Old school clas­sic

The National - News - Luxury - - THE STYLE LIST -

Dh725, Har­vey Ni­chols, Mall of the Emi­rates. To view the col­lec­tion in full, visit www.cam­bridge­satchel.co.uk ts re­vival started slowly, with a busi­ness idea con­ceived in a Bri­tish kitchen five years ago. Since then, the Cam­bridge Satchel Com­pany has taken this once rather un­cool school bag, given it a makeover and made it into a cult style sta­ple seen on the shoul­ders of the fa­mous and fash­ion­able, and even as a prop in Mad Men. Now on sale in Har­vey Ni­chols Dubai, its sim­ple, iconic de­sign and sturdy, high-grade leather means it’s not only an ac­ces­sory with retro-cool uni­sex ap­peal but also a smart leather goods in­vest­ment. A surge in de­mand for the bags has now prompted the la­bel to launch a 75-piece col­lec­tion specif­i­cally for men. De­buted at the Pitti Im­mag­ine Uomo menswear show in Florence last month, it in­tro­duces a se­lec­tion of colours, in­clud­ing pale grey, dark bot­tle green and cobalt blue.

The bags’ sales ap­peal has un­doubt­edly been bol­stered by the la­bel’s rather charm­ing back story. It was set up with just £600 (Dh3,555) by a Bri­tish mother, Julie Deane, when she was des­per­ate to raise money for her daugh­ter’s school fees. De­spite hav­ing no ex­pe­ri­ence in ei­ther busi­ness or fash­ion, she drew up a busi­ness plan, sourced a lo­cal man­u­fac­turer, built a web­site and con­tacted ev­ery fash­ion writer and blog­ger she could find. Her sub­se­quent success is the stuff of the en­tre­pre­neur­ial fairy tale. The com­pany now em­ploys 47 peo­ple with a pro­jected turnover of more than £10m (Dh57m) and its bags are sold in 100 coun­tries. Proof that home­work really can pay off.

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