10 QUESTIONS WITH THE FOUNDERS OF LUXURY HANDBAG BRAND, ESPIE ROCHE
We recently caught up with the three lovely ladies at the helm of the bold and beautiful luxury handbag brand, Espie Roche. Practical for everyday use and suitable for summer accessorising due to their bright colours, these bags have been on our radar for a while now. Behind every great brand is a great vision and dynamic entrepreneur/s. We set out to find a little more about the three women behind the brand.
1. How did the Espie Roche girls meet?
We met through a very close mutual friend here in London.
2. What inspired you to start Espie Roche?
We were inspired to develop a classic, timeless collection with the leading artisans in Italy in a vibrant colour palette. In the contemporary space, we couldn’t find a piece that was lead by quality, only pieces that were heavily design focused. We wanted to create something that was practical yet exciting, that we knew would stand the test of time.
3. What are your business backgrounds?
Hermione: My background is luxury brand consulting, having worked in house at LVMH and on the agency side with a number of luxury agencies in Australia. Today, I consult clients at The H Collective, I am co-founder at jewellery label Atelier Romy, I write about travel and fashion at hermioneolivia.com and I have the fortune of working on Espie Roche with Airlie and Alexandra.
Airlie: I studied law and commerce at university and am working currently as a commercial solicitor in Australia as well as managing Espie Roche. While at university, both Alexandra and I had a junior buying role at a local boutique which stocks luxury labels such as Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and McQueen…and we had the experience of multiple Paris trips for showrooms. That was the experience which really stoked the fire for us in terms of wanting to start our own label.
Alexandra: I joined my sister Airlie at university and studied for a law degree and a commerce degree. I always knew that I wanted to work in the luxury goods/services industry, however, so after graduation when I got a job at the London Head Office of Christian Dior, I moved to London! After that, I worked for the Head of Buying and Director of Buying and Merchandising at Fenwick of Bond St.
We are united in our entrepreneurial spirit and our shared passion for fashion and luxury. Together, we work to design, source and manage every detail involved in crafting an Espie Roche piece, and its journey from artisan to owner.
4. What is the meaning behind your brand name?
The brand is named after our mothers’ maiden names, personifying the importance of la mamma Italiana and the transmission of her beautiful style, passion for excellence and pursuit of La Dolce Vita.
5. From the initial concept stage, can you tell us a little about the design and production side of things?
We set out to learn as much as we could about the Italian manufacturing industry which meant attending trade shows in Milan and hitting the road, to meet with and develop relationships with artisans across many disciplines. Our design process was organic, as we learnt more and studied the market and our mother’s collections, the aesthetic for the brand became clear.
6. How does your bespoke service work?
Espie Roche’s Alta Moda service offers our clients the opportunity to create a custom piece to their specification’s, including colour matching services across an extensive variety of skins with hardware and zip metal tones of their choice. The colour matching service ensures your piece is truly one of a kind.
7. With the summer season fast approaching, can you suggest any bags that would be perfect for travelling / alfresco adventures?
The Arno satchel in limoncello or aperol is perfect for your Summer escape.
8. How can people purchase bags from Espie Roche?
Espie Roche is available online at espieroche.com
9. How do you like to spend your time in London when you're not busy creating and working on your business?
At the Rosewood Scarfes Bar; it’s one of the best places to people watch.
10. What advice do you have for other women who are looking to start their own business?
Our advice to anyone would be that passion is crucial, as is a clear objective and vision. Know when to listen to advice and when to leave it.