One of the perks of being a fashion editor is the privilege of discovering independent businesses. Now and again, I find myself wilfully entangled in a narrative that endears me to a brand. Its infancy, how it laid its roots to blossom (which, in the case of handbag brand Strathberry, was quite literally on the kitchen floor), the community, concept and how the handbags (in this instance) were conceptualised. From the very start to the completed product on the shelf, I'm hooked. Strathberry may be a little-known brand amongst luxury handbag players, but having just celebrated its tenth anniversary, it is now establishing itself in the UK and overseas markets as a name to know for bags with understated elegance and architectural shaping.
Strathberry was founded in 2013 by husband-and-wife duo Leanne and Guy Hundleby, and despite being a relative newcomer when compared to the long-established brands that dominate the leather goods category, Strathberry manages to speak a language of heritage and heirloom. Each style features its distinguishable bar closure, foil-embossed Strathberry emblem and hand-painted piping, demonstrating the impressive attention to detail. Its factory also oversees the production of Loewe’s leather goods, so these bags are in good company.
With the prevalence of quiet luxury and the growing discernment of the average consumer, it's fair to say that we're all collectively prioritising quality items—the pieces that we'll have for years, will retain their beauty and may even be passed down through generations. And whilst many associate quiet luxury with high-end fashion houses, I think it's best attributed to brands like Strathberry, where quality precedes and the USP is thoughtfully crafted, lifetime pieces.
The Crescent Satchel in the latest colourways.
The brand's fanbase includes the likes of Meghan Markle and Sarah Jessica Parker, and it also has the royal stamp of approval from Catherine, Princess of Wales, who is often pictured carrying a Strathberry bag when on engagements. Plus, with prices in the main collection ranging from £155 (for pocket-sized leather goods) to £625 (for sizeable totes), this is luxury of the far more affordable kind.
Intrigued? Scroll on to see and shop some of my favourite Strathberry handbags.
Shop the Best Strathberry Bags:
The Multrees Hobo bag's newest deep cocoa colourway and contrast stitching give it a refined look that's reminiscent of bags three times its price point.
The plush Lana Osette Pouch is one of Strathberry's newer styles. Many of the brand's designs are structural, though this one is in softened leather with a buttery hue to match.
Convertibility is a prevalent theme in Strathberry's bags, and the Mosaic is suitable for day and evening wear. Clasp the top handle and carry it, or add the crossbody strap for a hands-free experience. I have this one, and I've been layering it over wool coats this winter.
The Stylist is a slim, compact silhouette that can be worn one in two ways. Featuring a barely-there link chain and discreet hooks, you can carry this envelope style as a grasp clutch or drape it over the body with the chain.
There's a vintage feel to this monogrammed canvas colourway of the Lana Osette. Strathberry's hallmarks are evident in the navy trim and mini gold bar on this supple design.
The Crescent Satchel is roomy enough for daily essentials and then some. This style features an arched version of Strathberry's gold bar to mimic the curvature of the design.
The understated gold chain complements the midnight black outer of the East West Design. The silhouette is boxy but compact making it well-suited to eveningwear.
This olive hue is new to the Box Crescent family. The lizard-embossed style bears a resemblance to vintage bags but the vivid colourway adds a modern feel.
The Lana Osette also comes in this cashmere fabric with deep brown trimming. It's a great directional yet practical bag for the winter.
Your office bag never looked so chic. This is a slouched, rectangular style with a widened handle for ease of carry. The marrying of the double ring detailing and contrast stitching gives it a super-sleek finish.
Summer may feel far away, but that doesn't make this basket any less appealing. Hardened raffia makes for the best summer-bag material in my opinion, and the addition of the tan leather trim and matching handle lends The Strathberry Basket a luxe touch.
Strathberry's East/West Omni has an elongated rectangular silhouette with discreet ecru stitching around the perimeter. The fine-link chain can be tucked into the main body of the bag to offer a slightly different look.
Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities.
She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist.
Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne.
She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.
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