Do you know and like any British handbag designers? I’m one of those strange women who doesn’t really like handbags but I appreciate them and like to choose a good one on the odd occasion I have to buy one. When I do, I usually pick something from the wonderful creations of British handbag designers.
I have to start off my list of British handbag designers with Lulu Guinness because the prized possession in my very small collection of bags is a Lulu Guinness Edie – a small black leather cross body bag. Lulu Guinness bags are vivid designs but always practical. The most iconic bag from this designer with a host of original ideas is the Lips clutch, which comes in a terrific range of colors. The Lulu Guinness range includes all types of bags, purses and clutches, as well as luggage and accessories.
The British brand has become known for its of-the-moment styles for those who want to embrace key trends – as long as you have the money to pay for it. This is not a cheap brand. The one pictured above – known as the Willow – will set you back £1,500 ($2,500). I suppose there is compensation in knowing that the clutch is detachable so you get two bags in one. Still, a Mulberry bag is very much an investment purchase and you know you are getting top quality.
If there’s one word that sums up the style of Sophie Hulme it is structured. From her tote bags to her mini envelope bags, there is nothing “slouchy” – everything is made in fine saddle leather with clean, crisp angular lines and shapes, although for her 2014 Fall/Winter Collection she has introduced some wavy lines and curves. Gold is a major accent feature on all bags. You should definitely check out her cute monster key fobs.
This will be an unfamiliar name to you in the roll call of British handbag designers but I think it’s important to support up and coming names. I must admit I am attracted to this brand because of the name, which is inspired by the always nattily attired French movie character Monsieur Hulot. The designer says the bags are also inspired by M. Hulot and his struggle to keep up with the pace of the modern world. The label is also committed to working against the modern throwaway attitude, producing bags of style intended to last. It’s a small collection but includes clutches, satchels, everyday bags and weekend bags.
Here is one of the British handbag designers probably more known for his couture than his accessories. The eponymous designer of this hugely successful label may have sadly passed on but his successor, Sophie Burton, is doing an admirable job of keeping true to the Alexander McQueen style of fierce meets feminine. (Let’s not forget she designed Kate Middleton’s wedding gown.) From structured satchels and envelope bags to slouchy duffles, there are bags for every occasion in the Alexander McQueen collection. For me, however, it is the skull clutches that really sum up the timeless appeal of this brand. If you’ve got a couple thousand dollars knocking around, fill ya boots! The one above will cost you more than $3,800.
The founder and designer at Ally Capellino is Alison Lloyd and having been in the business for more than 30 years, she knows a thing or two about what makes a great bag. If you like British quirkiness with style and quality, the Ally Capellino range will tickle your fancy. Practical, stylish and beautiful, if you need a new “it-bag,” you might well find it among the waxed cotton rucksacks (which has a dayglo orange option), a dinky cross body bag in tooled Italian leather or all manner and size of slouch and framed bags. There’s a range of mean men’s bags too.
Osprey London has been among the top British handbag designers since the early eighties. Thanks to founder Graeme Ellison, Osprey bags are chic and quintessentially English. Classic vintage style reigns (fun isn’t really a word you would apply here) and all bags are made to a really high standard in quality leather. Being a long establish brand you will find quite a range to choose from – at the time of writing (Aug 2014) the website lists 96 bags. And don’t go thinking that classic and vintage means boring and it’s not contemporary. The range includes iPad clutches as well as all bags from clutches to weekenders.
From $200 to $4000 – there really is a whole range of bags from top British designers and something for all tastes. Have you heard of these designers? Would you consider investing in one of their bags?
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