fashion news uk London



Tumi introduces ladies bags

Luxury luggage specialist Tumi is adding handbags to its offering. The brand, which was established 32 years ago, will introduce four new handbag collections next month. The collections will consist of leather hobos, totes and shoppers, weekend bags made of khaki, coated cotton and metallic linen, a range made from a variety of materials including nylon and cashmere, and a ladies travel line in black and brown nylon. Prices range from $75 (£38) for small nylon goods to $695 for leather bags.

“There is room for Tumi in the prestige category and as a real player in the world of accessories,” creative director David Chu told WWD. Chu, the founder of Nautica - which he sold to VF Corp - joined Tumi in January of this year and is taking the company in a new creative direction, which means conquering the fashion accessories market. The new collections will be sold exclusively at Tumi stores until spring 2008, after which they will be available at select retailers, including high-end US department stores Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's.
22 May 2007

Smythson introduces fashion handbags

Fine stationery and leather goods specialist Smythson is diversifying its current offering with a rang of fashion handbags this fall. Although the company's range of products has for some time included a few handbags, they have always been classic in style – in keeping with the company's timeless image. The new collection, named Nancy after British novelist Nancy Mitford and famed British decorater Nancy Lancaster, will feature a more fashionable edge.

The new range will include two styles, made of Italian leather produced in a quilted pattern in a colour palette of taupe and black. One is a shoulder bag available in small and medium, the other is a clutch. Both are adorned with vintage-style lockes and clasps, the hardware executed in pale gold metal. The line will also include a zip-up top-handle style, a clutch bag from the crocodile-embosed leather Clementine collection and small leather goods like a key ring and a purse. The bags will range from £495 to £945.
21 May 2007

Anya Hindmarch in ethical bag scandal

So much for Anya Hindmarch's ethical bag. The Evening Standard on Friday revealed the must-have carrier “I'm Not a Plastic Bag” is made in China using cheap labour. The bag, which has been photographed on many a model's arm, and has a waiting list of eager fashionista's at Hindmarch's boutique, is nothing but a sham. Furthermore, a backlash has begun against Sainsbury's, who promoted the bag and reported a sell-out of 20,000 units.

A campaign group highlighting the exploitations of workers in the fashion industry stated the bag in China dented the bag's ethical claims. The fact that the bags have been sent thousands of miles from Asia raised questions about whether its carbon footprint is threatening to offset its environmental benefits.

Martin Hearson, of pressure group Let's Clean Up Fashion, stated: “This is bordering on the hypocritical. There is an incompatibility in claiming a product is ethical and manufacturing it in China.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson at Anya Hindmarch claimed the company never denied it was made in China and that it solely used its influence to promote ethical fashion.

27 April 2007


Berluti introduces man bag

Luxury footwear specialist Berluti is known for its timeless bespoke footwear for men. The brand is now offering its loyal clientele a select line of bags, invented by Olga Berluti, to choose from. With names like L’Avventura, Here and There, and Double Je, the leather bags evoke images of travel. L’Avventura is a spacious duffle bag, to be carried over the shoulder, adorned with insignias of sports clubs the Berluti client might be found or of which he might dream. They include the Nyragongo Volcano Diving Club and the Candor Chasm Country Golf Club on Planet Mars.

The Here and There bag is a tote satchel intended for a brief city trip, while the Double Je is an everyday carry-all. The bags, which were launched last month, come in Cacao and Nero Venezia leather and are sold in all Berluti stores in Paris, London and New York.
27 December 2006



The new must-have bag

Luxury footwear specialist Stuart Weitzman has launched a handbag collection, which promises to be the hottest accessory for the holiday season. Designed by an Italian design team and made in Spain , the bags come in a wide range of styles and materials, including hand-rubbed patent leather and soft croc calf. They retail for between £220 and £700.

“The look of the first handbag collection is a testament to how we continue to be inspired by the woman who represents a playfully glamorous style,” Weitzman said. “In addition to the stylish look, we recognised the importance of fit and function, just as we have always approached our footwear line.” Previously, Weitzman had launched a limited edition line of bags to accompany his shoes, but this collection is entirely separate. It will be available in high-end department stores and on the Stuart Weitzman website from January.
22 November 2006


Jeremy Scott designs for Longchamp

Luggage and leather goods company Longchamp has appointed Jeremy Scott to design a new collection of luggage. The line, entitled This Is Not Your Bag, will feature one-of-a-kind suitcases, carry-ons and laptop bags with the LA-based designer’s signature humour stencilled on to them. The collection will be available at concept store Colette in Paris, at La Maison Unique Longchamp on Spring Street in New York and at Longchamp on the Rue Saint Honoré in Paris. Scott describes the limited-edition collection as “the fusion of innovation, intelligence, mobility and originality”.

“The ongoing support of young talent in the artist world is something that is extremely important to Longchamp,” said Jean Cassegrain, managing director of Longchamp Worldwide. “Giving artists a unique avenue of self-expression is one way that Longchamp, a 58-year-old family-run company, can give back to the art world.” The company announced last week that it would be adding a capsule women’s wear collection to its assortment this season. 16 August 2006



The Devil's Bag

The movie all fashionista's have been waiting for, The Devil Wears Prada, has spawned another must-have item. Inspired by the book by former Vogue staffer Lauren Weisberger, the film is hitting the big screen in the US and everyone is lining up to buy one of the featured bags. Known as The Purse, it is described as a “distressed studded handbag”. Worn in the movie by Anne Hathaway, who plays the much put upon fashion editor's assistant, it is a bag that can be carried in a variety of ways. With Sex and the City costume designer and stylist Patricia Fields dressing the Devil women, the bag has received added cachet. Although, at $79.95, the bag is relatively affordable, it is still very hard to come by. Selling on, The Purse is on backorder until 1 August. This will naturally make it even more desirable.

28 June 2006


LeSportsac expands under new direction

US handbag brand LeSportsac is embarking on an ambitious expansion plan. Under the new ownership of Brand Science LLC the label has a new creative director and is planning to roll out more stores and widen its wholesale distribution, first in the US then in Europe . It is also looking at licensing possibilities and analysing worldwide market trends. Brand Science, a partnership between New York licensing and manufacturing company Accessory Network Group and Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corp, bought the company for a reputed $100 million in February. One of its first major changes was to hire Elizabeth Kiester as creative director.

“We have an outstanding team in place now, but we wanted somebody who could be a key player and could tie all the groups together,” Ken Landis, chief executive of LeSportsac and chief operating officer of Accessory Network Group, told WWD. “We also feel Elizabeth 's experience is perfect for understanding our customer.” Kiester has always worked on contemporary and junior brands and is therefore attracted to LeSportsac, which is known for its colourful nylon ranges. “I think it's a brand for somebody who is young in age or spirit and loves fashion and loves to collect.”

According to Landis, the brand has seen a 25 percent performance increase in the US and Europe compared with last year. Its core classics business gained 15 percent, while its new Tokidoki line, just launched in February, sold double the anticipated amount. Without revealing sales figures, he said he expects this momentum to continue. “LeSportsac has been consistently successful in Asia , so the brand always puts the focus there,” he said. “As a result, it's underdeveloped in the US and Europe , and we think there's a lot of opportunity to build those markets.” The brand will expand in Europe in early 2007. It is currently in negotiations with a distribution company to enhance its presence in Spain , Italy and France . It is also looking at growth opportunities in the UK .
12 June 2006


Seventies for Loewe

Designer Olaf Fernandez has chosen to revisit the Seventies for Loewe's 160 th anniversary. The Spanish luxury brand has printed its vintage logos and badges onto canvas for leather-trimmed doctor's bags and high-topped trainers, among other designs, and onto enamel for keychains.

The'll be available in early May, with limited-edition bags trimmed with crocodile and diamonds exclusive to Harrods.

10 March 2006


A bag for all seasons!

How those Jas bags look defiantly simple and delectable! Accessory designer Jas MB , for next season, has designed a rich collection of his signature deconstructed, weightless bags and accessories that will be on the hotlist of many a fashionista. Using only the softest high-grade leather – Jas's handcrafted bags come in hues of natural tan, soft greys, berry and subtle yellow tones, as well as atomic blues and indulgent metallics. Mixing vintage trims and buckles, his unique styling makes for a hardy yet sultry collection of delectable bags, belts and accessories for both men and women.

This season, Jas has pioneered a distinct paper-esque quality leather in rich beiges and browns, giving the bags a deconstructed, vintage feel, without looking overly distressed or styled. New for s pr ing is Tumble Lea ther, a special laundered application, which give the leather a soft suede feel, and is available in deepest navy, tan and yellow. Mixing functional design with vintage qualities, Jas MB bags appear effortlessly contemporary and are as easy-going for day as they are indulgent for evening. New detailing includes playful pockets and conspicuous zips, which, in combination with the softest leather available, makes for very feminine and luxurious accessories.

Statement accessories include double loop belts in white leather and wide hipster micro sachel bags with vintage buckles. Wear them with skinny jeans, urban country dress or even a dapper suit. For the connoisseur, customised accessories and bespoke bags can now be ordered from the boutique Doors by Jas M.B. With the help of a specialist, you can choose your favourite style and leather from a variety of samples for only 10 per cent extra of the original cost pr ice. And it only takes 10 days to be custom-made. Jas Shembi has risen to global recognition with his beautiful hand crafted leather bags & accessories for men and women. His luxurious goods are currently sold in Liberty 's, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Browns. The ‘Doors by Jas MB ' boutique is located at 8 Ganton Street , Soho , London .

3 November 2005



Wax on about bags

Ruby Wax is known for her sharp, witty tongue, cheeky cherry-rid grin and zany interview tactics. What she is not known for is her fashion sense and yet she is now making her foray into the world of fashion with a new luggage line.

Convinced that she has found a niche in the market she has named the line the Ultimate Bag Woman. Consisting of five pieces, the bags are made from tough, see-through waterproof plastic in lipstick red graffiti-like slogans. With names like ‘Tart Art' for make-up and ‘Hang Ups' with separate compartments for clean and dirty laundry, Wax shows her familiar sense of humour, but the see-through plastic demonstrates her practical side, the idea being that you should be able to find everything you're looking for without having to empty the contents of your bag.

“It's supposed to be an amusing, witty send-up of fashion,” she told “But I created these because there isn't anything like them out there. I can't function without them.” The bags are available from Boots nationwide, with retail prices starting at £10.

6 October 2005

Bags of style

What makes an It-bag so ‘it'? Why do we clamour for the latest Chloe Paddington or Louis Vuitton denim, when we know they cost a small fortune and won't make us truly happy? In fact, we'll be spending the better part of our days coping with buyer's remorse.

According to Lisa Armstrong of Timesonline, the ‘it' factor denotes an item's ability to encapsulate the entire mood of a particular season. This is probably how the Chloe Paddington made it to the top of the list of must-have, impossible-to-get, hugely expensive bags. It represented the Boho-chic movement singlehandedly; from the slouchy shape, the soft, distressed leather, the metal studs and the padlock, it screamed subtle chic. “I don't need to try to be chic, I just am,” it seemed to say.

For fall's new structured mood, however, a new style of bag is about to bump all the slouchy styles of the shelves. It is respresented best by Alexander McQueen's Novak bag. Named for ice queen Kim Novak, who starred in the Hitchcock classic Vertigo , the bag recalls the ladylike, structured styles of the 1950s. With its shiny nappa leather and constructed look, the Novak represents fall 2005 to perfection.

McQueen let himself be inspired by Hitchcock for fall. “I first watched The Birds when I was 12,” he said. “I was so struck by the matching bag, shoes and gloves that Tippi Hedren wore that the image stayed with me. I'm drawn to Kim Novak in the same way that Hitchcock was. She had an air of uptightness you wouldn't want to cross.” From flouncy, free-and-easy fashion to uptight elegance; no one ever said fashion was dependable.

McQueen has played it smart in terms of production and distribution. Knowing that the basic rules of economics – supply and demand – come into play, he has limited the production amount to 200 bags. Prices start at £550 and soar as high as £6,000 for a crocodile version. Meanwhile, he hasn't been keeping the Novak's existence under wraps. The result? Fashionistas are dying to get their hands on one.

Richard Grey, press manager for Harvey Nichols told Armstrong: “McQueen fans have been waiting for this. Not producing this bag in vast quantities is about being an antidote to the super-brand. It's part of the trends towards demi-couture and catering to customers who want a product they didn't expect. We're calling it nouveau riche.”

8 September 2005



Bags by Pauric Sweeney

You may have come across the name before, but not have thought anything of it. Now, to hear the name Pauric Sweeney, one thinks of beautiful bags and accessories designed by the London-based and architecture-trained – well, designer. Pauric, who recently showed a standout collection of men's bags at Rendez-Vous, says they are designed for the creature he calls "the modern gentleman."

Sweeney's recent relocation to Tuscany — giving him proximity to the master craftsmen and tanners of Italy — is apparent in the quality of the new collection. The colours are rich with ebonies, caramels, and white and the construction combines Savile Row linings with snakeskin, braided bridle strapping, and refined industrial hardware. The results are textured and tailored bags that are never fussy or feminine.

Part of the line's intrigue lies in its independent spirit. In a market crowded with luxury leather-goods companies with global market dominance and a war chest of advertising dollars, this small operation is doing something truly innovative. Highlights of the collection include a white-on-white duffel of snakeskin and braided leather, a weathered hobo in chocolate leather and snakeskin, and an ebony-colored, woven-leather duffel with bulbous, tan outer pockets (for your iPod) and dark brown handles. The shapes are classic (totes, doctor bags) and the hand-tailoring is superb.

The collection is available in select high-end retailers, including Liberty and Harvey Nichols in London and Galeries Lafayette in Paris . Sweeney is currently designing limited-edition collections exclusively for Harvey Nichols Hong Kong and Barneys Tokyo. Not as readily available as the big, European leather-goods brands, this line is for those partial to products that are not plastered on the pages of every fashion mag. The bags are sure to garner more attention for the women's line and accessories that Sweeney has been showing since 2000. Especially since Madonna reportedly is a fan.

12 August 2005


The reluctant new IT bag

The designer of Coach handbags, Reed Krakoff, has no intention of competing with Chloe Paddington and YSL Mombassa bags. "I'd rather not have an 'it' bag," he said in in an interview with Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune. "I'm very humble about our business. We are fashionable, not fashion-y, and great value for price."

Krakoff has been designing for Coach for the last 13 years. The brand was launched in 1941 and was floated on the stock market in 2000. The brand has grown to become one of the most popular brands in the US, selling 800,000 bags each season. In Japan its popularity is only second to Louis Vuitton, where the competition between the two has led Coach to sue LVMH for allegedly "harassing and anticompetitive behaviour".

Despite its successes, Coach is not planning to conquer the European market, preferring to stick with its strengths. Krakoff explains that it would be "a small relative opportunity given the size", that there are "strong indigenous brands that European consumers are loyal to" and that there are "much larger opportunities available to us elsewhere."
21 July 2005


The new it-bag

So, you probably thought your bag collection was complete. You finally succumbed to that gorgeous little Gucci number and the bright yellow Mulberry Jaquetta, and that would take care of it. However, a new brand has hit the market and is now available at Harvey Nichols.

Be&D bags was launched a mere eleven months ago by Brooklyn-based husband and wife team Be Inthavong and Steve Dumain. Since then the brand has grown into one of the most wanted labels in the fashion marketplace. Celebrities like Mena Suvari, Penelope Cruz, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Marcia Cross have already been spotted with their own Be&D versions.

"We've had a lot of luck with celebrities buying our bags," Steve told "It has been a significant part of the growth (of the business), but I hope the bags speak for themselves." And they do. All the bags have been named for "confident, stylish women" like Greta Garbo, Cindy Crawford and Brigitte Bardot, for whom Be and Steve have a great deal of admiration.

The bags are sexy and cool. They come in different sizes and styles and a range of colour combinations. The Garbo line is made of soft lambskin and is decorated with metal studs, giving it a biker-chic edge.

Be and Dumain are inspired by sources as diverse as Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta, supermodel Kate Moss and all the pretty young things they see darting through Manhattan. Their ideal customer "lives uptown, parties in the Meatpacking District, but she's over it in five minutes".

"Every piece we make, we look at it and say, 'Will someone's great-granddaughter take this out of her closet one day and be excited to carry it?" says Steve. You bet she will!
12 May 2005



Is the backpack back?

Backpacks, the bag of choice for travelling youths and those of a sporty inclination, haven't glossed the pages of fashion magazines since the Prada nylon bag in the early 90s. After all, the practical nature of a bag whose primary claim to fame consists of two adjustable shoulder straps exudes as much glamour as hiking trip accessories, than having anything to do with fashion. And anyone who can remember the (rather forgettable) fad of girls wearing those irksome mini-backpacks strapped onto their backs in teddy bear and other unspeakable shapes has surely sworn to a) never in this life wear one and b) associate with somebody who does.

And so starts the ancient dilemma of fashion versus practicality. Whilst cycling the other day from work to home, the fashionable owner of a lovely Mulberry Eastwood bag (the tan leather execution, of course) the bag, which was filled to the rim with gym kit, laptop and three pairs of trainers, was needless to say uncomfortably slung over the shoulder in a most unstable manner and, in complete oblivion to London traffic, was surreptitiously bouncing on the back wheel. To make a long story short, the Eastwood got caught between a spoke or two, causing its fashionable owner to divert unceremoniously into a postbox and fall to the ground. Bicycle, owner, and laptop ok; bag torn in all the wrong places.

Would the Eastwood have been replaced by a Jansport backpack there would have been no accident. Incidentally, the journey time would have been halved as all the time spent adjusting the bag from its burdening contours, the extra peddling in the mean time would have sped the bike to its home.

So does being practical over-ride being fashionable in certain situations or is there a compromise to be reached? The alternative being a bag that is half glamorous, half useful and not entirely unsightful. The answer, of course, is yes. You may not find the above qualities in the Harvey Nichols accessories department (after all high fashion and comfort remain poles apart) but there is a sensibility in fashion and a little research should see you unearth the alternatives. Even Mulberry do less chichi bags (canvas, anyone?) complete with adjustable shoulder straps whilst staying true to its signature detailing.

Still, if all this seems too much - why own two bags for the same purpose when the one will suffice? You may prefer to opt for the Eastwood, the Chloe or the Bottega Venetta. Or all three if you're lucky. And if practicality threatens fashionability, the advice is to take a taxi. Which is exactly what I will do next time.

19 March 2005


Bag Lady

Open any issue of this month's glossy magazines (meaning March, for the fashion uninitiated) and you will be find scores of pages dedicated to accessories and the season's must-have bag(s).

With the catwalk season already underway and fashion houses promoting their spring summer accessories to the max, the importance of having the most coveted piece of desirables is essential in the world of fashion. In fact, it's a necessity. This season, the Chloe Paddington bag is the bag to have slung over your shoulder. The problem - assuming your budget is in place and you have no qualms about spending £700 on a slouchy, buckled leather bag - is finding one in a shop.

These days, fashion advertising comes out before the product even hits the stores. So too with Chloe's Paddington beauty. Waiting lists for accessories that haven't left the factory is now as common as putting a pair of shoes on layaway. At Hermes, the much-loved Birkin bag still boasts a two-year waiting list and carries a price tag of a hefty £4,000.

The Chloe bag, however, has superseded all those other bags which were once the it-bag. Remember the Balenciaga Lariat Bag, the Fendi Baguette, or Gucci's Jackie bag? These, in their hey-day, caused a stir, but were accessible - even if you had to pull a few strings to get one. Not so for Chloe. This bag has sold out before a single one has made it to the boutique's shelves.

According to the Daily Telegraph, each of the 8000 Paddingtons produced for Spring Summer 2005 has been snapped up and accounted for. Leaving only the high-street knock-offs (which will no doubt be available shortly) to come in second place.

With 50 per cent of the bags going to Europe, 30 per cent to America and 20 per cent to Japan, owning a Paddington bag is as scarce as the aspiration of becoming a successful pop star. With a waiting list at Chloe's Sloane Street boutique and another waiting list of around 700 at, your chances are, well, rather slim.

For those a little more patient, Chloe plans on distributing the same bag for autumn, albeit in a different leather and colour. It may not be a Paddington but it will be as close as you can get.

5 February 2005


Super bags on sale

Hooray! The fabulous Belen Echandia bags are now on sale online. One of London's hottest brands is now on sale at a 30% discount, starting today. The bags are made of the softest leather and in any colour you might desire. However, you must hurry as the sale only lasts till Wednesday!
31 January 2005

Designer bags a-go-go

For years one of the few ways to feel like a million bucks was to sport a designer-logo tote. It immediately added chic to one's wardrobe, which might otherwise consist of high-street creations. It didn't really seem to matter, because the bag seemed to speak for the rest of the items in our cupboards.

However, times are changing and so is this trend. With the many knock-offs seen dangling off countless shoulders and the new designer offensive to design for the low-end market, it no longer seems necessary to fork out a fortune to feel special. Although women will always long for designer-cachet, a new brand of shoppers is changing its shopping offensive. These are the so-called smart shoppers, women who look for function as well as style.

According to author of the "Handbags: The power of the purse", Anna Johnson, designer bags are no longer viewed as a status symbol but as an object of desire. "Real class," she says, "is impervious to labels". Johnson thinks that smart women are going for a "middle-ground status bag." The trend for loud logo's is out, and discretion and style is in. The hiphop-style logo-overload appears to be a thing of the past.

The big problem with designer bags seems to be their incredibly short shelf life. As soon as the pictures of celebrities toting their new prizes appear in the magazines, the bags have been knocked off a million times over and the whole neighbourhood is running around with the same design, be it fake or real. The newness wears off almost before the first bag has been sold.

The smart shoppers are also weary of being typecast by their bags. They dislike initials, slogans and large lettering and refuse to be obvious. The danger of having your bag be more interesting or famous than you are is also a definite no-no. No woman wants people to remember the accessories and not the woman.

22 December 2004


Bag it

The newest it-bag to hit the shelves is the Belen Echandia. Spoiled for choice as we are, new brands on the market have to have that certain je-ne-sais-quoi to stand out from the rest. With its top quality tailoring, name-stamped metal zip tags and ultra soft leather available in every imaginable colour, the Belen Echandia bags are certain to hit the spot. The bags' interiors are even fitted with a key chain, so there will no longer be any need for last minute scrambles for the house keys.

The creative brain behind the brand is Jackie Cawthra, who told Vogue: "I like a handbag to be show-stopping, so that if you're wearing jeans and a black top then your accessories can tell the story." With delectable names like "Stroke me" and "Charm me", these stories are crying out to be heard.
13 December 2004


It's in the bag

Husband and wife team Tim Collard and Zara Collard-Manson have been designing bags for the past two years. The bags are proving a be a success with the fashion crowd across Europe. This season the shapes of the bags are inspired by the Trellick Tower in Notting Hill, and images of the building have been applied to pink and black leather bags in either clutch or larger versions. Glittering bird-shaped brooches provide a bit of sparkle for the modern designs.

Next season sees the arrival of the Proust Interior range: African headdress, brocade-style fabric with printed love messages from Proust.
2 November 2004


Portuguese Bling Bags

The Portuguese fashion graduate, Joaquim Guerreiro, has made a name for himself a new bag line. The young designer caught the eye of fashion talent scout Candy Allen at London Fashion Week. He sold her one of his dyed calfskin bags, which she showed off to everyone attending the shows and landed contracts with Coco Ribbon, Tashia and Rojo, among others.

The bags come in various sizes and feature metallic patches, chains and even glitter for that bling-bling effect. Prices range from £175 to £280 and are available via Candy Allen at [email protected]

14 October 2004


Doggy Bag

Put the humour back into fashion with a quirky accessory from Next. Their poodle print tote bags make for the perfect shopping companion. Complete with matching purse, you may find yourself being mistaken for Paris Hilton. Poodle tote bag GBP16.99, Poodle coin purse GBP4.99. For more information visit

13 September 2004


UGG - From Boots to Bags

Ugg, the famous Australian sheepskin bootmakers and last season's must-have accessories, have created a handbag line called the "Sundance Collection." The range, which consists of soft suede-side sheepskin, comes in a variety of styles and colours to match the boots and shoes, and feature areas of fleece along seams or in patches. Soon to be sold out near you.

28 July 2004


Bag Lady

Accessories designer Lulu Guinness' autumn 2004 bag collection draws inspiration from the Hitchcock era. Beautiful women with a hint of danger. Modern glamour girls will adore the elegant Dalmation clutch and tote, and vintage chic bags with diamante detailing and tweed with satin.
30 June 2004


First Fendi, Now Mazzini

New to UK stores, but not new to making beautiful accessories, is Italian leather goods manufacturer Mazzini. Already on the hot-list of every fashion editor next season, their bags have been selling like hot-cakes and are poised to be very successful indeed.

While the name Mazzini may not ring familiar with the average consumer, to industry insiders it is synonymous with the highest quality leather when it comes to beautiful Italian luxury goods. The company, which has a rich history in its 50 years of manufacturing, has been producing accessories for some of the most coveted labels around. The next time you spot a Fendi Baguette at a party you could have the perfect chat-up line, by saying, for example, you know Mazzini produced the original Baguette and continues to produce leather goods for fashion brands Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli. No wonder the range is creating a hype in the capital.

One of the few family-run fashion businesses left in Italy (that isn't feuding…) Mazzini has designed a collection both accessible, fashionable and affordable. Beautiful bags to complement your outfit and mood during the day, through to cocktails after work, to dancing the night away in the most glamourous of surroundings.

Mazzini bags are available exclusively at Selfridges and Fenwick.

16 June 2004


LeSportsac Packs Up Travel

Young, style-conscious shoppers looking for a choice of eye-catching but practical totes, clutches and overnighters will be delighted to see LeSportsac’s bags again available in UK stores.

Originally introduced into UK from USA as a diverse range of quality travel bags, an impressive change in design direction has recently brought LeSportsac products into the upper end of the fun fashion market.

Pretty floral, black and whites, exciting geometrics and funky animal designs are all part of this summer’s eye-catching collection and the styles on offer encompass all manner of occasions. All LeSportsac’s products are made from rip stop nylon, a washable, durable, material which offers genuine practicality. On shelf prices range from £15 for a clutch bag to £87 for an overnight hold-all.

The new branding has been endorsed by fashion icon Gwen Stefani, who’s “LAMB” by LeSportsac designs feature strongly this season. Characteristically, these use the letters ‘l.a.m.b.’ (from some of the star’s favourite words ‘love‘, ‘angel’,’ music’, ‘baby’) in bold gothic script and each bag has the distinctive ‘LAMB’ charm. Chunky metal clips and zips are finished off in fine detail to complete the style.

LeSportsac is distributed in UK by Madison and Fifth. For further information about LeSportsac products or to see product samples, contact Annabel Miller Smith on 01858 446782 or visit .
May 28 2004


It's In The Bag For Zoe Knight

A top Newcastle fashion design student has been showing her own collection at London Fashion Week - and is moving on to the Paris equivalent. Since graduating from Northumbria University four years ago, Zoe Knight has worked as head accessories designer at the French fashion house Chloe, where she was headhunted by then chief designer Stella McCartney.

While there she created the famous "bracelet bag" which became the must-have item of 2003. Now, following London Fashion Week, she'll be at the Paris Fashion Shows.

At her graduation show in 1998, Zoe was approached by Billy Bag to design their debut collection, which proved to be a major success and went on to work with Anya Hindmarch as head of design at the company. She has also undertaken consultant design work for Jimmy Choo and Matthew Williamson, designing accessories for their recent collections before starting her own label, Zoe Knight.

"It was always my dream to have my own label," she says. "I got a really good grounding at Northumbria and I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic designers since then."

Her accessories will be stocked by Selfridges, Browns Focus, Harrods and Henri Bendel. Her bags include original features such as removable clasps that double as belts.

26 April 2004


Lulu Guinness Buys Interiors Firm

Handbag and accessories label Lulu Guinness has acquired a controlling stake in interiors and accessories design business Cath Kidston. Founder Cath Kidson will continue to be fully involved in the business, with a special focus on her design work. Cath Kidston has four shops in central London.

29 December 2003


Go For The Clutch

'Tis the season of fabulous accessories and sure to cause a storm is a new collection of clutch bags from Adam & Mee. Adding a contemporary edge to eveningwear accessories, styles range from vibrant and trendy to the more subtle. Inspiration is drawn from the 1980s music scene and the world of yachting. For stockists, please contact 07776 438334

11 December 2003


Vuitton bags get costlier in Japan

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world's largest maker of luxury goods, said Wednesday that it would raise prices of its handbags and purses sold in Japan by six percent next week, bucking a trend among many retailers to lower prices to bolster flagging sales.

LVMH, which is based in Paris and opened its biggest store in Tokyo last year, will raise prices of accessories, excluding shoes, on Monday, to reflect the euro's rise against the yen, a company spokeswoman said. She also said that prices of the company's clothes will not be affected. Analysts however, said Louis Vuitton's decision could hurt sales.

Louis Vuitton Japan has 44 retail outlets nationwide, including tenants at department stores. In March, it plans to open a shop in Kochi, on the western island of Shikoku, and another as early as September at the Roppongi Hills tower, in Tokyo's entertainment area.

January 21, 2003