Culture, Fashion, Lifestyle

Radley Bags: The rise of a British brand.

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Humanity Hallows Issue 5 Out Now
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By Andrew Deyes
Image: Pinterest


Radley was founded in 1998 by Lowell Harder and, with its passion for colour and luxurious leathers, has fast become one of the must have bag brands for women of all ages. Over the following years, women who had the confidence to be playful with design and allow the humble Scottie dog into their hearts turned Radley into a British institution.

In 2012, Radley opened their flagship store in London before following this with multiple standalone stores around the United Kingdom. Having strong ethical values is important for Radley and the team work closely with the British Heart Foundation, having collaborated with them on the production of many pieces.

The signature of the Radley brand is the Scottie dog. In an interview with Drapers magazine, Lowell Harder said that they had played around with different objects before they hung the dog on the bag and people loved it. Thus the dog’s journey began. By the end of 2001, as customer interest gained momentum, the Scottie became a permanent feature on most of the Radley range. In 2010, a new design team implemented a new version of the dog logo which received negative feedback from hardcore Radley fans and, in 2012, the original Scottie was reinstated which took Radley back to what the brand had been built upon. The dog was meant to look fun and cute which is what the label represents.

Humanity Hallows looked at three bags which deliver on different Radley styles, picking out a sensible choice, for work days, a quirky choice, for play days, and a colourful choice, for those days when you want to look a little brighter:


The Sensible Choice

The sensible choice is a bag that can be used everyday for work and play. This bag is reasonably priced and looks good with black trousers or a cocktail dress.

The Liverpool Street Radley Grab Bag
£169

This bag is the perfect middle ground in the Radley range. In the burgundy colour it takes you away from the traditional black and navy that is synonymous with work and leisure. The perfect bag that will keep the busy lady who lunches organised and looking stylish.


 The Quirky Choice

The quirky choice is a bag that dares to be different and represents the quirky yet cute nature of the brand.

Love me, Love my dog Compartment Tote
£99

The perfect bag for someone who does not want the regular array of colours and is willing to go bold or go home. A large bag that is easy to look after with the wipe down oilskin tote, this is the perfect companion for someone who wants something that shouts Radley but that can also be used on a daily basis.


 The Colourful Choice

The colourful choice is a bag that lives by Radley’s core ethos of being colourful and fun. This bag must also be functional.


De Beauvoir Large Ziptop Tote
£199

With the colour being described as ‘Lollipop’, this bag is colourful yet conservative and perfect for the lady who wants something that is a little different and lives by Radley’s ethos of being cute and fun. With a colourful typography keyring to finish the bag, it remains a sleek and stylish tote for every occasion.

The Radley brand will continue to grow and is cementing itself as one of the Britain’s fashion greats alongside the likes of Lulu Guinness and The Cambridge Satchel Company. What will Radley do next? Only time will tell.

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Andrew Deyes

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