Category Archives: Bags

Hermès – The Kelly, The Birkin And Other Keepsakes.


Hermès, Paris evokes images of princesses, famous actresses and the wealthy elite. In 1837 Thierry Hermès opened his workshop making quality saddlebags,  harnesses and horse carriages in the heart of Paris.

Hermes Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Hermès Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. (photo – worklondonstyle)

In 1892 the prototype of the Kelly bag was used as a saddle holder. By the 1930’s it had evolved into the Sac à dépêches, a spacious travel bag. Acclaimed costume designer Edith Head, introduced Grace Kelly to the bag when she chose accessories for the actress starring in ‘To Catch A Thief .’ After her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, a photo of her with the bag appeared in Life magazine. Instantly known as the Kelly bag it was officially renamed in 1977.

Happy customer (photo -worklondonstyle)

Happy customer (photo – worklondonstyle)

Actress and singer Jane Birkin, well known for carrying her belongings in a straw bag, was the inspiration behind the Hermès Birkin created in 1984. Priced between £4,800 and £100,000, the Birkin remains a best seller of the brand.

The bag is associated with long waiting lists (up to 5 years) as depicted in the TV series ‘Sex And The City’ and the book ‘Bringing Home the Birkin: My life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag’ by Michael Tonello.

The trademark orange packaging. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The trademark orange packaging. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Hermès is renowned for its equestrian inspired silk scarves, bracelets, ties and watches. Last time I visited I acquired the iconic Multi-Loop Bridle bracelet.

Back at the hotel. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Back at the hotel. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The iconic Hermes bracelet. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The iconic Hermès bracelet. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Hermes in harmony. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Hermès in harmony. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Model, fashion icon and blogger Olivia Palermo says, ‘Buying my first Hermès bag was like becoming one of the tribe.’

Victoria Beckham – Pretty Powerful.


Victoria Beckham has firmly established herself as one of the most powerful women in fashion in only a few short years. Named the most talked about designer on Twitter during New York Fashion Week in September 2012, she has been recognised as the most pinned celebrity for 2013 on Pinterest, according to The Telegraph.

Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week. (photo - GoRunway)

Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week. (photo – GoRunway)

In 2007 Beckham won two Glamour Magazine Awards, one for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for her fashion achievements and another for ‘Woman of the Year.’ Victoria was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at the British Fashion Awards in November 2011.

Fashion week with Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenburg and Donatella Versace. (photo - Rex Features)

Fashion week with Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenberg and Donatella Versace. (photo – Rex Features)

Known for popularising Roland Mouret’s fitted dresses, Victoria launched her own collection at New York Fashion Week at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2008.

Victoria posed with Karl Lagerfeld for a photoshoot for French Elle at legendary designer Coco Chanel's home. Here she appears with Karl at Mercedes Bench Fashion week.

Victoria posed with Karl Lagerfeld for a photoshoot for French Elle at legendary designer Coco Chanel’s home. Here she appears with Karl at Mercede-Benz Fashion Week.

Former footballer, husband David with daughter Harper and American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week  in New York September 2013.

Former footballer, husband David with daughter Harper and American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, September 2013. (photo – Reuters)

Simple monochrome designs featured heavily in her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection. Victoria looked crisp in a white shirt, tucked into cropped black trousers worn with heels.

Victoria's signature smokey-eye make up.

Victoria’s signature smokey-eye make up.

January 2014 will see VB collaborating with Skype to give us an inside look into her business. The Skype team said, “From the spark that launched her business, the innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurialism and her embracing of technology to empower creativity and to run her business from around the globe, the story of the Victoria Beckham label will be told in a previously unseen way.”

One of her most copied by the high street looks for this Winter; the cropped polo neck and trouser. (photo - Rex Features)

One of her most copied by the high street looks for this Winter; the cropped polo neck and trouser. (photo – Rex Features)

Mulberry – The Delevingne Factor


British handbag and clothing brand Mulberry has set its sights on international expansion. Established by Roger Saul in Somerset in the south west of England in 1971, Mulberry has built a reputation on its dedication to craftsmanship and tradition. This balanced with a nose for high fashion and practicality has ensured it cult status when it launched the now iconic Bayswater in 2002. Named after the leafy West London neighbourhood, it was originally available in Oak, Chocolate and Black. Its success has seen new colours and finishes sent down the catwalk year on year.

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo – worklondonstyle)

With 123 stores and a market cap of £604m The Rookery, Mulberry’s original factory, could not meet demand. The second factory in Somerset has been completed and will run to full capacity by mid 2014. The Rookery has been the only leather goods factory of its size in the UK.

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

Bags are designed in the London studio. The entire process from pattern making and prototyping to fine tuning can take up to 28 weeks. Considering material qualities, it takes one skin to make one handbag. The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. All off-cuts are used in smaller projects and recycled. Bags are handmade. Cutting, skiving, handle making, splitting, spraying, inking, ironing, stitching and folding are overseen by largely locally sourced and trained craftspeople.

The launch of the Alexa, named after British model, TV presenter and style icon, Alexa Chung, drew A-list stars to Mulberry’s catwalk shows. The design is derived from the Elkington, Mulberry’s Classic men’s briefcase.

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

American singer Lana Del Rey inspired the Del Rey bag featured in the 2012 Autumn/Winter campaign. Cara Delevingne, British model of the year for 2012 is the current face of the brand.

Mulberry launched the Cara Delevingne range at Claridge’s in London on 16 February 2014. It is hoping to revive it’s flagging bag sales; drawing on the model’s millions of international followers.

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo - Mulberry)

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo – Mulberry)

Chief executive Bruno Guillon has said plans to open 15 new stores were on track. A flagship store is set to open on Paris’ Rue Saint-Honore in 2014.

Guillon has repositioned Mulberry from an affordable to a luxury brand, with 36% of sales derived from bags priced over £1000 compared to 4% in 2012. Creative director, Emma Hill’s departure has left room for new direction.

Vintage Mulberry - The Roxanne. ( photo - worklondonstyle)

Vintage Mulberry – The Roxanne. ( photo – worklondonstyle)

Investment in prominent tourist destinations such as Asia and North America saw pre-tax profits down by 28% to £7.2 million, in the six months to 30 September. Revenues were up 2.1% to £78.1m with like-for-like growth of 4%. International retail sales were up 29%.

Research has shown that Asia Pacific is posed to be the biggest market for luxury goods by 2018. In readiness for the harvest, now is the time to invest. It is a costly process, but with the local market close to saturation, the promise of rich pickings may well justify investment in multinational expansion.

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

J Crew – Michelle Obama’s Click To Chic Hits London


Jenna Lyons, president and creative director of J Crew is the force behind the rapid sales rise at the North American brand. Rising through the ranks since graduating at age 21 from Parson’s School of Design in New York, the 44 year old is a high profile woman in consumer fashion; one of only three on Time Magazine’s 2013 top 100 most influential people list.

Jenna Lyons; president and creative director of J Crew

Jenna Lyons; president and creative director of J Crew

Five years ago on Monday, October 27, 2008 Michelle Obama appeared on The Tonight Show in a complete J Crew outfit. Drawn on her shopping habits she replied,”When you don’t have time, you’ve got to click.”

Michelle Obama wearing J Crew on The tonight Show with Jo Leno.

Michelle Obama wearing J Crew on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

On April 1, 2009 Michelle wore J Crew’s Crystal constellation cardigan and the Dazzling-dots pencil skirt in mint green whilst joining Sarah Brown for a meeting at Charing Cross in London.

Michelle Obama in mint green J Crew in London in 2009.

Michelle Obama in mint green J Crew in London in 2009. (image Getty)

The 30 year old brand started out as a mail order specialist and runs 249 stores in North America. The long awaited opening of the Regent street store brings the mismatched, masculine meets feminine style of Lyons to central London. Expect to pay up to 40% more than in North America. Layering is key to the J Crew look with oversized statement necklaces and bejewelled cuffs to finish off an outfit.

Lyons manages the branding of the clothes and stores.

Lyons manages the branding of the clothes and stores.

Jenna has been in the press for her relationship with girlfriend Courtney Crangi after a very public divorce from husband, Vincent Mazeau. Her style is central to the brand’s transformation and success.

Jenna wearing a pink maxi skirt and denim jacket at the Costume Institute Gala in 2012,

Jenna wearing a pink maxi skirt and denim jacket at the Costume Institute Gala in 2012.

J Crew opened a menswear store at 38 Lamb’s Conduit on 10th October 2013. The Flagship store opens at 165, Regent Street, W1 on Friday. J Crew’s Chairman and CEO, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, called it “an important flagship location on arguably one of the most important streets in one of the most important locations in the world”.

Angela Ahrendts – Energy, Instincts, Courage And Compassion.


Shares in Burberry fell nearly 5% as boss Angela Ahrendts announced her departure from the fashion house to join Apple as senior vice-president of retail and online stores. In 2012 she became the first woman to top the FTSE-100 pay league with a pay package of £16.9 million. She joined Burberry in 2006.

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

Ahrendts will be replaced by Christopher Bailey in mid-2014 who will be joint creative head and CEO.

Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey

Burberry announced half- year sales of £1.03 billion; up 14%.

Burberry at London Fashion Week

Burberry at London Fashion Week

The Ahrendts - Bailey team turned Burberry into Britain's top luxury brand.

The Ahrendts – Bailey team turned Burberry into Britain’s top luxury brand.

The 24 Hour Dress


The Little Black Dress. Make it work round the clock this season, going effortlessly from day to night. Wear the jacket to the office; then remove it for a night on the town.

Photo worklondonstyle

Photo worklondonstyle

“Women who wear black lead colourful lives.” Neiman Marcus Ad

Shift Ralph Lauren

Shift Ralph Lauren

“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.” Coco Chanel

Jacket Armani

Jacket Armani

Bag Prada

Bag Prada

Shoe Jimmy Choo

Shoe Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon launches debut collection.


Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon’s autobiography, In Her Shoes, went on sale in London today. She speaks candidly about the struggles she faced on her way to the top.

Photo Wenn

Photo Wenn

Tamara is launching her new ready-to-wear collection at Harrods in November. It will include handbags and shoes. The collection which mirrors her own style, will also be available at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and online at Net-A-Porter.

With this collection she aims to do “a monthly fashion drop”, solving the problem of having to buy clothes in the wrong season.

She says, “I don’t know any woman who wants to buy her winter coat in July” Hers will be available in September.

Photo Telegraph

Photo Telegraph

Coat from The Tamara Mellon Debut Collection.

Photo Rex Features

Photo Rex Features

Tamara received an OBE for services to the fashion industry in 2010.