Harriet Sanders: taking the fashion industry by storm
Harriet Sanders has already won awards for her bags and has been featured in magazines like Vogue; we caught up with her to find out exactly what this rising star has planned for her future.
What sets your brand apart?
We design and manufacture all of our bags in our London studio which means that it’s easy for us to respond quickly to any trends that may appear, such as the rucksack, which was dreamt up a week before a trade show! We use ethically sourced leathers from Italy and incorporate any marks on the leather into each bag, which adds to their uniqueness.
What made you decide to go into accessories?
From the age of 12 I knew I wanted to go into design. I went to a summer school at Central Saint Martin’s when I was 16 and did an accessories course, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I found out that the London College of Fashion did a leather handbag/accessory course and so my school career was based on getting onto that.
Do you think you’d ever branch out into clothing?
We have discussed branching out into other accessories, but never clothing. I’m too interested in bags! We are looking into branching out into other forms of leather goods and hope to launch a new range at the end of the year.
What gets you inspired to design?
Everything! I come from a family of engineers, so my brain works in a very logical way and whenever I see a woman with a nice handbag I’m mentally taking the bag apart and figuring out how I could make it better. We get a lot of feedback from our customers as well and so a lot of the bags in the collection have been borne from their opinions.
What’s your favourite piece that you’ve designed so far?
I am really proud of the tote bag and rucksack, as they break away from the usual style we go with. Ultimately, I love every bag we make for different reasons. I am currently using the rucksack in pink (limited edition) and find it great, as I tend to carry lots of things.
Have you had any career highlights?
Winning an award in 2012 (Highly Commended Best Fashion Accessory for Dicky Bow Clutch) was a really proud moment for me. Receiving recognition for all the hard work meant a lot.
We are currently building on our stockists and improving brand awareness. We currently stock 32 shops across the UK and one in Japan and are hoping to do some trade fairs abroad next year. We’re just grateful that people love our bags so much and as long as I am designing my bags then I’ll be happy.
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