East/West, Midi, Mini, Nano… maybe the names of Strathberry bags are not yet familiar, but the shape sure is. This season, the Scottish bag brand came in for an unexpected windfall in advertising terms: The Midi Tote was the bag chosen by Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée, to wear at her first public appearance as bride-to-be. It obviously sold out in record time but the brand’s reputation was sealed. The classic shape of the East/West Mini, the compact size of the Nano Tote and the slightly retro look of the MC Nano from the Edinburgh-based accessories brand are all striking, come in a range of colours, and are centre stage for winter 2018.
The Strathberry adventure started in 2013, for Guy and Leeanne Hundleby. They spotted a gap in the Scottish accessories market and founded their luxury handbag brand with bags that were of impeccable quality yet affordable. In 2015 they launched a Kickstarter campaign to expand their activity. It turned out to be a good move, the Strathberry brand became the third most popular UK project on the platform, raising over £120 000 (135 000€) from 500 supporters.
Before launching their Strathberry accessories brand, Guy and Leeanne Hundleby had no formal fashion training. They were parents to four children, living in Edinburgh and working in professions that had nothing to do with fashion: Guy had a production agency and Leeanne was a financial consultant. But when opportunity knocked in 2013, the couple started designed bags on paper. The starting point was an old satchel for sheet music that closed with a metal bar that became the Strathberry signature piece. Years earlier, the budding designers had travelled extensively in Spain and had met with the craftsmen that were later to help them develop the designs for the Strathberry brand.