The King’s Road Chelsea is lined with shops of all different shapes and sizes so I was hopeful that this shopper’s paradise of south west London would deliver up quality results for my brief… ‘find me a bag which I will use primarily to transport my laptop but I don’t want it to look like a bag that a man would carry’. So let’s tighten up this brief…a bag for work, with a ‘take me serious’ tone but with a feminine touch. So would this road, made famous in the 1960’s for its independent fashion style, deliver me up any results that would be approved?
I launched the search at the west end of the street, at the Bluebird Café and decided to head east to end up in Sloane Square, in case I needed to fall upon the John Lewis department store. This experience, whilst not rich in laptop bags did fill me with a selection of bags I’ve yet to come across this year. So whilst I believe my search to fulfil the brief continues, here’s the standout bags on the King’s Road. Don’t agree? Do post a comment below.
In and among a spacious shop floor you will find a selection of bags from Red Valentino, Victoria Beckham and Anya Hindmarch. Until middle of June you also have a South American pop up and this is where I discovered Mola Sasa. This clutch bag just catches the eye. I can see this being carried in summer as a daytime or weekend bag. What I went onto learn is that this Colombian brand is about ethical fashion, helping to support local artisan’s traditions.
Crossing the road I popped into Orla Kiely’s two floor boutique. Not the most obvious choice for a laptop bag; bold flower designs yes, bright and feminine yes but I thought you never know what might be discovered over two floors. What I did find was a bag that was visually different to my idea of Orla Kiely bags. Let me introduce you to a bag that works equally when folded over and worn cross body or as a shoulder bag, or without the strap and carried as an oversize clutch.
Now entering its 7th year on the King’s Road, and a celebration of clothing, I nearly bypassed this store, knowing that the more style of accessory really wasn’t this store’s bag. I’m so glad I didn’t rush pas as I think I have found the most well-made and vibrant beaded bag. This bag just catches the eye from whatever angle. This is a bag courtesy of From St Xavier, the jewellery and handbag designer and will be admired by many.
I wondered whether this renowned fashion store would offer up any bags to consider. Typically, I’m finding brands that have over 100 stores, have varying stock levels, and some don’t tend to stock their full range, with staff encouraging customers to go online. Refreshingly I was assisted by a very helpful member of staff who was as engaged in my brief as me. From the range we settled on this attractive tote, The Broadway is well-crafted which gives structural edges that make this bag stand out for its design.
Influential when it comes to handbag designs? You bet. This store is one of the few on the King’s Road that heroes the handbag. The result here were two bags which a laptop of 13 inches wide would fit. And lovely to have options outside the standard black or navy corporate colours.
This designer’s shop on Sloane Square turned out to be my favourite destination on this shopping trip. The staff couldn’t do enough for me and even found me a bag whilst souring options for my brief! My distraction was the Boss bespoke soft bag with signature cufflink detail. Light and beautiful in the brown leather. Hats off to Lisa, a very attentive member of the team, just started her job, who found me the Boss luxury staple work bag in rich Italian leather.
This store holds some very interesting bags including a fine collection of preloved designer bags including a one-off moss coloured Birkin. Downstairs I came across the most stand out shaped shoulder bag in soft leather. The round TL180 tote doesn’t fit my original brief. However, for offering something different along the King’s Road, this store gets top marks for its wonderful collection of bags.
It is rare that a visit to Sloane Square or the King’s Road is complete without popping into Peter Jones, just to pick up an essential from one of the five floors. The handbag department features Longchamp, Aspinal of London Mulberry, DKNY, a selection of Michael Kors (which is a mystery when you can shop the full range in the boutique directly across the road), Kurt Geiger Radley and Etui. Etui is a new brand to me that stood out for me for its textures and colours. I think a brand to watch.
After 7 stores, many floors and many measurements, if you find yourself looking for a quality bag to transport your laptop, head straight to Hugh Boss or Michael Kors at the Sloane Street end. Whilst I think my search isn’t over yet, get down to the King’s Road for a fine selection of bags that come in lots of different shapes and sizes.