In today’s era of instant gratification it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out. Particularly in the fashion world. Just a quick glance on social media and you’ll notice that every week sees the launch of a new brand, vying to be better than it’s predecessors. Often the hook is to recruit as many celebrity “fans” as possible whilst pricing out the closest competition. So, for a new independent luxury brand where the focus isn’t on making a quick buck through fast fashion, how does one make their mark? Well, for the founders of new luxury bag brand, Espie Roche, their focus is on quality materials, Italian craftsmanship…and patience. Good things come to those that wait, right? And, Espie Roche are prepared to do just that…
Espie Roche currently have four styles – a clutch, a cross-body satchel and two sizes of totes. All four styles are available in five colour ways ranging from attention grabbing yellow to classic black with prices ranging from £560.00 (clutch) to £1,100.00 (landscape tote). We caught up with the three founders — Hemoione Espie Underwood, Airlie and Alexandra Roche Hamilton — for a quick introduction to the brand…
WTYB: Sum up the typical Espie Roche client?
She is a woman of substance who likes to be in the know. She is seen as an early-adopter and is passionate about the legacy of craftsmanship. [Our client] is independent, driven and passionate with a high disposable income. Fashion conscious, but buys to keep and is a considered consumer as she loves timeless designs and appreciates quality construction.
What three things do you all wish you knew before you started the brand?
There are just two for us — patience and the Italian language.
What ONE invaluable skill do you all think every designer starting a brand MUST learn?
Learning to design for the consumer. A piece that will be worn, used and loved and that will age beautifully ultimately outweighs the most creative vision.
What has been the hardest/toughest aspect of the Espie Roche journey so far?
The decision we made to ensure that every element of an Espie Roche piece was sourced and manufactured by hand with the very best artisans in Italy has meant a painstakingly slow process. But ultimately, the greatest challenge is now our proudest attribute.
If Espie Roche could design a bag for any celebrity (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
Jane Birkin, but I think a certain brand already did that, right? (smiles) No, seriously, for us we design for our mothers, our friends and for ourselves. We design for the Espie Roche woman who is style-conscious and busy.
What has been the proudest moment for the team since you started the brand?
Being stopped in the street and asked about our pieces is surreal.
If you had to describe your brand in no more than five words how would you describe it?
Vibrant, effortless, feminine, sophisticated and timeless.
If Espie Roche could do a collaboration project with another brand (fashion or otherwise) which would it be and why?
Fornasetti; it is Italian design at its highest level, family-owned and has personality.
What are the plans for the brand over the next 12 months?
Espie Roche will never compromise on quality for speed of growth and therefore, we are looking to build a global presence and grow our calf selection into further styles and products. For the Alta Moda collection, we aspire to expand on our precious skin offering and establish a colour matching bespoke service.
i the stylist loves…
Arno Satchel, £690.00 Espie Roche espieroche.com
Chain Clutch, £560.00 Espie Roche espieroche.com
Portrait Tote, £990.00 Espie Roche espieroche.com