From The Archive

Announcing our Newest Designer Collaboration: CSC x Ines de la Fressange

Designer collaborations have been a part of our brand DNA from the very beginning here at The Cambridge Satchel Company, and it has been an honour to have teamed up with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garcons, J. Crew, Melissa, and Brompton over the past 10 years.

We are thrilled to announce our latest collaboration for 2018; CSC x Ines de la Fressange. Just in case you’re not familiar with Ines: she is the original French style icon (her book ‘Parisian Chic’ is the last word in what’s cool in Paris), muse to Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, and our ultimate style crush. In fact, Julie is such a long-time fan of Ines that at university, she had two posters on her wall: one was a picture of a horse, and the other was of Ines for Chanel!

Equally, Ines has long been a fan of our iconic satchels (her favourite bag style) and our British craftsmanship. When she and Julie finally met, the two immediately hit it off and the idea of the collaboration was hatched. To bring the limited edition collection to life, our design team travelled to Paris and worked very closely with Ines and her team to create the new designs.

The collection itself is a beautiful celebration of classic British and French style. It is a celebration of the timeless satchel style and our signature colours (the Oxblood and Navy feel both appropriately British and French in equal measure), but infused with a new French twist.

Our classic Tiny and 11” satchels have been reimagined in seven different styles and colours in beautiful two-tone and copper saffiano leather, and all feature copper metal hardware (for the first time). And like all of our leather bags, the entire collection has been handmade at our factory in the heart of England.

To celebrate the collaboration, we sat down with Ines to ask her tips on how to achieve a little Parisian chic (wherever you are):

  1. How do you define Parisian style?

A mix between casual & sophisticated that seems effortless.

  1. What differences and similarities have you found between French and British style?

French women want to give the impression that they don’t follow trends, and they are not afraid of keeping their style simple. British women want to have fun with their style and they know they won’t keep their clothes forever. Maybe one is slightly square and the other one cool! (laughs)

  1. What is it about the satchel that appeals to you as a style?

Ask a woman her wishes for a handbag, and she will likely say:

– It should hold many things but have the right proportions.

– One should be able to easily find what is in there.

– It should be classic but stylish.

– The bag should fit with all kind of clothes.

– It should look neat but cool.

– You could wear it for work but also for weekends.

Yes I know, it’s kind of demanding list of expectations, but actually this bag has a name: the satchel!

  1. What is always with you inside your handbag?

Foldable scissors! I almost never use them but the one day I don’t have them, I need them! I also always have:

– Wallet and credit cards

– Tissues

– 2 calligraphy markers + fountain pens + ink (Kaweco)

– Sunglasses and glasses

– A mini hair brush (Mason & Pearson, of course!)

– Keys

– My ID card and drivers licence

– Headphones

– A chain saw (no, I’m joking… I was just checking if you would read until now!)

  1. Your top tips to infuse your wardrobe with a little Parisian je ne sais quoi?

I sometimes try not to wear the shoes that would be expected with the outfit I’m wearing, for instance wearing sandals with a long evening dress. Also when I wear something quite conventional like wool trousers, I would balance it with a sweatshirt, sneakers or a leather jacket. The idea is to stay a little rock ‘n’ roll (even when you’re dressing smartly).

  1. What are you currently reading?

Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’… I am currently in the process of moving home!

  1. Have you ever visited Cambridge? If so, how did you find it?

No, but I would love to! Maybe I could go and give a lecture at the university about how to have the perfect handbag?! (laughs)

  1. What are your top tips for anyone visiting Paris?

1) Buy my guide

2) Walk a lot

3) Have a friend there or make one quick.

4) Plan your trip and make a list of everything you want to see neighbourhood by neighbourhood.