How it all Began
Hello, We're The Cambridge Satchel Company
Our very first satchel was inspired by traditional British, leather school bags from years gone by. We still make satchels but our collection now includes large and small bags and accessories in lots of sizes and styles with many inspired by bags from the past.
Julie Deane and her mother Freda start The Cambridge Satchel Company at their kitchen table in Cambridge with a budget of only £600 and one goal - to make enough money to send Julie's children to a better school.The company is an instant hit with the bags featuring in Italian Vogue in its first year.
Creating A Stir
Production climbs from three bags a week to a hundred. Julie's leather satchels start to attract (somewhat unexpected but very exciting) attention from a wider audience. The satchels are featured in The Guardian Christmas Gift Guide and Julie is approached by Urban Outfitters about stocking the bags in its stores.
Spotted On The Frow
Some of the world's top fashion bloggers are spotted carrying their bright satchels in the front row at New York Fashion Week and The New York Times calls the brand's fluoro satchel 'the Brit IT bag'. The Cambridge Satchel Company embarks on its first collaboration with Japanese fashion label Comme des Garcons creating metallic-finish versions of the satchels with handbag-inspired straps.
Julie takes a huge leap of faith and decides to take control of production. The Cambridge Satchel Company opens its own workshop just outside Leicester in Great Britain to meet the huge customer demand for its bags. British fashion icon & TV presenter Alexa Chung is spotted carrying the 11” Classic Satchel in Navy – this bag is still one of our best sellers today!
The Google Ad
Julie's story inspires the team at Google and she is selected to star in its Chrome TV ad series 'The Web Is What You Make Of It', receiving over six million views. The Cambridge Satchel Company (and Julie) quickly become household names. Winning an award from Red Magazine in the UK, Julie and Freda are invited to a reception at No 10 Downing Street (the first visit of many!).
All Things Great And British
The launch of one of the brand's most exciting collaborations to date - with British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The brand makes its first move in to bricks and mortar with two stores - one in Cambridge and another in London. There is much to celebrate as Julie is invited to Buckingham Palace to collect The Queen's Award for International Trade from Her Majesty herself, Queen Elizabeth II and is then invited on a delegation with Prime Minister David Cameron to China.
The Highest Honour
The Cambridge Satchel Company opens a flagship store in London's Covent Garden to add to its collection, followed by a store in Scotland. It is announced that Julie is to be awarded an OBE for her services to entrepreneurship and she receives her medal from Prince Charles a few months later.
The Men's Collection
The brand launches a Men's collection and transforms its first ever store into a Men's store to house the new products. Julie is asked by the Prime Minister to conduct an independent review on self-employment in the UK, drawing on her own experiences. She spends the next seven months collating her research and writing the report which is published early in 2016. Celebrities continue to support the brand with Taylor Swift spotted on several occasions with her bag in New York.
The First Non-Leather Satchel
Partnering with Brazilian super brand, Melissa, The Cambridge Satchel Company launches a collection of non-leather, vegan-friendly satchels designed in Melissa's iconic Melflex (PVC) material in an array of bright, bold colours. Later, at Paris Fashion Week, singer Lady Gaga is spotted carrying not one, but two bags from The Cambridge Satchel Company in one week Julie is appointed Entrepreneur in Residence at the British Library.
Wheel-ie Exciting Already!
We worked with Brompton Bicycle, the British manufacturer of the iconic folding bike to launch our first collection of Brompton exclusive satchels which sold out in record time. In 2018 we will launch our second collection.
New products a-go-go!
2018 has been a fantastic year for new designs and fresh bold colours, with the launch of The Daisy in April – inspired by the classic doctors bag of the 1960’s. Furthermore, to celebrate our forthcoming 10th birthday in December, we have named our brand-new tote bag after the young woman who inspired The Cambridge Satchel Company, Emily.
The Doctor will see you now
This year we launched the Doctors Bag, a bag that has taken 6 years to develop and perfect as part of our new premium collection, CAMBRIDGE. The Doctors Bag features a distinctive frame closure that allows you to see all your contents in a single glance, with calf grain leather and our first fully lined bag with a soft cotton twill lining. The Doctors Bag has featured in VOGUE and sold out within its first week of release. Make an appointment with the Doctor...Shop the doctors bag