Yesterday was the first time I left NCM for more than an hour or so; I took a trip to Edinburgh for some meetings in an attempt to ease myself back into some freelance work. Usually I take the train so I can work as I travel, but I decided to drive – for some reason, it let me feel more in control! Naturally, I missed the baby – but I must admit, it did feel good to allow myself some time to do something ‘normal’. Writing (and jogging) keeps me sane, so it feels good to be blogging and making plans again. (And yes, I’ve started running too – planning a post about this soon.)
Anyway, one place I had to visit was the brand new Aspinal of London store on the prestigious George Street. Aspinal is a brand I’ve admired for some time due to its heritage – the collections are classic and timeless. (As someone who doesn’t have the funds to throw away on trend-led luxury items, I tend to look for investment pieces that will stand the test of time.)
I fell even more in love with Aspinal after I was given my very own monogrammed travel set when a concession opened at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh two summers ago; the pieces are beautiful, and the presentation is pure luxury. Aspinal recently sent me a beautiful red purse and it’s so soft and light, and very well considered in design; I have enough space for all my bits and bobs without feeling like I’m carting a brick around with me. Last in my personal collection is a silk scarf; blue and white with a white snowy owl and, even though I’m not really a silk scarf kind of girl, I do love tying them around handbags in the summertime to change the look.
The new store isn’t actually finished yet; it’s still in ‘pop up’ mode while it undergoes renovations to the stunning 19th century building (think sky lights and beautiful cornices). However, I didn’t even realise it was a temporary set up because of the incredibly beautiful array of handbags! It was like a sweetie shop for adults, a delightful pick ‘n’ mix where the leather goods complement one another, working together as entire collections or as standalone statement pieces. Like choosing your sweeties, you can mix them up or stick to your favourite. I met Ann (I adore her and her blog, Style Stamps) at the shop before going for coffee, and we had such fun picking up one handbag before dashing across the shop floor to coo over the next.
But choosing your favourite might a problem… there are too many gorgeous bags! I had a good look around and, although there are indeed lots of very different bags, they’re all very ‘Aspinal’. As can often happen with heritage labels, it can be difficult to stay true to the brand while being relevant for today; however, Aspinal’s designs are wearable and ‘safe’, but the different leathers, hardware finishings and colours make them current – and thus totally covetable. Yes, the timeless element is always present, but there’s a bag to suit every personal style, from androgynous to girly and corporate.
My favourites? The small Lottie bag (top), the. Mini Trunk (middle), the Mayfair bag (second middle) and the Letterbox Saddle bag (bottom). I’m also loving anything with the Pegasus print, a clever design idea that features award winning artist Emma Shipley’s drawings of the mythical creature on Apsinal’s beautiful bags. Undoubtedly, it’s a move to attract the younger market without alienating the loyal Aspinal customer, and is a perfect example of why Aspinal of London is a leader in the luxury lifestyle and leather goods industry.
The first Scottish standalone Aspinal of London store is situated on 43 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2HT.