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The Cambridge Satchel Company Heads North with New Collection

From design to construction, The Cambridge Satchel Company has established itself as a key British heritage brand that simultaneously draws attention at major fashion events. For AW20, the company continues this tradition with its Heading North collection, inspired by northbound adventures and climate. The result emerges through rich, vibrant colourways consisting of Green, Biscuit, and Brandy hues and interplay between smooth leather and textured Harris Tweed.

About The Cambridge Satchel Company  

The satchel is the quintessential do-everything bag. It’s the perfect shape for holding your work supplies yet convenient and casual enough to swing over your shoulder for a quick weekend jaunt somewhere. Early on, founders Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas were inspired by design and practicality of classic British leather school bags and started the company out of their home in Cambridge, England. Featured in their first year in Italian Vogue, their bags turned into an overnight success as a must-have women’s accessory. After visibility through New York Fashion Week and a partnership with Urban Outfitters, the company advanced their profile further by collaborating with Comme des Garcons, resulting in a metallic-finished style, and Vivienne Westwood. A men’s collection launched in 2015, along with a dedicated brick-and-mortar storefront, and a year later, they expanded their product line’s materials by partnering with Brazilian brand Melissa for vegan, non-leather Melflex offerings.

In spite of this expansion, The Cambridge Satchel Company has remained true to its heritage. The company continues to support British trade and craftsmanship, manufacturing all bags in their Syston factory. In line with a greater push for sustainability, bags use 100-percent, ethically sourced real leather. While their product line now encompasses large and small bags for a spectrum of uses, the traditional British satchel remains at the heart of each design. Bags feature an adjustable shoulder strap, allowing for comfort and convenience during wear, and epitomise heritage construction through every detail. You’ll notice it through the sturdy, traditional stitching and the roller and prong, pressed from sheet brass and hand assembled for each bag. Offering double-buckle fastening, each bag is embossed with the company’s logo, and additional customised embossing is an option.

About the Heading North Collection 

Come autumn, no matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on, a trip northward yields a stunning expanse of landscape. It’s a period where you’ll spot the last few moments of verdant green, before the leaves and grass quickly transform into a shade of brown. The branches above will soon be bare as the wind whistles through them. You’ll be more inclined to stay indoors once you feel the chill – unless you absolutely have to go out. At that point, a piping hot cup of tea, with your favourite biscuit is in order, and maybe later, if you’re in the mood, you’ll bring out the brandy. This progression influences Heading North, shaping its array of shades. Racing Green emerges as an archetypal forest hue. The darkest green colour introduced by The Cambridge Satchel Company to date, it’s intended to evoke motor racing, with an underlying classic, nostalgic character and, without any gloss or metallic elements, does indeed look like a mid-century car paint job. Yet, in mirroring particular northern landscapes, it further resembles a deep pine tree green, as if you’re staring out at a dense evergreen forest in the distance.

Brandy and Biscuit are true to their names and reflect the inclination to close your front door and wait for spring to arrive. That doesn’t mean hibernation, however, and is a chance to explore and indulge in delectable, almost conventionally northern flavours. Biscuit, a neutral tan hue, adds a bit of softness, almost like a shortbread you’ve recently bit into. Brandy, meanwhile, adds depth and maturity and, beyond its rich, intense implications, suggests a more rural terrain before winter sets in with the first snowfall. These three shades extend over six silhouettes, constructed out of leather or as a patchwork with tweed. Designed for the workplace, there’s the Music Case – based on a traditional British music bag, this more modern interpretation retains all of the original’s lines while adding a sleeker exterior. Two Batchels – 13 and 15 inch options – add contrasts and texture with panels of Harris Tweed and offer a new spin, both in terms of size and construction, on a relatively traditional bag.

Also, on the smaller side is the Mini Satchel, equipped with magnetic closures. The result falls in the direction of the current crossbody trend without the company losing sight of its brand. In this vein, the Small Portrait Backpack, the company’s best-selling backpack-style bag, gives you a casual option for weekend use and errands when you have only a few items to bring along. More in line with the collection’s theme is the Traveller. In Brandy with tweed paneling, the bag begins with the silhouette of a classic camera bag but couples this exterior style with all the space needed for a full day away from home, be it work or a lengthy drive northward. 


Ivan Yaskey

Philadelphia’s streetwear scenes and working as a copywriter for a Boston-based menswear brand sparked Ivan's passion for fashion and style more than a decade ago.

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