Creating a classic

Ellie Backpack

Throughout my career, I’ve worked on many beautiful photoshoots. Back in the days when I was living and working in London, I worked with Ellie Grace Cumming – an amazing stylist who really taught me everything about styling a great campaign shoot. She taught me that casting the perfect model was not about looking for the most beautiful; it is about finding a model whose beauty won’t detract from the product – in my case, bag – being advertised.

So, this is how Ellie, who is also the fashion editor of Another Man magazine, came into my life – through our work and our shared passion for fashion. She’s quite rock and roll herself and she wears a lot of black (she’s a different, more peculiar type of #bbgirl). One day when we were working together, she arrived to the shoot wearing a very cool backpack and I was instantly inspired. We started designing a backpack together straight away… hence the name of the Ellie Backpack.

The buckle embellishment on the Ellie Backpack was actually born long before the idea of the bag. I had been thinking about adding a belt line to my collections (I’m still working on this idea – stay tuned!) and as soon as I saw Ellie’s backpack, I just knew that when I designed my own it would be the perfect match for it. It was like love at first sight.

When I designed the buckle, I was very much intrigued and inspired by the art of Escher – his geometry of uneasiness. I was fascinated by the way he would explore the properties and possibilities of tessellation using geometric grids as the basis of his sketches. You can see the correlation in the enamel detailing of the buckle. Creating for me goes a lot deeper than just the aesthetics of something. I find the process therapeutic and helming. I like to transfer these feelings to my customers – I want them to feel that same relief when wearing my creations.

Speaking of wearing my creations, when I’m in Italy – on those cold and icy days looking after my summer productions way ahead of the season – I like to style myself in cosy basics, and the Ellie Backpack is the perfect piece to carry everything around with me. It’s comfortable, practical yet sophisticated and works well with those pieces that never go out of style, like my Stella McCartney flared wool trousers, my go-to Majestic boat neck sailor top and my jean jacket with sweater details. This is actually one of my comforters – and one of my all-time favourite pieces in my wardrobe.

All these pieces reflect the kind of fashion I would like to bring to life: reasonless, comfortable, never too basic and with a decisive twist! The beauty of Ellie (who is available in a feminine, soft dusky pink or classic black) is that she can be whoever you want her to be: your cool carry-all on a busy day on the road; a grown-up rucksack to bring to a luxe lunch or decadent dinner or a rock and roll accessory that gives any outfit an instant edge – just like the Ellie who inspired me.