The Grown-Up Way to Do Back to School: Our Exclusive Collection with The Cambridge Satchel Company

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With fall on the horizon, we couldn’t help but get all nostalgic for our school bags of the past, the ones with sturdy leather, classic shapes and scholastic hardware. It’s a triple-threat combination for the perfect fall tote and, coincidentally, the hallmarks of The Cambridge Satchel Company®. That’s why we partnered up with the British brand on an exclusive collection of bags.

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“Necessity is the mother of invention” isn’t just a popular maxim—it’s the story of founder Julie Deane, who started the line in Cambridge in 2008 with the goal of financing her daughter’s schooling. “I really missed the classic satchel shape I’d grown up with, and I wanted to make one with the same old-fashioned quality,” she said. The collection has since evolved beyond that first 11-inch satchel, but it’s still a family-run operation, produced entirely in the UK.

We identified what we loved most about their line (the laid-back vibes and the better-over-time leather) and chose shapes and colors that really nailed both, like a minimalist jet-blue push-lock bag or deep cherry-red satchel. The exclusive color and style combinations may have come from us, but every design feels personal to Julie, especially the Binocular Bag. It was inspired by her vintage camera bag (and we’re extra-happy to be one of the few places you can find it).

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The Cambridge Satchel Company bags have a way of polishing up even the most casual of looks. As Julie said, “The bags don’t shout for attention. They perform a function without looking functional, and you can’t get much better than that.” And we love carrying them all the more knowing that each one’s still made in Cambridge.

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Before saying good-bye, we gave Julie a lightning round of questions to get to know her even better.

My life motto these days is…
“Just get on with it.” Don’t dither, thinking of all that could go wrong.

My style icons are…
The greats: Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly and, today, Inès de la Fressange.

I’m totally addicted to…
Dogs. I hate traveling without mine, and I can’t pass one on the street without engaging.

To escape, I…
Spend time with my children. I love to go horseback riding, travel or play board games with them, though I suspect they don’t enjoy that last one as much as I do.

A day isn’t complete until…
You’ve laughed.

Shop our entire collection of The Cambridge Satchel Company bags here and shop our newest arrivals here.

P.S. NYC and Washington, DC, friends: This weekend only, shop The Cambridge Satchel Company collection and have your bag personalized on the spot. Live monogramming is on us (yes, gratis!) at our Georgetown store in DC and at our Fifth Avenue store in NYC, from September 18th to September 21st.

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Photography by Kate Owen.