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Eddie Harrop grew up in Hong Kong and travelled extensively as a child before moving to the UK to study at the London College of Fashion. She worked at British Vogue and Gucci before embarking on a trip around Asia, where the idea for her eponymous luxury luggage brand was born. She moved to Saigon to set up the business and now splits her time between there and London – always carrying her iconic Voyager bag, as seen on the arms of the stylish globetrotters around the world.
Name: Eddie Harrop
Designer: Eddie Harrop
Type of brand: Travel accessories
Where can we find your designs?
Net-a-Porter, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges
Why did you decide to start designing luggage?
I’ve always thought luggage has a reputation of being a bit dull so I wanted to make it more exciting and raise it to the style stakes of handbags.
How did your upbringing influence your brand?
My father was in the army so I travelled a lot growing up, living in Hong Kong, Ireland and Shropshire. My mother’s bohemian Irish side influenced my free spirit.
How did your experience at British Vogue and Gucci help you start your own business?
I was in the PR office at Gucci so learnt the logistics of editorial, while at Vogue I worked with the stylists prepping and styling shoots. It was interesting to see how both sides of the industry worked and how a design became popular. I try to have my stylist head on when designing for my own brand, creating items which are both practical and fun.
Your business is based in Saigon – what are the differences between Asian and British style?
I think Asian style has more of a “dress up” culture, certainly in Saigon. Nights out are the time to get the glad rags on and as it’s so hot it’s easier to wear a dress without feeling over the top. They also love an obvious designer label – anything branded is in. I think British style is probably a bit cooler and subversive, in that you can tell a designer piece by the cut and quality instead of obvious branding.
How do you combine the two in your own style?
I’m a jeans and trainers girl but love adding a bling accessory to pack a punch.
Who is the ideal Eddie Harrop customer?
Someone with an open heart and mind who loves to travel and look stylish.
Which are your favourite Asian destinations for each season?
Spring: Tokyo because it’s sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan.
Summer: Sri Lanka because summer comes just before the second rainy season and it’s the perfect time to head up to the Ceylon tea trails or down to the cooler hangouts of Galle Fort.
Autumn: Cambodia – you may get a few showers but it’s worth it. Take the less obvious path and head down to Kep, where you can get stuck in at the crab market and then head to the islands around Ko Rong for total relaxation.
What’s your go-to airport outfit?
White Alexander Wang T-shirt, Madeline Thompson cashmere jumper, some comfy leggings, Alice Temperley leather jacket, Golden Goose trainers and, of course, my Eddie Harrop Voyager bag.
When and why did you decide to add hats to your collection?
We wanted to introduce a lower price point and at the same time keep focused on travel accessories. Again we’ve made the traditional a bit more fun by introducing prints.
Do you plan on adding any more categories?
Yes, we’re very excited to launch our new Cruiser carry-on bag that is smaller than the Voyager weekend bag but a great shape to fit everything you need for hand luggage.
Where’s next on your bucket list?
Mexico. I’ve never been and they have loads of cool boutique hotels, such as the Nomade, which I’m desperate to visit. I also love all the colours and prints out there, even on their tiled floors – and I can’t say no to a margarita!
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