Cooper & Hill continue to make luxury handbags affordable

27th March 2015 Annette Newman

With 25 years’ experience of manufacturing premium luxury bags for the high-end market, new fashion brand Cooper & Hill recently launched a direct to consumer website making luxury handbags affordable for everybody.

After a highly successful start making their product ranges available to the consumer market with their exclusive online store they are pausing for a breath before expanding their business model further.  Flexing their capability of manufacturing bespoke pieces and being able to handle great scale in demand.

One of the unique ways that Cooper & Hill are showing their capability to manage bespoke bags is through the #CrowdDesign concept.  In their first month they have built up a private user group of fashion and style focused bloggers to trial making a new day to day purse designed on the most popular requirements of the group.

Taking a snapshot look at the journey, we have some of the responses below from Cooper & Hill’s questions about the ideal Purse.We have highlighted the top two answers in both cases

Cooper & Hill: “What is the size of the largest item? ”

Credit/debit cards and iPhone

Cooper & Hill: “How many main compartments would you like internally? one secure area with a zip? two areas with a zip? one zip, one button? loose area?”

“Two areas and a zip for change!”  “2 zip areas for me ideally. 1 for random odds n sods and 1 for organised work receipts. I prefer a clip closure for coins as quick to open and less likely to snag if I stuff a receipt or note in when I’m in a hurry.”

After a full week of gathering all the groups opinions on what they think the details of the purse should use and include the Cooper & Hill design team came up with 3 new design concepts.

1 2 3

The third stage of the #CrowdDesign concept is to allow the original participants to then vote on the designs to work out which is the most popular.  In this case there was an overwhelming majority for the larger of the three purses. Once a choice of design is confirmed, the next stage for Cooper & hill is to develop a mould of the purse before putting it into production.  The purpose of the mould is to use cheaper materials to get the finer details ironed out before a production sample is made.  This helps identify issues not seen in the drawing stages.

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In this example, an issue was highlighted in the original design that was not advisable for the production phases.  Under the lid of the purse, the slots made for the driver’s license and secondary identification would not fit well under the lid and would have affected the style of the purse. This was moved to just inside the first wall and made completely transparent to blend into the design of the purse. After a few more smaller tweaks, the final purse was made.

Cooper and Hill Luxury Bags
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The purse itself goes up for general sale shortly. To register an interest or to find out more about #CrowdDesign, visit www.cooperandhill.com.

This whole journey from initial questions to final design took about two weeks.  This could open up new doors for the public to take control of the products they want to see in the market and who knows what crazy innovations could be requested.  Are Cooper & Hill putting themselves at risk by letting the public control designs? Is this the way forward for the retail industry improving connections with the public?  The first public collaboration will be posted onto their facebook group page on the 30th March.

Also announced on the 21st was Cooper & Hill’s winner of their #DesignYourOwnBag competition.  Kellie Collister was one of many entrants who submitted a basic request in the hope of having their name pulled out of the hat.  Now the lucky winner is working with the in house Cooper & Hill design team to develop their top of the range dream bag.  The full journey of the bag design is currently being documented to share with the public the full journey of creating a dream bag with Cooper & Hill.

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Annette Newman

Deputy Editor of TrendLife Magazine. Often daydreaming, always happy. If you only do one thing today, do it more stylish than you did before.