Mallet & Co. Hanbury tote

NEW BEGINNINGS: Drawing on his extensive experience designing leather goods for heritage brands, Nicholas Knightly has launched his own handbag label, Mallet & Co., exclusively on

Knightly, the creative force behind Mulberry’s popular Bayswater bag, is now in his 12th year as Louis Vuitton’s design director of leather goods. He will continue to work for the French fashion house on a freelance basis.

“Thanks to Louis Vuitton’s generosity and understanding I am able to continue to contribute to the legendary brand on a freelance basis in order to spend more time at home in the U.K. and nurture this exciting new venture,” Knightly said.

Three styles are carried on the online retailer’s site; the Archie, the Hanbury and the Zeus, priced between 795 pounds, or $1,194, and 995 pounds, or $1,494.

Knightly noted that the Net-a-porter exposure would “give us the chance to establish a dialogue directly with the customer, which is important to me.”

Made of slouchy calf leather and festooned with a padlock charm, the handbags aim to capture the quiet elegance of the “English sensibility” and for everyday use.

“I have been a long-standing fan of Nicholas; his résumé and the bags that he has created under his own label speak for themselves. We felt that to work exclusively with one another would make for a really exciting collaboration on a truly global level,” said Sarah Rutson, vice president of global buying at

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