By  on September 12, 2011

It might be simple in its construction, but shocking neon versions of The Cambridge Satchel have elevated the British import’s profile in the U.S.

The structured, leather satchels feature a large center pocket, two buckles and a long, cross-body strap and they retail for under $175.

The bag appeals equally to the back-to-school set and the hip, downtown twentysomething and thirtysomething workforce. Creators Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas expect retail sales to reach nearly $16 million in 2012 — an increase of more than 350 percent from June when sales surpassed $3.5 million.

The duo, who took home awards for Small Business and Businesswoman of the Year in March at the News Business Excellence Awards, founded Cambridge Satchel Company in 2008 — seeking inspiration from the Harry Potter books and bringing to life the type of satchel they envisioned Harry and Hermione might’ve carried during their time at Hogwarts.

Urban Outfitters was the first to carry the collection, followed by Modcloth, ASOS and, most recently, a partnership with J. Crew, whose neon pink and orange satchels are back-ordered until the end of next month. Last year, Comme des Garçons partnered with the brand and all styles sold out at London’s Dover Street Market.

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