The Brand

Anglo-French handbag label Emeline Coates was launched in 2008 in London initially starting on a stall at London’s Portobello Market before fast becoming a firm favourite found in stylish boutiques across Europe.

The brand’s DNA can be described as a fusion of Parisian chic and London’s cutting-edge style, amalgamating in contemporary yet classic handbags that will suit a plethora of outfits and occasions.

Each bag available from the brand is named after an iconic area of London, which further adds to the charm of the designs. The colour range is classic and there is a size of bag to suit all, ranging from a sleek clutch to an oversize tote.

Alongside the variety of shades and shapes on offer, the most notable impression is the exquisite quality of the bags. Emeline works with a highly experienced team of craftmen based in Istanbul to ensure that the leather used is of the utmost quality. The leather is individually hand-picked and the process is a carefully monitored one. The team has been producing for high-profile designers for the past 60 years and have a genuine pride in their leatherwork, something which particularly stood out for Emeline when choosing a manufacturer.

The brand has been featured in an extensive range of fashion press, from Elle to Glamour, the “Hyde Park” model usually being a favourite. It also has a regular client base who enjoys buying handbags without “big logos” and finally who are looking for luxury that is affordable without compromising on quality.

Her Story

Emeline was born in the West of France to an English mother and a French father and lived in France until the age of 15 when she moved to London, finished school and went to King’s College London graduating with a degree in Humanities. During those years art, literature, painting and travelling were the areas she loved the most, fashion came later and by chance.

Upon graduating she soon found out the corporate world wasn’t for her and knew she would do something else. This happened when she was 25, she was hired by an Argentinian designer to sell her handbag collection in London and whilst working for her, she realised she wanted to do this for herself. Before launching on her own, she completed a course in Handbag Design at London College of Fashion and simultaneously started to make her own handbags selling them on Portobello market at the weekends. She did this to get a feel of what people liked and it is whilst she was there that a couple of buyers approached her to stock her designs in their shops meaning she had a bit more money to work on a bigger collection and this is how the brand was born.

Since those days, she has never looked back. She now lives in Paris and even though the brand has evolved, the way a bag comes alive is still the same. She starts with research and drawings which are done over a period of time that spans from anything between 3 days to 4 weeks. The ideas come from a range of places – she likes urban design and architecture, spends time in libraries looking at old fashion books, loves people watching, always looks at colour combinations that can be found everywhere, spends time browsing at fashion shows and finally travels and gets inspiration from the places she visits. Once she has finished designing she chooses the leathers, the atelier starts making the prototypes, the bags go into production and are ready to sell soon after.

Being a designer and an entrepreneur presents many challenges, beside the design process Emeline found her biggest challenge was getting out there and being exposed as being a designer is an emotionally difficult career choice. One has to learn to do the job without letting the fear of being rejected get in the way, one has to commit to ones goals, take in the criticism and the praise equally, digest it, keep going and today Emeline is told she has a point of view, this could be the best compliment a designer can be given and something she is proud of.

Finally, if Emeline had any advice to give is to believe in yourself and to surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you and push you forward. Then learn from your mistakes, don’t let them drag you down, we all make them!!