Jo Funnell, Flamingo New York’s own Fashion Week insider and recent import from London had the chance to take a firsthand look at one of the most recent Brit fashion successes to hit our shores.
Check out Max, the mini-marketing-man-in-waiting from The Cambridge Satchel Company, in New York for fashion week.
Max was here with his sister Emily and mother, Julie Deane, founder of the ‘Hit-Brit-It-Bag’ brand, which has seen phenomenal growth since its beginnings in 2008 (Max, 8, tells me that Sweden and South Korea are particularly strong sales markets right now!).
Like many other successful British fashion exports – Mulberry, Burberry, Hunter spring to mind – The Cambridge Satchel Company, is part of an aesthetic that we might call Nu Heritage Fantasy – the world of jolly boarding schools, muddy country walks with horses and dogs etc, but with a hard edge of striking colors and design innovation.
However, unlike more established fashion brands, Cambridge Satchels have eschewed the traditional route of relying on high concept brand campaigns and instead used the power of word-of-mouth, especially from bloggers. The company has also taken a collaborative approach to new design developments, asking fans for their opinions on potential new colors for their bags.
Although the fashion industry is no stranger to family companies, The Cambridge Satchel Company embodies the idea of family-as-team, rather than family-as-dynasty. In fact, the whole outfit has the feel of an open co-operative (embracing employees and consumers into the ‘team’ as well), rather than a closed fashion house. This is a refreshing attitude in such a top-down industry and seems to be paying rich dividends in the form of a growing band of brand advocates and high-end retail interest – check out the display of their satchels in Bloomingdales , right now.
Image courtesy of Racked.