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Icons of the Exchange: Aspinal of London

The glamorous Midi Mayfair handbag is a celebrity favourite and bestseller from the luxury British brand

Aspinal of London was founded 20 years ago, which may come as a surprise to some. With its stately name and traditional leather handbags, Aspinal of London has the airs and graces of a heritage brand several decades its senior. This is a testament to the company, which cleverly navigates a traditional yet thoroughly modern aesthetic and appeal.

The brand was established in 2001 by technology entrepreneur Iain Burton who previously supplied audio guides to the world’s most prestigious museums and art galleries. Because of this background, Aspinal of London started life as a bespoke leather accessories and stationery brand for said institutions before expanding into the broader luxury lifestyle sector. In 2006, Ukrainain-born designer Mariya Dykalo joined the business before being promoted to head of design and, eventually, creative director in 2014.

From quirky perspex box bags, adored by Instagram influencers, to ladylike totes and plush leather weekenders, Aspinal of London’s accessories are distinctive and effortlessly stylish. But among its signature and contemporary collections – worn by legions of A-list fans, including Taylor Swift, David Gandy and Rochelle Humes – there is one style that epitomises the brand best: the Midi Mayfair.

Aspinal of London's bestselling Midi Mayfair bag

The Midi Mayfair handbag offers ‘refined vintage styling with contemporary flair’ and is quintessentially Aspinal of London. The broader Mayfair collection features three sizes and a new clutch purse model, but the Midi is the most popular.

Its cross-body chain and dainty handle make it classy and versatile but with a distinctive rock‘n’roll edge thanks to the vibrant colour options and croc-style print. The bag is made from premium Italian full-grain leather and features Aspinal of London’s signature ‘shield’ lock. It’s compact, but with plenty of internal compartments for all the essentials, and its size and elegant style makes it ideal for both day and evening wear.

‘I feel extremely proud to have designed Aspinal’s Mayfair bag. Truly one of my favourites and the brand’s most iconic signature styles, the design will live forever,’ says creative director Mariya Dykalo. ‘The epitome of timeless, refined elegance and craftsmanship, the Mayfair Midi remains true to our Aspinal brand values; quintessential, modern heritage, British luxury.’

Whether you go for a dainty lilac hue (as favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge), a sunshine yellow, classic black or emerald green, there’s a Midi Mayfair to suit every taste and occasion. It’s easy to see why this jaunty handbag is an Aspinal of London icon, 20 years in the making.

Midi Mayfair handbag, prices start from £595, Aspinal of London

The Royal Exchange celebrates its 450th anniversary this year. Our Icons of the Exchange series pays homage to the exceptional array of retailers that call The Royal Exchange home, with a look at the heritage, design and craftsmanship of products that epitomise the essence and excellence of our celebrated brands.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Royal Exchange during 2021, for a considered shopping experience in spectacular and historic surroundings. Please visit our boutiques page for regular updates on our retailers’ opening information and hours, as well as details about virtual appointments and click and collect services.

Visit our heritage page to learn more about the history of The Royal Exchange and keep an eye on our 450 Years site, journal and Instagram for more fascinating facts and insights about its past and present as we commemorate this special milestone throughout the year ahead.