The spring/summer 2017 collection is inspired by a Globe-Trotter suitcase owned by a BOAC stewardess in the 1960s. What's the story behind it?
I discovered the case in our archives. We have an array of cases from the past 120 years but when I came across this one, I was amazed to see a beautiful montage of travel stickers completely covering the inside of the lid. This was my starting point – my mood board and inspiration for SS17.
The next step was to find out who the case belonged to. We traced it back to the British Airways (BA) Museum, who we have a long-standing relationship with, and immediately arranged a visit. This further inspired the collection as it highlighted the history and development of commercial aviation and provided a link to the case's original owner – a former BOAC air stewardess called Hilary Farish, who had flown with the airline in the 1960s.
How important are the Globe-Trotter archives in your work?
The timeless Globe-Trotter aesthetic has always epitomised simplicity and elegance, and I wouldn't want to change this. I'm constantly referencing archive typography, colours and styles, which I use in a subtle way to design for a more contemporary adventurer.
How did you incorporate the retro sticker designs into a modern product?
The collection of stickers itself is so tastefully put together, so we used it directly as a printed lining for suitcases and bags, as well as on hand-finished silk scarves. I also chose some of my favourite stickers and transformed them into leather labels that were appliquéd onto travel accessories such as passport covers, folios, bags and key fobs.
Which sticker is your favourite?
The Hotel Flamingo in Kingston, Jamaica. It's so fun and chic! It has been wonderful to hear about all of Hilary’s stories about the different hotels she stayed in. It was a much more glamorous time to fly.
Do you collect any similar souvenirs from your travels?
The souvenirs I collect are always indigenous to the country I'm visiting. For example, I have a red leaf from a tree in Kyoto that I keep in a Globe-Trotter notepad, and on a recent trip to Thailand I collected some beautiful white pebbles and eroded coral which now take pride of place in my terrarium at home.
Aside from the archives, where else do you draw inspiration from?
I'm always inspired by my surroundings. I regularly find inspiration when visiting places such as vintage markets, the Columbia Road Flower Market and The City of London, and I'm also very fond of Minimalist art and design, especially the work of Agnes Martin and Sol LeWitt.
What is the enduring appeal of the Globe-Trotter style?
The product is authentic and truly unique. The manufacturing process and key design has barely changed in more than a century. It's made in England and there are certain characteristics and charm that you can't find in another suitcase or leather bag. When I carry my Globe-Trotter suitcase I feel proud to be seen with it; it stands out from the rest and I know that I'll have it for the rest of my life to pass down to my future grandchildren.