggage brands, and what is your absolute favourite model and/or feature of the brand?

Source: July

To pick a favourite is like picking a favourite child! We love them all for different reasons, and it’s why July is different from the competition. We are direct-to-consumer, which means there’s no middle-person who the customer pays for just to get the product. It also allows us to add more features and quality that makes people smile while they travel, for example, a handle that has over 20 different heights (not just three) so it’s always comfortable no matter what shoes you’re wearing.

Other features I love are the amazing wheels we created ourselves, a hidden laundry bag, and a charger to power your phone or laptop when traveling – small things that make a difference. 

What was your best trip of all-time, and why?

One of the best trips was in the Cyclades Islands in Greece. Yes, I am Greek and most Greeks love going to Greece, so I am the living stereotype. Despite this fact, this trip was objectively amazing.

View of Oia on Santorini (Source: proslgn/iStockphoto)

A friend of mine has a tourism yachting business in Athens, and arranged a boat to take us across eight of the smallest islands in the region during the local holiday period, which meant the island villages were alive with people. Think beautiful food, local dancing, and of course, daily beach life. It was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.

And the worst travel experience? 

I think it’s hard to have a truly bad travel experience in hindsight. However, there are plenty of trips when in the moment, you wish you’d done things a bit differently. The classic example is when you book your tropical holiday during the rainy season and have to spend most of your time indoors or under an umbrella. 

A place you would return to over and over again?


There’s something special about Milan, Italy. It may be industrious, beach-less and cold most months, but the few times that I’ve been there, it’s showed me a side that I fell in love with. There is a special energy of people there who’ve built amazing products and brands, and the city is filled with culture and beauty. 

Your top travel tip?

Try to travel with carry-on luggage only if you can get by. It’s easier to move through airports, and also sets the tone for the trip that it’s not about what you’re bringing but what you can get out of where you are!

Some things you never travel without? 

I like having all the meds and supplements from home that will help me with my hangovers, so if I’m going to have a wild night, I’ll have my go-to cures the next day. 

What’s on your travel playlist?

It’s always filled with podcasts, as I find they help the travel commute go by quickly. At the moment, I’m listening to Smartless, Masters of Scale, Uncommon and Hamish & Andy

What trips do you have coming up?

I just got back from Singapore, which was lovely and warm. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Australia this year, and I have a Kangaroo Island trip in the works. 

Finally, what’s on your bucket list?

I’d love to spend a year discovering the countries of South America: Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Filled with food, culture, and natural-world experiences, I imagine a year wouldn’t even be enough. 

See also: Hello Gorgeous: Arnault Castel of kapok

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