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Armed with just a few hundred pounds and a "sketchy" knowledge of fashion — her words, not ours — Julie Deane, the brains behind the Cambridge Satchel Company, created an accidental global mega-trend. What started as a kitchen-table business to pay her daughter’s school fees has transformed itself into a multimillion-pound business — with a little help from her mum, kids, and boxer dog, Rupert.
Her satchels now take up prime shelf space in some of the world's more coveted shopping destinations — from Harrods to Selfridges to Bloomingdale's. And, this London Fashion Week, Deane will launch a stand-alone store in Covent Garden following the success of her pre-Christmas pop-up. With her designs, she’s attracted scores of A-list and fashion-blogger fans. In fact, it feels like just about every self-respecting hipster has a Cambridge Satchel Co. bag lurking somewhere in their closet.
Looking back, it’s pretty safe to say that Julie’s moved up a couple of notches from her kitchen table. It's always great to see how a brand has to come to be — in all its so-chic glory. Now, let's enjoy the major fruits of Deane's labor: We had the pleasure of meeting this lovely lady at her HQ, tucked away in a leafy corner just outside of Cambridge — and, trust us, it didn't disappoint.
Photographs by Eva K. Salvi