Grandmothers aren’t generally known as style icons, but judging by the structured, prim and proper handbags that are popping up in a number of labels’ collections, a more mature aesthetic is having a moment.
Indeed, the British handbag label Launer has seen its profits surge, thanks to the patronage of one octogenarian fashion plate — Queen Elizabeth II. The 60-year-old firm has been fashioning structured, ladylike handbags for members of the royal household since 1968, and was awarded a royal warrant a year later. Now, with the fashion world’s renewed appetite for the Queen’s style following last year’s royal wedding and this year’s Diamond Jubilee, Launer has seen its profits jump by 25 percent during 2012. “I think it started with the bag the Queen was carrying at Kate Middleton’s marriage….And it was suddenly decided she’s not unfashionable,” says Gerald Bodmer, the firm’s managing director, who acquired Launer in 1981.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"