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Aspinal of London

Inside Aspinal Of London

A British brand that counts everyone from Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to Angela Scanlon as fans, Aspinal of London can be relied upon for accessories that work as hard as they look good. We caught up with Creative Director Mariya Dykalo to discover the secret to the brand’s success.

On the brand’s heritage-inspired style...

Aspinal of London is all about English elegance and refinement. Our story is best explained via the logo, which has a very old and traditional feel; it’s taken from Aspinal of London founder Ian Burton’s previous business, when he was working with some of the biggest museums around the world providing audio guides. Having established good relationships with museums including the National Gallery and the Louvre, he branched out to produce beautiful stationery for the museum shops. All handmade in England, the books and journals proved very popular, so when he sold the audio guides business he set up Aspinal of London and retained the heritage-inspired logo. The shield shape is a symbol of protection, and it has castle-like crenellations running along the top – a reference to the proverb, 'an Englishman’s home is his castle' – and then a quill on the face.

“Whenever I design something, I always like to personally test it; it’s a part of my job that I love.”

On what sets British brands apart...

British style is classic and elegant, and it celebrates craftsmanship, but it also has that London edge. It’s a little bit eccentric. I think that British brands are often the bravest but they always maintain that elegance. That’s what we’re trying to achieve at Aspinal of London, too. I think everyone knows us for our classic, quite traditional designs but we also like to play with bright colours and newness.

On the importance of quality...

We always try to deliver the best quality; all of our products are made in the UK and Europe. I believe that our customers appreciate the quality and buy our pieces in the knowledge that it’s for life, not just for a season.

On keeping up with technology...

Practicality is important. Luxury without innovation is dead, so we’re always thinking about how we can make our designs work harder. We can’t live without technology and it’s always moving forwards, so we’re including tech packs in handbags and designing products for all the various gadgets on the market.

On personally trialling her designs...

Whenever I design something, I always like to personally test it; it’s a part of my job that I love. I have two children and I travel a lot, so by trialling my bags in real life I find out what needs to be improved, what’s missing and what’s not quite right.

On the Aspinal of London bag she can’t live without...

It would have to be the Marylebone. It’s very practical, it has plenty of pockets, a tech pack and a cross body strap, so it’s great for travelling. What’s great is that you can also buy extra straps in different colours and interchange them to create your own unique bag.

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