Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Getting a handle on it

The world of handbags is fiercely competitive, but the Radley brand is a real homegrown success story, says Emma Akbareian


It is an unwritten rule that you can never have too many handbags. No longer just a tool to carry about your essentials, a bag holds pride of place in most wardrobes. Holding its own in the fiercely competitive marketplace of leather accessories is British brand Radley.

Radley's roots are humble ones; the brand started life on a Camden market stall in the Nineties before its success led to rapid expansion and more than a decade later it now boasts numerous stores and a presence in some of the high street's best-loved department stores. It's in the middle ground of the handbag spectrum: superior leather and craftsmanship mark it apart from high street counterparts but a middle of the road price range makes its styles more affordable.

Radley introduces a new collaboration for spring/summer 2013 with the celebrated illustrator and textile designer Rory Crichton. Crichton's portfolio includes work consulting with a roster of international fashion powerhouses including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Gucci. His creation for Radley is a reinterpretation of the brand's iconic Scottish Terrier dog logo. The hand-drawn sketched design is brought to life in the Thames collection; a range of travel goods which include totes, umbrellas, holdalls and luggage.

In addition to the Crichton range, highlights of the brand's mainline collection include The Weaver, Fernworthy and Rollesby, all of which feature hand-woven leather detailing. The pocket bag is now one of the label's most enduring styles, having first been designed 14 years ago. The style owes its popularity to the versatility of the over-the-shoulder design and the reinterpretation of the colour scheme.

Writer and model Laura Bailey continues in her role as brand ambassador. This season she has also designed a range of handbags and travel luggage in a lightweight cream canvas.

All from radley.co.uk