Vivienne Westwood x Cambridge Satchel Company: British Tradition Unites

To celebrate their fifth year anniversary, The Cambridge Satchel Company present a very special collaboration, that with Vivienne Westwood.  The first hint came on Dame Viv’s Red Label runway at London Fashion Week spring/summer 2014, just a few weeks ago.

With both being heavily influenced by tradition via British manufacturing and the somewhat school nature of their products, it’s a wonder why this collaboration hasn’t happened sooner. Cambridge Satchel is the quintessential example of a through and through British brand, with all their products being manufactured here on home soil.

So why Westwood? I put the question to Cambridge Satchel’s head of wholesale and business development Max Karie.  ‘Personally speaking and in my creative role, I had always wanted to work with the Westwood brand’ he said.  ‘I had previously been a buyer so was familiar with the label and felt that using a strong handwriting with regards to detailing and possibly print was probably going to result in some interesting product.’

Cambridge Satchel, in the past five years, has re-vamped the traditional leather school satchel, creating an in demand fashion accessory used universally.  There’s a satchel to suit everyone.  Similarly, McClaren and Westwood originally raided the school department of John Lewis for items, and this links back to the classic days of school satchels, through enhanced with a fantastical Pirate theme.

The Pirate theme of which I write is the original 1981 Westwood squiggle print, the print that will be the basis of the bags.  Inspired by the original Pirate Boots, with the light tan buckles, the satchel’s tabs, strap and buckles are all in raw leather, once again saluting the original design.  Speaking to Karie, he spoke of how he felt the original Westwood design was an exciting one to collaborate with.  ‘Historically I have always been fascinated by the Westwood/McClaren period of fashion. This seminal period in British fashion takes into account punk into pirate, via street fashion and resulted in some real innovation.’

With CSC marking their five-year anniversary with the Westwood collection, it’s hard to believe what a success they’ve become in such a short period of time. Collaborating with menswear designer Christopher Shannon, working alongside corporations such as Disney, Bloomingdales and Basso Brooke, it’s clear to see that the company is going from strength to strength.  The Westwood collaboration rounds off the first five years with a spectacular, show stopping bang.

In addition to the Westwood collaboration, Cambridge Satchel launched a mini version in time for London Fashion Week.  The Mini is 8.5 inches, the smallest of the bags and the only one to have magnetic straps, for ease of access.  The Mini comes in classic red, tan and black with an outrageously brilliant fluoro pink, for a colour pop.

The Westwood collaboration satchels are available in two sizes, 11 and 14 inch, with three colour combinations: red and white, yellow and black, dark brown and tan, all featuring the light tan straps.  They will be ready for purchase from October in both the Covent Garden and Cambridge stores.

Vivienne Westwood satchels

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