Redefining Craftsmanship – Campbell Cole

Words by Charlie Britton

It’s clear that the fashion industry in particular is renowned for being a throw-away one, with fast fashion and high street retailers turning out new ranges of clothing every fortnight or so. This comes from the ever-increasing consumer demand for new product, particularly as clothing and accessories can now cost less than your daily coffee.

To our relief, brands are starting to turn a corner and follow in the footsteps of those who create beautifully manufactured, timeless goods that’ll last a lifetime if you take good care of them. Good craftsmanship should always be at the forefront of product design and it’s here, we’re thrilled to introduce Campbell Cole.

campbell cole leather products

It’s true that we develop a connection with pieces we use each and every day and this is something designers and co-founders, Ian and Felicity understand phenomenally well and represent through their products. Inspired by simple timeless design, Campbell Cole produces a fantastic range of leather goods, which are of course intended to be used every day. From key wraps and card wallets, to pouches, bags and belts, Campbell Cole design and create beautiful everyday essentials for both men and women.

The craftsmanship in these products is immediately evident, with the design, construction and raw material being well considered at every respective stage of development. The result is a strong and beautiful end product and each new collection clearly represents the growth this brand continues to make.

campbell cole leather products

We wanted to know a little more about Campbell Cole, so we spoke with Ian and Felicity and went through a handful of questions we had. It was a great opportunity to get to know the brains behind Campbell Cole a little better and understand the brand from their point of view;

Q : When did Campbell Cole start and what was the foundation for the brand?

Felicity and I started Campbell Cole in 2011.

After a number of years working as designers for other people, we wanted to create something meaningful for ourselves that represented our personal values and beliefs. Neither of us are big consumers of stuff. We like beautiful things that have been made to be used and loved for a long time and believe completely in buying less but better. I know this sounds like a bit of a cliché but it’s super important to us – there’s so much stuff being made with so little care and consideration – it doesn’t seem sustainable to carry on producing rubbish that’s going to wind up in landfill within a matter of weeks. We are by no means perfect in everything we do, but as conscientious designers we feel it’s important to do the best we can.

Q: What inspires you when designing products and why?

We create products that we would like to own and use ourselves. The details, shapes, colours, patterns and so on are inspired by various different things that interest us.

The Simple Coin Pouch with lanyard is probably quite a good example of this – I wanted a small zip pouch for holding a few essentials when out on my bike – couple of cards, coins, folded notes and a house key. Carrying the pouch with a lanyard works really well if you don’t have secure pockets. A couple of years ago, Felicity and I got quite obsessed with watching films about climbing in Yosemite in the 60’s which led to our use of paracord and the knot details. Our colour palette and emboss details are inspired by the paintings of Le Corbusier.

campbell cole leather pouches

Q: What are the biggest challenges you’ve tackled with Campbell Cole?

There’s been too many to mention! But probably starting a business with no experience of running a business. Everything we have learnt, from finding reliable factories and suppliers, through to doing our accounts, we have figured out from scratch. I think that’s also what makes it exciting – learning so much, and beginning to feel in control of it – particularly now as the business is growing. It’s all starting to make sense.

Q: How has Instagram had an impact on the brand?

Instagram has been great for Campbell Cole. We are not really big ones for words so using a platform that allows us to communicate our taste and aesthetic through images is perfect for us. I’m not sure where we’d be without it really – probably still trying to figure out the point of Twitter! Instagram has also been great for meeting people. There are so many like-minded people out there doing amazing things… many of the people we have met and become good friends with over these last few years have come through Instagram. I like how informal it is too – nice and friendly.

Q: What’s next for Campbell Cole?

Next up is our new Simple Zip Corner Wallet, which we are launching at Design Junction in September.

We’re attending Design Junction in September, so we’re excited for the new release and look forward to seeing what else Campbell Cole has to offer. One thing we know for sure is here at Clothes Make The Man, we’re in strong agreement that this is one of the best accessory and leather brands we’ve come across to date. If you’re looking for a new wallet or belt gents, head on over to Campbell Cole and check out their range. We guarantee you wont be disappointed.


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