Fashion / Interviews

Bags of style

By laura collacott, Tuesday Aug 9, 2016

For ladies, the wish list for the perfect work bag is extensive. Not too briefcase-y; not too nerdy; God, not wheels; no cavernous series of pockets; must look sexy. Should ideally prevent scrabbling around for keys in a sea of receipts and old chewing gum at the bottom or hanging carrier bags of shopping from the straps.

Westbury-on-Trym fashion designer Jennifer Hamley thinks she’s nailed it with her luxury workbag range, so much so that she closed her company making feather headpieces for brides to focus her energies.

“Up until about two years ago I was running a different business,” says Jen, who studied handbag design at the London College of Fashion. “I’ve always wanted to work for myself and have always been a creative, so it was the perfect venture for me.”

A labour of love, the Model K.T. has now been unveiled, and is already winning awards, scooping two at last year’s Independent Handbag Designer Awards in New York.

The Model K.T.

“The design focuses on enabling you to be the best version of yourself and is unparalleled in terms of organisation,” says the marketing blurb.

It’s a lot to ask of a humble handbag, but Jen’s bags are certainly aimed at busy professional women with a sense of style. Thoughtful features have been incorporated to help you organising urban life, including a removable tablet case, sunglasses pocket, hands free travel card holder (should Bristol finally introduce Oyster-style payments), reusable shopping bag and wires pouch, all made from soft calf leather. 

Elsewhere in the collection, the smaller, Mini KT – currently pre-order only – is pitched at lighter workdays and stylish weekend wear, while the Sakura coin purse, which takes the classic purse design and adds multiple compartments and card slots.

Funded by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and private investor, the bag – already featured in various style magazines including Grazia and InStyle – has now gone into production.

“Securing the investment means that I can launch my exciting new range, inspired by a design that we have had fantastic feedback on,” she continues. “It will mean that the business can launch properly into the market.

“The dream is to continue to design stylish bags for inspiring and hard working women. Bags that organise your busy life so that you can get on with what you are good at. I want to make their lives easier, to give them more time and freedom.”

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