Craft & Design
Radley London Design Team on Our Winter Collection
29 November 2022
“It’s a breath of fresh air, literally.” We love this description of our Winter collection by the people that know it best – our fantastic Design Team. We joined some of them in their Studio, the creative hub of our Mayfair office, to discuss the season’s biggest trends and which bag they see as their best friend.
What was your inspiration for this collection?
Lucy: It all started with getting outdoors in our home city of London. We were inspired by the way the world around us changes in wintertime. Part of our job is to anticipate the biggest upcoming trends and to put our Radley London spin on them, we found the two were matching up perfectly.
We loved the idea of a resurgence of hiking and utility details – you'll see this on bags like Garrick Street. With the multiple pockets and use of dog clips.
Sophie: We think of it as a luxury take on hiking. The quilting part of the trend especially. We loved this texture for the winter months, so you’ll see it on Pockets 2.0, Mill Bay, and more. You can imagine taking this bag on a hike across Hampstead Heath, or out to a dressy brunch. This trend is so versatile.
Lucy: You’ll see a real transition across the months for Winter. November feels very active, December takes a classic direction during what we know is a hectic month for everyone, and then January is incredibly serene. We were inspired by bodies of water for the colours and shapes of the collection.
Zizi: You’ll spot lots of little details that came from us looking at London from different perspectives. Take a close look at Liverpool Street 2.0 Patchwork and you’ll see how the contouring lines are almost like lines on a map.
What are some of the trends you think everyone needs to know about this season?
Lucy: Looking ahead to 2023 and our January Edit, the Tranquil Blue shade is going to be a major focus. It’s the calming blue we all need at that time of year, so refreshing.
Sophie: I love that Cedar (a key colour for November) is such an easy colour to wear. We’ve had fun this season with pops of colour as well, like the orange handles on Hillgate Place Faux Snake, and in January you’ll see a really fun new print that combines Tranquil Blue with deep Verdigris, an amazing combination.
Zizi: Textures are so important every winter, and this year’s biggest trends are really exciting ones. You’ve got incredible croc and snake-effect leathers on Hillgate Place in November. For December, aka party season. you’ve got tactile leopard effect on Adie Road and Liverpool Street 2.0. Plus the quilting throughout that we mentioned before.
The December pack feels timeless and classic, with a lot of black and white as well as animal print. What inspired this aesthetic?
Liz: We wanted to create a step change for this month. We’re always thinking about what our customers will be doing at the time a collection we’re designing is launched. December is so busy we wanted to create versatile handbags to go from a long day in the office to a festive dinner with friends. We felt bags like our Mill Bay and Dukes Place Stripe Quilt were those BFFs you’ll always want by your side.
Lucy: We introduced Witham Road this season, the style we started referring to as ‘the dumpling’ among ourselves. You’ll spot this again in December in a chic colour choice.
Sophie: You might not think it’s a very complicated shape, but Witham Road took us a really long time to perfect. We worked closely with our craftspeople to get the rounded shape we imagined made into reality.
Lucy: And we’re introducing an exciting new bag. Academia Way is our all-singing, all-dancing work bag. The functionality inside is so exciting.
“A good handbag is with you through all stages of life, so it does become like a best friend.”
We love hearing about how the bags come to life from your designs, what other craftsmanship stories can you tell us from this season?
Lucy: Bedford Row is one of my favourite new styles, and we took our time to get it just right. We wanted to make sure it was the perfect size, and that we got the placement of the contrasting leathers bang on. And of course the hand-finished stab stitching along the top. The single top handle is a perfect vintage-inspired touch.
What’s new for our sustainable collection, Radley Responsible?
Liz: Our Checked Dog print is back on Finsbury Park in very festive colours for the winter season. And we’re launching Radley 24/7, if you’re wondering where the name came from it’s because these bags are really perfect to go anywhere and do anything. We designed them to be super easy to fold flat and pack with anything from your shopping to your gym gear.
How have you updated our hero bags for the new season?
Zizi: We had a lot of fun with the animal prints and textures we mentioned earlier. We love showing our customers an updated version of their favourites every season. If you’re a Hillgate Place fan you could go all out with the Faux Snake version, or subtle with Hillgate Place Faux Croc which just features the croc-effect leather at the sides and the trim.
What is the handbag you’d all choose to be by your side this winter, and where would you wear it?
Liz: I have to go for Hay’s Mews Colour Block . It’s a great all-rounder. It has the space and the size, and you can dress it up or down. I’ll be taking it to our work Christmas party.
Alice: I’m going for Cranwell Close in Black (coming in January). I like a lot of space to fit everything I could need, perfect to start a busy new year.
Sophie: For me it’s the Garrick St Geo Quilt. It’s quite a fashion shape and has loads of pockets to keep me organised. I’ll be carrying it for all my long walks.
Lucy: I have so many favourites, but I’ll choose the Hillgate Place cross body in Dark Oak. It will be perfect for my commute, so I can fit a book and my lunch. If I can be cheeky and pick two, I also love the Mill Bay Stripe Quilt (coming in December), such a cool monochrome look to go with all my bright party outfits.
Zizi: I’ll be carrying Bedford Row for meeting up with friends over the season. I love the on-trend top handle.
And finally, why do you think handbags are a woman’s best friend? What features make a handbag a BFF?
Sophie: A good handbag is with you through all stages of life, so it does become like a best friend.
Lucy: And you carry everything you need in it throughout the day and night, so it's invaluable. I love that everyone has their different essentials they need to carry in their bags.
Zizi: A bag needs to be so well crafted to stand the test of time, that’s what makes it a real BFF to me.
We couldn’t agree more, thank you Design Team. We’ve loved hearing about how this Winter collection came to life.