At Aspinal, we pride ourselves on our unwavering dedication to enduring design and superior quality. From the initial design process to the fastidious manufacturing practices, our values are underpinned by the unique and considered journey that each of our products take.
Allow us to take you behind the scenes of our new SS17 collection and draw back the curtain on our creative approach, our inspiration and the inner workings of Aspinal as a brand.
Aspinal are an English luxury brand, committed to offering our customers beautifully designed bags, accessories and leather goods that will last a lifetime. We pride ourselves on creating products that blend longevity, functionality and superior quality, and slip seamlessly into your lifestyle.
Our ability to fuse timeless design with a uniquely contemporary perspective not only sets us apart but sets the tone for a new phase in luxury design. This innovative approach informs every facet of our design process as we continue to reimagine enduring English style for the demands of modern life.
The New Collection
For our SS17 collection, our designers turned their focus to luxurious textures, arresting contrasts and a diverse yet harmonising colour palette. Foundation shades of soft taupe and navy are met with pastel splashes of misty blue and blossom pink, while Bordeaux, peacock and black offer a rich counterpoint to the lighter hues.
Texture and pattern defines the season with mock croc, pebble, delicate snake and zebra print leather sitting against smooth calf skin and high gloss finishes. Pattern is also prominent with seasonal romantic blooms taking centre stage on the new Beautiful Souls collection, a selection of stunning bags that celebrates young British designers. Vivid hydrangeas and pretty blossoms from the Beautiful Soul florist in London inspire the collection and have been printed onto the leather of our Mini Trunk, Soho Clutch and Lottie bags. Florals also merge with texture elsewhere in the collection through the embossed flower print on the Brook Street Bag.
The Mini Marylebone is taken to new heights with The Chameleon edition allowing you to mix and match the colours of your bag handles and straps for a truly bespoke look. Technology really takes off this season too with the covetable Marylebone Tech coming in even more hues and textures. . In contrast, the Pearl collection redefines elegance with a classic design offset by pretty pearl detailing.
The Millie gains a daintier sister with the small yet structured silhouette of the collections new Purse Bag, while the new Dockery Snap Bag offers simplicity and style with its easy-open snap fastening. Specially designed by actress and Aspinal muse, Michelle Dockery, this collection is classic and elegant with some few key contemporary touches such as the tech pack pocket. Available in a variety of the new season shades, the Dockery collection is inspired by childhood memories of her grandmother's chic handbags.
The Design Process
Designing begins 12 to 18 months before a collection is launched. Our designers aim to tell a story with each collection and create mood boards to illustrate each new theme and capture the essence of the collection. This season's mood board is influenced by the elegant architecture and vivid hues of the townhouses that line Notting Hill's streets.
Once the scene is set, our team focus on the colour palette. For SS17, the collection is defined by the bright spring colours, earthy grey tones and cooler blues of the Notting Hill houses. We also looked at seasonal colour trend reports, past catwalk shows and previous collections for inspiration.
The next integral stage is colour testing in our tanneries. Each colour is selected according to the specific leather, ensuring it is completely unique to us. After this, our designers begin to sketch out the new styles, carrying sketchbooks everywhere and deriving inspiration from even the most unexpected sources. Initial sketches are then passed onto the wider team to perfect the details and dimensions.
The SS17 collection is full of intricate detailing such as pearls on buckles and handles, and the bold bespoke print of the new Beautiful Souls collection. After the details of each piece are refined, our master pattern maker will create a prototype in 'salpa', a synthetic leather. Once we have arrived at the final sample, our master craftsmen will begin to hand make the finished product that you will see on our shelves.
As superior quality is at the heart of our values, the leather we use is central to the flawless finish of our bags, wallets, luggage and accessories. Our SS17 collection is made from the finest Italian leather to ensure every piece that leaves our workshop exceeds your expectations.
Aspinal use full grain leather; the top layer of the hide, renowned for its strength, durability and the unique patina (an attractive change in colour) it gains over time. Its journey begins at the beamhouse where it is cleaned in preparation for tanning. The tanning process then transforms the original hide, stabilising its core components to become leather as you know it.
After tanning comes post tanning and finishing which are tailored specifically to the final product. Gloss may be added for a luxe shine on our vibrant trend-focused pieces dyed a bright flame red, whilst mock croc designs in Bordeaux and forest green have been stamped to create the distinctive print.
The process of creating and delivering our elegant and high quality products to you is undertaken by a large collection of people. From the designers, tanners and embroiderers who create our wonderful products to our dedicated sales teams across the globe whom ensure you have a first class experience in store, the Aspinal family is vast. To find out more about our people, we sat down with both our Creative Director and our Group Learning Manager to discover more about the new SS17 collection and what it takes to work for Aspinal.