When I heard that the Cambridge Satchel Company had plans to open a permanent shop in Covent Garden, after the success of their London pop-up at the end of last year, I was over the moon. I was lucky enough to interview the lovely Cambridge Satchel Company founder Julie Deane a few weeks ago (more on that soon!) and heard all about the plans just before the shop opened – excited doesn’t even cover it. Unfortunately, I missed the store’s grand opening as I was unwell, but I took time out between shows and presentations during London Fashion Week to pay a visit.
To think how far Julie has come from her kitchen table, where she founded the business just five years ago, is mind-boggling. The iconic satchels now have a global following and are stocked in 100 countries around the world with a vast fashion following and wealth of celebrity fans. But I won’t go on – I’ll let Julie do the talking about the company when I post the Q&A very soon.
The new shop is in the Seven Dials area and is an absolute delight. It’s the perfect extension of a carefully-crafted and much-loved brand. The shop has a real boutique feel and the stock is beautifully displayed on simple bookcase-style shelves and antique tables with row upon row of satchels in almost every hue imaginable. It was like a grown-up version of a sweet shop, but with treats that will last much longer than a sugar – or a fast fashion – fix.
The staff were incredibly friendly and happy to help find your perfect satchel (or just let you admire them if you’re not looking to part with your pennies!) and I think the Blogger Lounge (though I am biased) is a brilliant idea. Now, I enjoy online shopping as much as the next person, but there was something so special about making my trip to the shop, browsing the satchels and picking out mine that beats clicking ‘add to bag’.
I thought the embossing station was a genius idea too – the in-store embosser is ready to emboss the lettering of your choice onto your satchel for a small fee. A beautiful personal touch that many shoppers (and there were many when I went!) decided upon, including me. Meet my new satchel…
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cambridge Satchel Company. I had a very similar satchel for school myself, so you could say this love stems from childish nostalgia – and I’m sure I’m not alone here. The bags are beautifully made – each is hand-crafted in Britain using traditional techniques, a real testament to British craftsmanship. Each is a labour of love, and the product of Deane’s singularity of vision, enviable business-mind and frankly commendable brand-building! A real piece of fashion history in years to come, I think.
I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a Cambridge Satchel since they first came onto my radar a few years ago, and decided to finally treat myself to the style I’ve been coveting for some time: the 14-inch satchel in oxblood. I was torn between the traditional muted colours and something more colourful, so this for me was a good balance between the two – richly hued but subdued enough to fit in with my everyday wardrobe, and not too ‘fashiony’. And you do know my love of burgundy and berry shades! I know I will wear it to death – and I’m sure it will only get better with age. I couldn’t resist getting my initials embossed in silver to match the buckles as a final flourish.
Which colour would you go for? I’d have one in every shade if I could! What do you think about the Cambridge Satchel Company story?
We took these shots at the hidden gem that is our local nature reserve, Parkland Walk. Tucked away at the end of our street is the entrance to a leafy walkway that goes all the way from Highgate to Finsbury Park (Parkland Walk South) and on to Ally Pally (the North part). It was once going to be used as a railway line and there is even an abandoned station, known by locals as the ‘ghost station’ – spooky! The perfect spot for some blog-snapping, expect to see more of this leafy backdrop in future posts, as it’s become our go-to location for a Sunday stroll.