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Radley Stories

Craft & Design at Radley London

The First Sketch

20 September 2022

12 months before a collection launches...

Walk into our London Design Studio and you’ll find life behind the leather. Moodboards adorned with exhibition tickets, torn-out catwalk trends, Polaroids of the latest street styles from London. If our Design Team are in need of inspiration, they take to the streets. Because it’s in living the life of our customers that they can design for them too.

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, MORE RESEARCH

Every collection starts here as Zizi, our Director of Design, kicks off the process. She leads our team in

  • Researching upcoming trends

  • Predicting the most popular colours

  • And most importantly, finding out what you want to see 

Where do they start with such an enormous task? We asked Zizi a bit more about how the team gets inspired.

“It’s everything from international catwalks, social media, trend forecasting companies, exhibitions, to the diversity of London and the women we see when we’re out and about. For planning and research, the team and I travel to key markets in the UK and internationally. We soak it all in, bring it back with us and share our findings and inspiration.”

Once the collection theme begins to take shape, the entire Design Team will focus on bringing it to life.

ALL-IMPORTANT COLOUR CHOICES

We’re not ones to shy away from a bold colour. From deep crimson to sky blue, the colour palette is one of the most important things for the team to decide on. Zizi tells us how they do it.

“Firstly, we look into the colour predictions that trend forecasters publish a year to two years in advance. We want to make sure our customers can enjoy the relevant trends and colours at the time our products hit the stores, but we also know through experience and intuition what colours work better in certain leathers.”

WHAT MAKES THE PERFECT BAG

Zizi knows exactly how to find the perfect balance of fashion and function:

“What makes a great handbag? Quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and amazing design both inside and out. The size, colour and shape are obviously important, but the handbag has to work with the needs of modern life.”

TEAM EFFORT

Each of our incredibly talented Designers brings unique flair to their work. For example...

  • Did you know that we design all of our prints in-house? Sophie is one of the designers who create a seamless repeat for each one, which is vital for transferring any pattern to fabric

  • Our picture bags are some of our most in-demand designs. Alice, Liz and Sophie are often responsible for these little works of art and are endlessly creative with their ideas

  • We’re constantly evaluating how we can best use our materials and minimise any waste to bring you the most sustainable designs. Jemma is passionate about this work and leads these efforts with the team

HOW DO WE SELECT THE MATERIALS FOR EVERY BAG? ON TO THE NEXT STEP