WHEN Julie Deane set up her company in 2008, she thought she made a product to cater to students, but in less than two years, The Cambridge Satchel Company has found a niche in fashion.
A former fellow at Gonville and Caius in Cambridge, Deane was trying to find a bag for her children akin to the ones used in the Harry Potter movies, but when she couldn’t find a sturdy style that doesn’t stain easily, she found a manufacturer in England, and with her mother Freda Thomas’ help, the Cambridge Satchel Company was born.
From basic colors of chestnut and black, the color range has expanded to navy, red, pink, purple, green and yellow. Handmade using premium leather and chromium hardware, the bag is available in four sizes, from 11 to 15 inches. The smallest size makes for a stylish handbag, while the larger styles are ideal as messenger bags or work bags, having enough space for books, a laptop, papers, etc.
The company also sells the “Batchel,” a briefcase/satchel hybrid coined by Deane. The bags can also be worn like a backpack, which has made it popular with young male professionals.
Unlike purses that have been emblazoned with logos, these practical bags have been spotted on stylists, models and celebrities at London and Paris fashion weeks, and in various style blogs and fashion magazines.
The company’s timing couldn’t be better, what with the trend for preppy geek chic and retro, heritage styles. And with prices starting at P5,799 at Myth Greenbelt 5 and Schu stores, it’s a reasonably priced alternative for those who can’t afford the other “It” bags of the season, Mulberry’s Alexa and Tillie bags and ProenzaSchouler’s PS1.
For an additional fee, you can also have them embossed with your name or initials. For this season, the company introduced styles in two-tone and neon colors aptly called the “flou” collection, and plans are in the works for a bike bag.
In case you won’t get the chance to grab yours here in Manila, their site also ships worldwide, wrapped in tissue and brown paper with Deane’s very own hands.