Monday, November 28, 2011

God Save the Queen

There is a growing realisation by the present UK government as well as open-minded economists that Britain will have to encourage all types of manufacturing if the country is to sustain its standard of living. Despite all previous governments’ lack of interest in the fashion industry, some of the largest British brands are ready to support the UK economy. Head of Brand Development at John Lewis, Christine Kasoulis, has put it simply to the public that ‘businesses should be doing more to support UK manufacturing.’ But it’s not just the established fashion firms setting the example; small fashion businesses are also doing their part in embracing the nation’s patriotism.

One of this year's ‘it’ brands is The Cambridge Satchel Company, currently infamous for their school style satchels.The firm was founded in 2008 by Julie Deane and her daughter Freda Thomas. The pair were motivated by the retro style uniform bags featured in the Harry Potter film series.

The Cambridge Satchels came from humble roots, starting with a mere £600 producing handmade signature leather satchels. This particular example represents the rags to riches story of a fashion company with just a vision. Nether Julie Deane nor Freda Thomas have had any previous design experience, yet this year The Cambridge Satchel Company made £2.2 million in profit with an uplifting £10-15million projected profit for next year. The designers have proven to have a sharp understanding of the industry, making The Cambridge Satchels available in a wide range of colours in over 36 countries worldwide already. The desire for global growth has made the company rapidly successful.

Introducing new collections to an established brand can be difficult. At times loyal customers, who think they understand the direction of the brand, become hesitant when a designer releases a new group. The Cambridge Satchel Company shall release the much awaited collection of clutch bags in 2012. Deane and Thomas have embraced the popularity of their simplistic, vintage style satchels and translated this into their clutch collection. By keeping the key characteristics of The Cambridge Satchels, the clutch bags are sure to create a waiting list in no time.

Having a celebrity carrying a designer handbag has been proven to increase sales on almost every occasion. In the recent decade, the use of celebrities in fashion campaigns has increased dramatically. Celebrities endorse a brand; take as much or as little involvement as they wish in the company, and thus drive the awareness and sales of the handbag. Celebrity clientele, (notably Elle Fanning and Brad Goreski), have driven widespread interest in The Cambridge Satchel Company, helping them feature as the ‘must-have’ bag in a variety of publications from Italian Vogue to the Guardian Gift Guide.

Owning a handbag that is true to the heritage of the brand is becoming increasingly important to customers. In a world where the social focus is on being ethically conscious, we often want to know where our handbag has been made, the quality, the craft work etc. The Cambridge Satchel Company has taken advantage of the internationally recognised symbol of elite education associated with the area of Cambridge, thus marketing the unisex bags to a teen and young adult audience. Despite having problems with their initial manufacturers, the designers still manufacture their bags in Leicester, UK. The founders endeavour to work with local educational establishments in order to build apprenticeships, thus staying true to the authentic English brand identity. Furthermore, the firm have exclusive collections with ASOS and Urban Outfitters, creating unique ties with two of the largest UK fashion companies.

Personally I love The Cambridge Satchel Company, their story and their brand identity. The key to their longevity will be their authenticity. Perhaps releasing a line of small leather goods for cross selling, (particularly at Christmas), will give the company an even bigger push!

Pictures taken from,


  1. Lovely piece - and agreed about the origin/heritage of a firm. People are less frivolous (spelling, bottle of wine down) these days - they want to know more about what they are buying xxx

  2. I love these bags! The green and yellow are amazing! :)

    1. I love the classic brown. But check out the limited edition metallic gold and silver ones! xx

  3. hey love. super happy I found your blog. loving it. definitely following. If u get a sec I'd love if you'd check out mine. It's all about the adventures of a small town girl turned LA local. thanks, love. xo

  4. I LOVEE Cambridge satchels but I've only recently heard of them! Great post!

    I just started following

    H x


Let me know what you think!
Leah x