Britain is renowned for many things – bangers and mash, red telephone boxes, Big Ben and double decker buses – but fashion is arguably one of the things we do best. We take a look at some of our favourite British designers, both old and new…
Iconic, elegant and instantly recognisable, Lulu Guinness creates fun and flirtatious designs which are adored the world over. Lulu Guinness lives by the unapologetic motto of Surrealist artisan and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli – ‘dare to be different’ – and her quirky and eccentric designs are just that: different.
Feminine, creative and defiantly innovative, Lulu Guinness is most famous for the Perspex Lips Clutch, which puts a contemporary fashion twist on the Surrealist art movement. Founded in 1989, Guinness had no formal design training when the brand launched – demonstrating that passion and ambition can create something rather special. Lulu, and her designs, were featured in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘50 Years of British Fashion’ London exhibition recently, showcasing her work for the world to see and enjoy.
Originally launched as a men’s shirt specialist in the bustling streets of Glasgow in 1988, Ted Baker has grown into one of the world’s best loved British brands. With the whimsical Ted Baker Woman range hitting stores in 1995, and perfumes, footwear, tailoring and eye-wear quickly following suit, there’s something for everyone in every Ted Baker collection.
Known for their geometric, multi-coloured floral prints, Ted Baker has evolved into one of Britain’s best loved brands. From sophisticated silhouettes to tongue-in-cheek motifs, the Ted Baker collections are diverse, quirky and utterly adorable.
A firm favourite of the Royal Family, Aspinal of London epitomises British style. Headed by Creative Director Mariya Dykalo, each piece is designed in The National Park of West Sussex Downs and subsequently handmade by artisans, for an authentically British feel.
Founded in 1999, Aspinal creates classic yet contemporary bags and accessories for men and women that will last a lifetime – because of both design and styling. As a brand, Aspinal have deep-rooted British roots which ensure their products have a typically English feel; handcrafted from the softest leathers, we’ve fallen head over heels for their classic and traditional designs.
Founded in 2005, Grafea is the go-to brand for vintage-inspired leather backpacks. The story of Grafea begins when its founder Hari was an aspiring musician in Manchester. Her love for vintage got her buying and selling rare vintage items, which then led to creating new bags that are inspired by vintage styles. Constantly updated in new colours, the Grafea backpack soon became the It Bag for fashion bloggers, gaining the brand cult status.
Handmade in England, Grafea bags mix new and vintage, all while putting its own stamp on the designs; a true British brand with a distinctive vintage feel, structured style and coveted by many, Grafea is a must for every wardrobe.
Founded in 2008, The Cambridge Satchel Company had humble beginnings: creator Julie Deane OBE started it from her kitchen table in Cambridge with just £600 and a stylish vision. Creating classic leather satchels in an array of modern colours, the brand soon took off, being loved around the globe for its traditional British designs that paid homage to the school satchels of late.
The Cambridge Satchel Company soon gained cult status among fashion bloggers and designers alike: the brand has collaborated with progressive Japanese brand Comme des Garçons, taking the classic British style and sending it into high-fashion territory. As well as satchels, the company now produces backpacks, accessories, clutch bags and shoulder bags, made from 100% leather and handmade right here, in Britain.