40 New Bond Street, London

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This will be my only non-people post of the season, and I’m happy to be giving it to Smythson of Bond Street. A little backstory/disclaimer: when I attended London Fashion Week for the first time three seasons ago, I was a relative absolute nobody in the fashion world. Lord Ashbury had some respectable viewership, but let’s face it, nobody in London knew who I was. I registered at Fashion Week in hopes that it would make receiving show invitations a bit easier. As it turned out, I received one runway invite and a few presentation invites. But the day before I arrived, I received a call from my London hosts Ashley and Dave that two envelopes had arrived for me by bicycle courier. The invitation: Smythson’s 125th anniversary relaunch party. According to several fashion publications, it was one of the best (and most exclusive) parties of the season. I spent the remainder of the spring both shocked and in awe that lil’ ol’ Lord Ashbury would receive such a shiny token. I can only imagine that someone affiliated with the brand saw this blog and were pleased with my work. So naturally, when I saw that Smythson would be showing a new line for the Spring/Summer 2014 season, I wanted to return the love by covering the presentation. They kindly obliged.

Smythson is a high-end British brand that, to the best of my knowledge, is well-respected in the UK and Europe, but still looking to break mainstream in the States. You could say that it’s the Robbie Williams of handbags (to my American readers, this is the highest form of flattery really). This season they’ve broken with tradition by appointing their first-ever Design Director, Rory O’Hanlon. O’Hanlon is best known for inspiring the Celine and Coach bags that cause women all over the world to lose their budgeting sensibilities altogether. His vision? The Panama Legacy collection, a line of journals and tiny books with leather covers that fit snuggly into your bag. “The Panama books are remarkable because they’re extremely flexible,” a rep for the brand informed me.\. “You can virtually roll them up and they’ll unfold with ease without creasing.” The Panama diary has been a high-end staple for over 100 years, but O’Hanlon and Smythson are hoping to reintroduce it to a new generation of fashionistas. I’m personally impressed that their new colour palate is lock-step with the season, and can envision it starting out as a no-brainer gift for those who seem to already have it all.

Enjoy.

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