In the midst or turbulent times for the British economy (and the recent vote for Britain to leave the EU) one British entrepreneur has a unique story to tell. Mary Jardine’s very British handbag company, is literally the newest luxury handbag star. Jardine of London was inspired by a star-shaped piece of jewelry that is beloved by Queen Elizabeth. A family heirloom, the Jardine Star Brooch, which was left to the Queen in 1981, inspired Mary Jardine to start consumer British luxury handbag brand, Jardine of London. It’s a story worthy of Downton Abbey. The beautiful brooch has been incorporated into the Jardine of London logo and will into the bags themselves.
Queen Elizabeth II wears the Jardine brooch. The brooch has eight points and a diamond is placed on a knife-wire between each point.
Like the Jardine Star Brooch, the Jardine handbags are elegant and beautiful. Mary Jardine always loved handbags. Her design is based on the bag she once used to carry music when she was a child, which had a flap over top. Her idea was to recreate the stylish foldover top, but make it easy to carry and close. Details on the bag include the music bar type metal bar under the handbag flap. (The 2016 version of the bag features an embossed Jardine star.)
The first sample was made in a factory in Walsall that also made equestrian wear. That first production of Jardine bags sold quickly, and production has now moved to new factories. With demand increasing, Ms.Jardine’s customers now include celebrities Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Emma Watson, Rosamund Pike and Naomi Watts.
As demand increases, Ms. Jardine is determined keep the quality of the bags top-notch and made in Britain. All elements of the bags are sourced in Britain, that includes the linings, hardware and leather. The original bags were soft calf leather, but the new bags are made from goat skin. “To the untrained eye, it’s a subtle difference,” notes Ms. Jardine. “However, goat skin is lighter in weight , more water resistant and over time the bags with achieve a deeper patina.” In spite of the quality improvements, the cost to consumer will stay the same. Even more exciting, the next generation of the bags will feature a little Jardine Star on them.
The 2016 edition of the Jardine of London Handbag features an embossed Jardine Star Brooch on the flap.
Jardine of London bags are an investment piece, priced at £595/$903 US for the small cross-body bag (accommodates an iPad) and £695/$ 1,055 US for the large tote (accommodates a laptop.) While pricey, the bags are less than Mulberry and other luxury brands (Ferragamo, Chanel and Louis Vuitton to name a few.)
The bags come in a variety of stylish colors and sizes. The big bag comes in four colors: black, taupe, navy, and raspberry, The smaller bag comes in all those colors, plus in a cream. The bags can be ordered via the Jardine of London website with plans to expand to brick and mortar retailers.
It may be only a matter of time before we spot a Jardine of London handbag on the arm of the Duchess of Cambridge. Move over Mulberry, there’s a new British handbag star.