Q&A: Julie Deane, founder and CEO, The Cambridge Satchel Company

Cambridge Satchel

Returning to Pitti to show for the first time since 2013, The Cambridge Satchel company has expanded its canvas bag offer for SS20 in this its 10th anniversary year. We caught up with founder and CEO, Julie Deane, for a quick brand update.

Showing at Pitti for the first time in six years, is there now a new focus on men’s styles?

We have carefully put together a line of canvas and leather products for our men’s range, so, yes, there’s now a very strong focus on our men’s offer, and that’s why we chose to launch the SS20 collection at Pitti this time around. Having previously shown at Pitti back in 2013, we believed this world-renowned show was a great platform to launch our strongest men’s collection yet, and to celebrate our 10th birthday year.

Why does the new canvas bag story consist of and what are the key styles?

Our core satchel line is unisex, however we wanted to further develop the variety of bags in our dedicated men’s collection. Our canvas backpack first launched in 2016 and was well received by our male customers, so it has been a natural move to further develop this collection. A soft construction material such as canvas is exceptionally versatile and lends itself well to our CSC style. Our key styles for SS20 will be the canvas tote bags and our new pebbled grain leather music cases, which had their debut at Pitti. We believe the target market is unisex, that is the charm of CSC, however it is important for us to reach out to our male audience and to ensure we have a strong attractive collection for them to choose from.

Cambridge Satchel

What else are you doing in celebration of the 10th anniversary year?

Firstly, we opened our brand new London store in Seven Dials, the same area where we opened our very first store in 2013. I guess you could call it a homecoming party. We’ve also launched three new bag designs, firstly ‘The Emily’ – named after my daughter Emily who inspired the brand’s creation in the first place. Then there’s ‘The Doctor’s Bag’, which has been six years in the making and I’m so proud to finally launch this product. Lastly there’s ‘The Sophie’, named after my dear friend, Sophie Ellis Bextor, who’s supported the brand since day one. We are also aware of the role Cambridge Satchel plays in terms of sustainability and reducing waste. Therefore, we have developed popular key charms that minimise wastage from our leather bags.

Are there plans for more UK retail stores going forward?

Yes! We are looking to expand further across the UK, with two new stores forecasted to open within the next 24 months.