Trending: The Luxe Rucksack
Here at Your Coffee Break, the offices are bustling with style conscious women tapping into the latest trends for 9-5 style, however one factor always goes amiss: practicality. We are constantly forgetting the key part of all sartorial choices, forgoing practicality for discomfort and looking fabulous. Every so often a brand comes along combining style and practicality all too well. LUXAC is the latest favourite in the office, offering a luxurious version of the sometimes feared backpack. The LUXAC is far from your average rucksack, available in various sizes, luxe leathers and bold linings.
We got down to all things LUXAC with its founding director, Louise Bangay, who told us the initial idea for the brand came from longstanding back problems with which she had suffered. ‘I was advised that I had to give up being a handbag person as I needed the even support of two shoulders to carry my daily collection of stuff rather than one put-upon shoulder.’ Not content with the rucksacks on offer from the high street or high end, Louise has since used rucksacks made from Italian leather regularly and her need for a practical accessory grew organically with the arrival of portable technology. ‘I needed a bag that was much stronger and also function-driven but I was determined not to have to resort to a clompy camper’s rucksack. I wanted something elegant AND functional.’
Isn’t that what all women really want? Louise made the first move and designed a sample from black felt, before encountering a family owned leather goods company in Frome, Somerset. The family still work with Louise now and each LUXAC piece is proudly manufactured in Britain. Each piece is an English treasure and Louise’s determination to produce her collection in Britain certainly found its partner. ‘British manufacturing was once a cornerstone of the country’s prosperity and I am keen to play a part in its revival. I wouldn’t want to make a LUXAC any other way.’
Not content with having production in England, Louise also sources a large amount of her leathers from Northampton, further embracing this ‘Made in England’ niche. For Louise, the linings are the hidden gem, made from high quality full cotton for the ultimate durability, especially when toting laptops and iPads in the LUXAC, the linings range from simple but striking to bright and quirky and are made pairing with a choice of LUXAC leather colours ‘I wanted to create exciting and stylish combinations which would have maximum impact as the zips are drawn back like a pair of theatrical curtains, to reveal the lining inside.’ With the initial prototype taking shape over 18 months, Louise was able to test every aspect of the design to ensure it lived up to its specified purpose.
Each piece is the variation of the LUXAC theme, all based from the initial prototype, and the choices are endless! We love the LUXAC Soir, for an alternative way to spruce up an evening look, complete with stylish chain straps , there is a very Alexa Chung feel about it. Louise’s top piece is the LUXAC Midi in Crimson; ‘When I saw this made up for the first time, I thought it was sensational and now use it all the time. It is the face of LUXAC’s launch collection.’ The crimson is a particularly striking colour in super soft leather, and the lining adds that extra touch to the item. ‘The crimson leather works brilliantly as a contrast with the dramatic black and white zebra heads lining’ We love the thought of unzipping our LUXAC as Louise describes to reveal a bold and interesting lining that many people wouldn’t think was there. The zebra heads will definitely be a head turner!
Camo should be a staple print in every woman’s closet and perfect for London Fashion Week, the super light LUXAC Camo has us dreaming about layered looks and oversized coats. Paired with denim jackets and a great pair of jeans and heels, this investment piece will work wonders for an easy weekend look. Taking the LUXAC Camo rucksack in to the office will definitely turn a few heads. Paired with a maxi skirt, blouse and a boyfriend blazer, you are all set to take care of business.
According to Louise, ‘LUXAC is designed for women who do. Women who need to carry all their work and play needs in one very well-made and gorgeous bag, carried in the best way for your body: on your back.’ With so many women juggling a multitude of activities every day, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Louise’s passion for the brand and the development of the original idea is reflected in every aspect, as she describes the brand logo of a turtle – whose home is the shell on his back –‘the bag is designed to carry you and your stuff through to the end of the day.’
The collection is for all ages, for women on the move who want to carry everything they might need for the day ahead. ‘The structured classical exterior of a beautiful designer handbag coupled with the opportunities the bag offers for carrying today’s technology alongside lipsticks and a battered novel inside an unexpectedly striking lining is what attracts women.’ We quizzed Louise on any celebrities she would like to see toting a LUXAC and her two choices: Helen McRory and Cressida Bonas show exactly why the brand can be tailored to any age. It is clear that the brand is function driven but also design conscious, and is keen to move with trends as well as obtain that high quality and practicality that it is now known for.
In this technologically driven world, the LUXAC is an ideal accessory for carrying few to all your belongings whilst still looking chic. Louise tells Your Coffee Break that they are looking to expand the range with new designs and working with well-known designers on new and exciting lining in concepts. ‘I would love to do a Paul Smith stripe or Liberty London interior one day!’.
We can definitely see the LUXAC being sported at coming fashion weeks, because even editors’ and bloggers’ arms need a break from toting around those It-bags! With the brand promoting the Made in England philosophy and all round excellence in its unique designs, LUXAC could change the way most people – in Britain and abroad – view British made products.