HIGH FLYER: British accessories brand Aspinal of London is on the move with its first airport store — a summer pop-up — open at Heathrow Terminal 5, and a new men’s collection with a retro feel designed with David Gandy.
Both have a travel theme: The pop-up, which opened earlier in April, will be open throughout the summer, offering free gold, silver and blind personalization and selling novelty travel stickers for bags. In May, the embroiderers Hand & Lock will offer personalization for scarves and journals.
Earlier this week, Gandy unveiled a men’s collection called “Aerodrome by David Gandy,” inspired by that great British warplane, the Spitfire.
There are 18 pieces in the collection, including travel bags, briefcases and accessories, all with a vintage feel and details and shapes that nod to the mechanics of the plane. Round locks on the briefcase are meant to resemble firing buttons while zip pulls recall propellers and backpacks resemble those carried by parachuters.
The collection is made from oiled calfskin leather in shades of brown, or in lightweight khaki or navy canvas. Each piece has an Aerodrome K5054 badge.
Gandy said he was hands-on with the design and wanted to make it practical for the traveling man. “I love this brand — it’s attainable luxury — and what I wanted for this collection was a return to the beauty of what travel used to be.”
During a walk-through of the collection, Gandy said the Brits have an “emotional connection” to the Spitfire, one of the most famous planes in World War II and the one aircraft that could match the German planes, especially in the Battle of Britain.
Gandy, who features in the new campaign alongside his dog Dora, said he showed one of the first prototypes of the collection to a 96-year-old Battle of Britain veteran called Allan Scott — and the latter approved.
The collection includes a 24-hour vanity case with a clear, magnetized, detachable pouch to breeze through airport security; a suit carrier with separate shoe compartments, and travel bags with tech path cables and pockets for gadgets.
Prices range from 60 pounds for a leather key ring to 1,195 pounds for the Long Weekender in dark brown leather. The leather wash bag costs 250 pounds while the leather backpacks cost 795 pounds.
Aspinal has also collaborated with Finlay & Co. on a range of aviator sunglasses with a Fifties twist.
Iain Burton, Aspinal’s founder and owner, said the project came from the heart.
“We hope this collection sincerely honors and remembers the incredibly brave young men who flew these state-of-the-art, beautiful planes. They often wore shirts, ties and cuff links for no other reason than that they were British, and had standards. They saved our British island, our way of life and all it stood for.”