August 2, 2012
Best of British: The Cambridge Satchel Company
There aren’t many British companies that have enjoyed such phenomenal global success in recent years as The Cambridge Satchel company. I remember stumbling across their proper old-fashioned leather satchels in 2008 in London’s Labour & Wait and loving them instantly. And while I believe their success is primarily down to timing – they produced the simple old-school satchel at a time when the heavily embellished and extraordinarily expensive ‘It Bags” were just coming off the boil – their commitment to high quality production values using traditional methods and British artisans is also an important factor.
The Cambridge Satchel company is the brainchild of Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas, and back in 2008 the range was limited to classic shades of brown and black. I remember tracking them down online when I started working at Time Out London in 2009 and was thrilled to discover that you could get a custom satchel with embossed initials. I made a call to their office and placed an order with Freda for my husband’s birthday. It’s a rather masculine dark brown number and is a stark contrast to the veritable rainbow of hues that have since been launched.
There have also been collaborations with the likes of Comme des Garçons, American department store Bloomingdales and Paddington Bear (they provided him with a handsome new satchel). And for summer 2012, they’ve hooked into the pastel trend that Marc Jacobs set in motion with his sweeter-than-a-Parisian-macaron SS12 collection for Louis Vuitton with a limited edition collection of four delectable and dainty hues.
I think the lilac bag is rather lovely and while the pastel head-to-toe look can be tricky to pull off, a bag in just the right hue is the perfect nod to the trend. Otherwise, leave the pastels to the young-uns (I’m thinking my 16-year-old niece would think they’re all rather fab) and stick to the classic neutral hues, or for a pop of colour, consider the jaunty yellow satchel (my favourite). www.cambridgesatchel.co.uk. Click here for stockists.
I’m showcasing the Best of British in honour of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Click here for the 25 best London Olympic Games souvenirs.
Click here for the best Union Jack souvenirs.
Click here for the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs.
Louis Vuitton images via Style.com