Timeless English Luxury: Exclusive Interview With Loxley England
Loxley England create timeless and luxurious range of classic leather bags but with the addition of colour and functionality that represents modern life. Here’s our exclusive interview with the brand’s designer!
1. We adore Loxley England! Where does the name originate?
Thank you! It took us quite a while to come up with the name. We wanted our brand to evoke a sense of Britishness and tradition, and we felt the name Loxley has something very British about it. It’s also the name of a village and manor house in Warwickshire where James and I grew up as children so it had a personal connection as well.
2. You can never have too many handbags, have you always been into bag design?
I’ve always been into design in general. When I was much younger I started a clothing and bag label, selling my designs at Camden Market alongside studying at university (in a totally unrelated subject area – Politics, Philosophy & Economics!) and absolutely loved it. It definitely helped me learn a few things that have been useful this time round. When it comes to bags (and clothing) I really love classic styles above all else that don’t go quickly in and out of fashion, and I also believe in investing in a few high quality, beautiful pieces each season rather than splurging on lots of lower quality pieces, so it has been really enjoyable designing bags in line with my philosophy. We’ve really focused on quality of materials and workmanship as these things are important to us personally.
3. How did Loxley England get started?
It has been a long journey! James and I knew that we wanted to work together, but were both working in corporate jobs in the city. It took some time for us to formulate a feasible plan for Loxley, but it was clear very early on that a fashion brand was the right choice of business for us, as I’ve always dabbled one way or another, what with my previous label and sewing garments for myself. We have taken our time to find the right artisan workshop to make our bags and we’re really pleased with the result. It’s still early days for us as a brand, but we have lots of very exciting plans coming up in the future, including a womenswear line that will be launching next Spring. Watch this space!
4. You are a brother and sister team, has it been great running a family business?
It has been absolutely wonderful. For me personally it was a real relief to get out of my city job and into doing something creative that I love. And doing it with my brother has made the transition even better. As it turns out, we happen to have almost exactly opposite skill sets, so usually when I find myself scratching my head, James usually knows what to do (and, I hope, vice versa!). It’s also lovely to work with family, as there’s definitely a sense of almost unconditional support in the tough times, and also the ability to be much more brutally honest with each other when needed than you might usually be with your colleagues which means we can get things done quickly and efficiently!
5. Loxley bags are timeless. What’s you biggest inspiration for you designs?
We find inspiration everywhere for our bags. We much prefer clean design and a minimal aesthetic, and there is so much inspiration all around us that I draw from. I love clean architectural design and concrete floors in particular, and I love to imagine our customers wearing lovely, clean, sharp apparel that would be beautifully accessorised by one of our bags. The leather itself is definitely an inspiration and I try to design with that in mind, and allow the materials to speak for themselves.
6. Why did you choose Liberty Arts fabric to line your limited edition handbags?
We felt Liberty Art Fabrics were a great choice for us, as they are a great British heritage name, having been around since 1890. They are staunchly British and represent luxury and quality, all of which we hope Loxley can also claim to do and be. We also love that the Liberty print adds a hidden touch of fun to the bags that the owner can enjoy.
7. Do you have a personal favourite?
My personal favourite from the Spring/Summer collection is the Mini Devonshire Tote in Black, with Liberty print lining – in fact I use it every single day, along with the lovely matching wallet! For Autumn/Winter I have my eye on the larger Devonshire Tote, perhaps in Navy or Pillarbox Red. I actually love all of them to be honest, but I do spend most of my life carrying around a lot of unnecessary stuff, so a tote is perfect for me.
8. Which bag would you recommend for the average working girl?
One of the first designs I created was the Mini Gloucester rucksack which was designed with London commuters in mind. At the time I was commuting to London in suits I’d made myself using the most beautiful Harris Tweed I could find – I had to be smartly dressed – but I couldn’t find a bag that would be comfortable and easy to carry around that would also hold all my paperwork and laptop. We wanted to design a rucksack that was as sleek and minimal as possible, with a minimalist profile, that would look lovely with workwear. The Mini Gloucester is what we came up with.
9. Who would you love to see carrying your bags?
We’ve been lucky enough to have had bags from our range hand picked by some fantastically strong, talented women such as Amal Clooney and Hemsley + Hemsley, which we’re delighted about. We see our customers as being intelligent, strong and stylish women, and we love seeing our bags being carried by them!
10. What’s next for Loxley England?
There’s a lot in the pipeline, not least the womenswear collection launching in Spring 2016, which will be in stores towards the end of January next year. It seems like a long time to wait but there’s so much going on in the background such as finding the most perfect British milled fabrics and the best workshops to make our collection – we are absolutely loving the process and can’t wait to share the results with our customers! We also have some new styles and colour ways in development on the bag side, so we’re really looking forward to unveiling those in the near future too.
By: Ramya N
This article was originally published on MI Magazine.