INTERVIEW WITH STRATHBERRY FOUNDER LEEANNE HUNDLEBY
In celebration of Strathberry opening its first Edinburgh flagship store on Multrees Walk, The Balmoral has partnered with the contemporary Scottish designer this festive season to celebrate the best of homegrown luxury. In an exclusive interview, Strathberry founder Leeanne Hundleby reveals how the brand pays respect to Scottish culture while staying relevant.
Tell us about Strathberry, how did it begin and where did the name come from?
“The inspiration behind Strathberry came while we were travelling with our four kids through the mountain regions of Southern Spain, where we stumbled across stunning villages with generations of expertise and craftsmanship in working with leather. We were absolutely amazed by the skills and attention to detail that went into the production of every bag. My husband Guy and I have always had a great passion for beautiful handcrafted leather goods and design. It was such a fantastic experience as a family and inspired us to set up Strathberry not long after, when we eventually returned to the UK. We loved the concept of a Scottish brand with an International outlook. It was the start of a very exciting journey!
With the name Strathberry, we really wanted to honour our Scottish roots and named the brand after the word Strath, meaning wide river valley in Scots. In the past, berries were used to dye the traditional Scottish fabric and materials. From here the name “Strathberry” was born!”
Harper’s Bazaar named you as one of the most exciting brands to watch, how does this feel and what does Strathberry have planned for winter 2020?
That was a great moment! I’m a big fan and an avid Harper’s reader, so that felt especially exciting for me. Over the years, we’ve been delighted by the amazing support and recognition we have received from media all over the world.
This winter, we are introducing a new gorgeous cashmere range. It’s handmade in the Scottish borders, with some beautiful luxury pieces that we hope our customers will truly love. A great investment and perfect for the cold Scottish winter!
Tell us about the craftsmanship and what makes Strathberry stand out in the market?
Creativity and quality are at the very core of Strathberry. There are not many luxury brands offering the same level of considered design, attention to detail and quality, at our price points. We simply do not cut corners and we love the fact that we are able to offer customers a product so carefully designed and beautifully made. All Strathberry bags are instantly recognisable with a signature metal bar and a minimalist, timeless silhouette.
Strathberry has an increased international following, who might we have seen carrying your bags?
We have been so lucky to be supported by amazing and powerful women such as HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, HRH the Duchess of Sussex, Lady Gaga, Margot Robbie, Alessandra Ambrosio, Coco Rocha and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who have all carried Strathberry designs. Internationally known Scottish actresses Rose Leslie and Karen Gillan have also worn our brand on various occasions. Just recently, Katie Holmes was spotted on three different outings in NY with our Lana Midi. It has been simply amazing to receive this level of support and recognition by such brilliant women.
What are your top tips for Christmas shopping this year?
With the current climate, and the challenging year we’ve all been through, it has become even more important to support small independent businesses and shop locally. I am a very conscious shopper and l am planning to treat my loved ones to something sustainably made - and timeless - that can be cherished year after year.
For Christmas, we have launched a lovely line of embossed croc bags along with dainty jewellery boxes that can be personalised for a unique touch. They will make for a lovely Christmas present!
What can we expect from the new Strathberry store on Multrees Walk in Edinburgh?
We are incredibly proud to be opening a new flagship store in our hometown and in such a renowned and beautiful location in Edinburgh. It feels like such a special way to celebrate our Scottish roots and bring a touch of Strathberry to our beautiful city. Expect exclusive launches, unique events and, of course, the best luxury shopping experience from our amazing team on site! We simply can’t wait to connect with our customers here in Edinburgh.
The east end of Edinburgh’s city centre is quickly becoming the go-to destination for luxury, are you proud to be part of that growth?
We definitely are! Edinburgh is such a unique city and Multrees Walk is undoubtedly the go-to destination for luxury shopping. The East End is quickly becoming more and more vibrant with some amazing shops, restaurants and hotels opening in this incredible historical setting, surrounded by charming Georgian architecture. We are delighted to be a part of it.