brands

The next step for DeMellier bags: Apple ‘leather’



Demellier New York tote small grained leather

An interesting update in WWD on handbag brand, DeMellier*. On track to become a $50 million business, the article puts the brand’s success down to a number of factors with a focus on price point and ethics.

I first wrote about DeMellier in 2014 (it was launched under a different name and not five years ago, despite what WWD says). And it’s true – price, problem-solving design and ethics were at its core from the get-go. Its founder Mireia Llusia-Lindh spotted a niche for stylish office bags that were practical (read laptop-friendly) and way below the luxury price point of Celine and co, while giving off an air of mid-2010s stealth-luxe. DeMellier was also early in the purpose marketing era, donating vaccines and medical treatments to children in need for every bag sold. And quality manufacturing was another win – bags are produced in ethical European factories, not fast fashion sweatshops.

Demellier Lisbon bag

Over time, the designs of the bags have evolved. Not strictly for corporate types, they now include smaller fashion bags, like the Nano Montreal* carried by Kate Middleton (an early brand endorser) and my current fave, the beach-friendly Santorini* (below). Which is lucky, as the diversity of design and online business model helped DeMellier weather the Covid storm as people adjusted to stay-at-home lifestyles, replacing laptop bags with phone pouches and micro bags.

Demellia raffia beach bag

While the brand has dipped a toe in clothing with a knitwear capsule*, and customers have requested shoes, Llusia-Lindh is in no hurry to expand. Instead, next steps are clearly focused on evolving its leather use. At the moment, bags are made from leathers that are a by-product of the food industry. But DeMellier is looking at an apple-based ‘leather’, responding to the demand for alt-leather materials such as the mushroom-derived ‘unleather’, Mylo. Watch this space…

NOW CLICK BELOW TO SHOP THE POST (I MAY EARN A COMMISSION ON THE BASKET VALUE OF ITEMS BOUGHT*)…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES:  DeMellier SS22
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to buy my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare



On my radar: Outsiders Store



Outsiders Store Coal Drops Yard

I was wondering why no-one had invented a stylish multi-brand gorpcore store, then I realised – they have. While visiting the Debby Byford roller skating exhibition in Coal Drops Yard, I discovered Outsiders Store, a very cool curation of performance outerwear, practical headgear, Rotato socks, Gramicci rope sandals, Snow Peak camping kit, plus a variety of modern outdoorism books and magazines like Les Others and Go Out.

Outsiders Store magazines

Launched in 2017, with stores in Liverpool and London, Outsiders Store is led by general manager Nicholas Wyles and buyer Josh Rothery under the umbrella of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. With a non activity-specific lifestyle approach, it straddles the sweet spot between durable essentials and design desirables with style and finesse. As one wag on a menswear forum astutely pointed out, “there’s enough crampons and energy bars in there to make you feel you’re buying ‘kit’ and not just more clothes.”

Cotopaxi

Key to the appeal is the buying mix. The team are inspired by REI in the States and Globetrotter in Germany as well as small scale Japanese operations. With product for men and women, the gender neutrality of gorpcore speaks to the move against hyper-femininity in fashion. (Just consider it the new ‘athleisure’.) When you’re on a trail walk or scaling a mountain, you want clothes that protect you from the elements, not accentuate your curves. However, increasingly, the buyers are mindful that their lifestyle customers want hybrid products that work in cities as well as in camp sites. Hence the mix of versatile pieces by Patagonia and Carhartt WIP alongside Cotopaxi (upcycled polyester bags and jackets in colour configurations chosen by the makers), Montbell (everyday performance-wear with a ‘function is beauty’ philosophy) and Goldwin (Japanese technical and ski wear).

Read more here and here.
Outsiders Store Chaco sandals

CORRECTION: This post has been updated. Outsiders Store is not led by Dave Whitlaw as previously stated.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Outsiders Store x 2; Cotopaxi; Chaco
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to buy my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare



Business of beauty: Ami Colé for melanin-rich skinimalists



Ami Cole Skin-enhancing Tint

New on my radar: Ami Colé. This beauty brand caught my eye a few weeks ago on Violet Grey*, first for its clean branding and packaging, followed by the subtly enhancing products – tinted moisturisers*, barely-there highlighter* and non-ashy loose powders in a spectrum of inclusive shades.

Founded by New Yorker Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye, it’s a far cry from the matte full coverage and ‘baked’ concealer aesthetic of recent years and sits somewhere between Glossier’s barely-there look and the gentle 90s glamour of Naomi Campbell (or what TikTok calls ‘UK Black Girl Make-up‘. (more…)



Old Burberry



The Queen wearing Burberry at Windsor Great Park in 1985 by Tim Graham via Vogue

Having an #oldburberry moment and thinking about the signature check in a classic old money outdoorsy context.

Kinda nailed by this old school photo of The Queen at Windsor Great Park in 1985 by Tim Graham. This was in the days when Burberry was more of a traditional British brand rather than a luxury brand. Still quietly well regarded, but not ‘fashion’ and definitely not ‘hype’. (more…)