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Radley Stories

Craft & Design

Joyful Summer - Radley London Design Team Discuss Our Summer Collection

08 August 2022

Summer is in the air, so we couldn’t resist stepping out of the office to chat about the new season collection with our Radley London Design Team. Joining us were Zizi, Lucy, Sally, Liz, Sophie and Alice.

Sitting in Green Park, with our Mayfair office behind us and Buckingham Palace in front, we discussed the trends, colours and details that set this collection ahead in the style stakes. Joyful Summer has arrived.

What was your inspiration for this season? 

Lucy: When we began designing this collection last year, London was just starting to open up again. We were excited to get back to, not normal exactly, but seeing the city around us with new eyes. We want this collection to take our customer on a journey around London, exploring its vibrancy and diversity.

Zizi: We were particularly drawn to the hustle and bustle of markets. There’s a market for just about everything in London - whether you want flowers or fashion. From the striped awnings to the goods for sale, you can see this inspiration across the collection.

“The key colours for this season are the ones that ‘pop’ and grab attention. We couldn’t believe how beautiful our leather looked in the Jade colour that’s coming in July. And Sweet Coral adds the wow factor.”

What are the key trends and colours to look out for this season?  

Lucy: Horticool is one of our favourite words - and trends - this season. You’ll spot lots of fruit and veg designs out and about this summer. 

Zizi: It’s such a joyful look. A bag covered in oranges is designed to make you smile. This is the season to have fun with fashion. 

Another big theme is preppy style. Very much influenced by West London, and timeless looks. It’s a move away from casual leisurewear when you’re in the mood for something different. And it’s also a way for us to celebrate our brand heritage. You’ll spot the colour palette for June is based around red, white and blue in honour of the Platinum Jubilee. We’re very proud to be a British brand.

Liz: Our July Edit then moves into styles inspired by London’s East End, specifically the Pearly Kings and Queens that lead each borough’s market. Fun fact: this is where Cockney rhyming slang originated, so the market traders could talk about customers (and insult them) without them catching on. Our Liverpool Street 2.0 Pearly bag is such a fun tribute to this part of our history. We also looked at how these markets have evolved and become such celebrations of London as a melting pot of cultures.

Lucy: Triangular bags have been on trend for quite a while, but they’re usually quite blocky and we wanted ours to be beautifully soft. Enter Green Lane. It was really important for us to have it in suede. The one we use is a vegetable dyed leather from Italy. It’s a gorgeous modern shape you can throw everything in.

Sally: Geometric shapes are definitely in for this season. We love the vintage-inspired square shape on bags like Market Street, Bennet Street, and Daily Radley

Sally: Market Street was inspired by crocket blankets, the kind you’d find at a vintage market. We’ve embossed that texture on the bags. Crafting is still a huge trend for Summer so I would say Market Street is two trends in one.

Lucy: Peregrine Road is the perfect take on a bucket bag for summer. Some bucket bags can be quite large but this is slim and tall which gives it a modern look. And that drawstring finish adds a very catwalk inspired twist.

The key colours for this season are the ones that ‘pop’ and grab attention. We couldn’t believe how beautiful our leather looked in the Jade colour that’s coming in July. And Sweet Coral adds the wow factor.

We love the heirloom design we’re seeing across many styles this season, can you tell us a bit about how you developed this? 

Alice: We wanted to create a signature design that was recognisably Radley London. So we started with our classic sitting dog emblem and realised we could create something really symmetrical and beautiful with it. We’ve used this across so many designs either as hardware or as a print. We’ve spent over a year developing and perfecting the Heirloom monogram as our new signature.

Zizi: We were inspired by vintage prints that have withstood changing fashions. We see this as a timeless print for us that we’ll bring back season after season. Hence the name - Heirloom. It’s also a play on words with how our jacquard fabric is produced, as it’s woven on a loom.

Liz: It’s becoming an iconic symbol of our brand, and we hope these designs will be passed down to future generations.

Zizi: It’ll be popping up in even more places soon. From part of our store design to an embossed design on our trainers. 

Can you all choose a favourite style from the collection, and tell us why you love it? 

Sally: I love Aster Way Patchwork for the beautiful detailing - like the turned up edges – and the colours work so well together. I’d use it as an everyday bag for coming into the office, and pair it with a white summer dress.

Lucy: I’m excited to get my hands on Green Lane, because I don’t have any suede bags. I’d like a cooler bag that would fit my laptop. I’m really into colour blocking so I’d pair it with a jade pyjama suit I have and some white sandals.

Sophie: My favourite is the Liverpool Street 2.0 Orange. I can just imagine sitting out on a terrace with an Aperol Spritz. I’d go fully fruit themed with my lemon-print dress and earrings that are little pineapples.

Liz: I’d go for the Daily Radley tote. It’s perfect for fitting my shopping, maybe a tennis racquet for Wimbledon season, and all of my summer essentials. I’d keep the outfit simple with jeans and a T-shirt, something I can walk the dog in.

Alice: I choose Apsley Road because I plan to wear it to a Jubilee street party I have coming up. I’d wear it with just about anything from a dress to jeans and a T-shirt, I love the versatility.

Zizi: I adore Cording Street Heirloom for its preppy look, so I’d pair it with a crisp white shirt, jeans and trench coat for brunch with friends. I would wear it everywhere though, it’s so multi-functional. 

Can you tell us about some of the special craftsmanship details in the collection? 

Liz: Liverpool Street 2.0 Pearly  is all hand-studded by our fantastic craftspeople. There’s some incredible detail to it. For instance, the large bag has 162 individual pearl studs, and the cross body has 82. Each stud takes one of our artisans 15 seconds to attach, so it takes over 40 minutes to complete this part of the detailing for the large style alone.

Lucy: Our Radley Stitch purse features amazing handcrafting also, all of that stitching is done by hand.

Zizi: And we can’t forget about all of the fabulous drawings that the team do by hand. All of the fruit and those graphics that you see. This comes from our team’s collective imaginations, which I just love. 

Alice: There’s some really special screen print and appliqué detailing on our Book Street bag, Radley’s Favourite Fruit Tipples. We all enjoy this edition because we love having a Friday evening drink together as a team. 

Side note: The Design Team’s top summer drink picks include: Pimm's, raspberry gin and tonics, and strawberry daquiris.

Tell us about the new sustainable Radley Responsible designs in the collection.

Sally: We designed Sketch Street to be seasonless, with a monochrome palette that can be worn with everything and a little pop of our signature red. You’ll see that square shape trend again that’s very classic.

Zizi: The longevity of the designs matches up with the ethos of Radley Responsible, and all of our designs in general. Not letting anything go to waste. We want these bags to be worn and loved forever.

Sally: We’re happy to say that all of our canvas is now made of 60% recycled material.

Sophie: Our canvas totes - especially the Fresh Produce and Five A Day designs are such a stylish and eco-friendly alternative to single use bags at supermarkets. I always keep one in my handbag.

Sally: If you love the preppy trend, you’ll love our Rope Check print on our always-popular Radley Responsible Finsbury Park collection. 

“We were particularly drawn to the hustle and bustle of markets. From the striped awnings to the goods for sale, you can see this inspiration across the collection.”

What joyful spots across London will you be spending time in this summer? 

Lucy: I haven’t been to Columbia Road Market in a while, so I’m excited to visit there and buy some flowers.

Zizi: I love a rooftop bar, like Pergola. For when we get a few sunny days.

Sally: I’ll be spending time at the Horniman Museum, it’s just five minutes from my house. They have a bandstand where there’s often live music.

Alice: I love taking a picnic up to Primrose Hill. As the sun goes down you have the most amazing view of the City lighting up.

Liz: For me it’s people watching at Covent Garden. There’s so much to see and do around there.

Sophie: I look forward to sitting right here in Green Park at lunch, it’s amazing to have such a vast green space near the office.

Thank you Design Team. We can’t wait to see what’s still to come from you this season. 

Make sure you’re always up to date by keeping an eye on Radley Stories. And you'll always find the latest styles in our New In section.