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History of Radley Bags - From Bag Lady to Millionaire

Aug 7, 2008
Seldom does a designer brand come from nowhere to "must have" status in such a short space of time as Radley have.

Radley bags are now the highest selling designer bag in the U.K. and yet the first bag was only created in 1998 !

Ms. Lowell Harder started selling bags on Camden Market, London. She designed her own bags and had them manufactured in India. Her designs caught the attention of the John Lewis retail chain but without financial backing Ms. Harder knew she would struggle to fund the venture. She agreed to let her company be taken over by Tula which then gave her the freedom to concentrate solely on designing bags.

It was at this point that she started designing bags under the Radley name however things did not start well. Retailers didn't appreciate her colourful designs and wanted her to design something more subdued and more commercial. Harder refused and continued to designs that appealed to her own sense of style and fun. The colourful bags soon started attracting a very loyal following. As a self confessed dog lover Lowell started putting cut out images of a Scottish Terrier on her bags and the public loved them! Every Radley bag and accessory created since now has the famous Scottie logo on it.

The dog appears prominently on the Radley signature bag collection and is often part of the scene itself.

The Radley ethos of fun and practicality have earned the brand thousands of fans including celebrities such as Myleene Klass, Natasha Bedingfield and Cameron Diaz.

Radley insist they are not a "fashion led" brand and the only trend they do follow are seasonal colours. The Radley ethos is to make bags not for fashion's sake but for originality's sake and it's a philosophy that has served them well. This passion to be different and original can be clearly seen in the Radley signature bag collection-also known as the Radley picture bag.

The Radley signature bag encompasses the fun and creative vision of it's designer and is one of the most eagerly awaited additions on the "Radley calendar". A new signature bag is brought out twice a year with scenes relating to the seasons i.e. Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. The bags have an enormous amount of detail and make wide use of pastel and muted colours. The Radley "picture" bag is so nicknamed because the bag will have a colourful design on one side of the bag featuring a seasonal scene along with the ubiquitous Scottie dog somewhere in the frame !

The Summer 2007 Radley signature bag depicts a colourful beach scene utilising Radley's love of pastel colours. Generally, Radley's summer bags tend to use brighter colours than the Autumn collection.

Radley bags can be purchased directly from the company's website or from other stores across the UK and also on the internet. It's possible to bag a real bargain on sites such as Ebay where you can find other lovers of Radley products trying to sell their beloved bags in order to make space for the new season's collection !
About the Author
If you're looking to buy a Radley Bag then I have created a website showcasing all the different styles and designs that have come from the Radley House.
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