Things We Love

Inspiration Behind Our New Spring Collection

THE THEME by Julie Deane, Founder & CEO

“This season, we’re feeling nostalgic. We miss the glamorous, exciting ritual of travelling from an era gone by. A time when taking a trip was something really special; people had less but appreciated everything more. First stop, the French Riviera. Think warm, sun-bleached Teracotta walls, the cool blue of the Côte d’Azur and striped umbrellas all in a row.” Julie Deane, Founder & CEO

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

THE PRODUCT by Hazel McDonald, Product Designer & Scott Simpson, Head of Product

Can you tell us a bit about the new colours for Spring?

The colours have been inspired by natural materials, finishes and textures – Clay, Terracotta, and Amber. The season has a particularly earthy, natural feel, reflected in both colour and texture.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

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What inspired the new grain texture?

The grain texture is reminiscent of traditional soft grained calf leather, with a semi-shine finish. Again, this reflects the natural theme in terms of colour and finish this season.

How does this new texture affect the manufacturing process?

It is an additional process applied to the leather that makes it slightly softer in feel.

As the leather ages, it should soften slightly like a traditional grained calf, but still retain its body/structure.

What can customers expect for Summer?

Moving into high Summer, the colours and collection change dramatically from Spring.

Colours are citrusy and bright with graphic prints and clean lines.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

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THE GRAPHIC DESIGN by Maria Aranda, Senior Creative Design & Greta Diciunaite, Graphic Design Intern

What inspired the posters for Spring?

We had a creative meeting with our Founder & CEO Julie, the product team and the rest of the creatives who’d be working together on bringing the collection to life. We talked a lot about the heyday of travel and one thing we kept coming back to was that we all loved those old travel posters from the twenties and thirties. We decided it would be really interesting to create our own versions of these posters, featuring our classic leather bags in the new season colours. We thought it was a bit unexpected and fun and hoped it would make people smile. We trusted Greta (our super Graphic Design Intern) with the design because she is an amazing artist.

How did you decide what the story would be for each poster?

We wanted all the posters to hint at a bigger narrative. We liked the idea that people would attach their own meanings to the images. The team agreed it’d be nice for at least one of the posters to feature a couple – we decided to add a little bit of romance and had them walking out to the beach with their arms around each other. For the second design we thought about our hometown of Cambridge and how everyone cycles round the city. That made us think about taking your bike on holiday and how amazing it would be to cycle along the coast with the wind in your hair! The third poster is set in the morning – we wanted to capture that feeling of excitement when you wake up in a new place in the sunshine and you have the whole day ahead of you – the colours in this one had to be really fresh and bright. The final one is the opposite, it’s the end of the day, sunset – one of our favourite times of day, and the girl in the poster has had an amazing day exploring the coast.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

Download our posters here>

What was the design process like?

Greta and I started to look for as many references as possible. We knew we wanted to include some of the most iconic bags we sell (a classic Satchel, a Poppy, a Push Lock and a Batchel) and obviously a bicycle. Then we started to identify key elements from different references that we really liked and then we started sketching. After Greta drew them, she transferred the sketches to illustrator and started adding the new SS17 colours (the brighter colours which we’ve used as accents throughout are a nod towards our Summer Collection).

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

How will these posters translate in store and online?

The posters will be present in every store. They will be hanging in the windows, they will also be printed as postcards, and there will be leather stickers on our trunk to replicate the vintage luggage cases with travel stickers. You can also go to the Spring Collection hub on our site and download the different wallpapers to have them on your phone or desktop computer. You can also print the stickers at home – we’re so proud of these, we wanted everyone to be able to use and share them!

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

Which one is your favourite?

Maria: I think my favourite is “The French Riviera” (the couple walking with a big umbrella). What can I say, I’m a romantic and that’s my favourite time of the year: beach holidays!

Greta: Same for me – the couple on the beach. It is really beautiful and also very still and peaceful. It almost looks like they are walking into a never ending backdrop, I think when you look at it, you can really imagine yourself in that moment.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

THE SHOOT by Sarah Brand, Creative Content Producer

How many photo shoots do you have per season?

We tend to have two studio shots and one lifestyle shot every season. Now that we have a growing Men’s and Accessories collection, we need one day in the studio to shoot these styles and one day solely dedicated to the Women’s collection.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

What was the purpose of this particular shot?

To create simple, elevated still life shots to showcase the new styles on the site, newsletters, affiliate sites and in store.

How do you prepare for the shoots?

I take the lead from the big creative kick off meeting we have at the start of every season. We listen to our Founder & CEO and Product team describe the themes and inspiration for the season, then we each brainstorm how this can translate into our areas.

For this shoot, we kept things really close to what the VM and graphics team were planning for in store. We used three backdrops: French Grey, Terracotta and Clay and we introduced texture into the shots for the first time which I think worked really well. We kept everything very simple and the only props we used were palms and ferns, hinting at this notion of travel which will continue throughout the summer season.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

Shop our new colour: Amber>

Once I have the concept and this has been signed off by Julie, there are then quite a few different teams I need to check in with before I decide on the final shot list.

Firstly, I need to capture the needs of our website team as they’ll be primarily using the assets. We’ll look at the content plan we’ve created together for website and emails and plan what kind of assets we’ll need to promote certain product throughout the season. Then I catch up with the Product team and ask for some advice on what groups of product I should shoot together – what are the key stories for the season? I then have to sense check with the Merchandising team how many units of each style we have, when the product will be launching and what samples we have available to shoot.

What’s your role on the day?

We shoot at a lovely studio in West London who we’ve worked with for quite a few years now. On the day we have a photographer and a stylist to help us get the best shots possible. It’s really great having a stylist who can pay attention to the tiny details, sometimes we spend a lot of time adding in props/taking away props, changing the angle of a bag ever so slightly – the art of still life is definitely in the details. My role on the day is to ensure the team fully understand the brief, to manage everyone’s time and make sure we get through all the shots we’ve planned, to help the stylist set up each shot and to direct the photographer into capturing exactly what I’ve envisaged.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

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What’s your favourite shot?

I really like the stylised flat lays that we do each season and I really love the ones from this shoot as we played around with angles a bit and I decided to go for a ¾ angle instead of overhead and straight on. This angle really helps show the depth of the bags which I think online customers find really helpful. I think really carefully about the props and try to imagine a particular person carrying the bag to a particular occasion, these shots help show people what they can carry in the bag but I think they can be quite aspirational too.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

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THE WINDOWS by Max Karie, CEO Office

Can you tell us a bit about the window design for Spring?

The theme of Travel greatly inspired our windows this season. Harking back to the glamorous age of travel with destinations like the Cote D’Azur, we’ve adorned Steamer Trunks with the colourful leather travel stamps and stickers. We’ve paired a hot Mediterranean Terracotta shade against a cool French Grey adding to this overall feeling of coastal charm. We’ve finished this off with over sized vintage travel posters and green palm leaves in various sizes and shapes.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

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How will the windows be different for each store?

The physical locations present unique challenges as no two stores have the same window construction. Taking the lead from the posters our design team have created, we will interpret each location slightly differently, some will hero one poster and some will feature three of our unique designs. For example, our flagship store in Cambridge will feature a poster with a couple riding on a bicycle together – perfect for a famous cycling city such as Cambridge.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

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What is the window installation process like?

This past Christmas and now Spring has seen a big leap forward in our own creative and our hands on approach to installing our windows. We tend to do as many in a day as possible, starting early in London then heading to Cambridge.

What are you hoping customers will think when they see the windows/come into store to see the new collection?

We hope customers will be as excited as we are about the beautiful colours and new finishes available this season and feel the sense of nostalgia with which we have approached the season.

Cambridge Satchel - Inspiration Behind

Shop our Spring Collection>



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