DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Emily Cheetham

Elyse & i by Cheet London

Elyse & i by Cheet London is a British handbag brand born in London in 2005 out of a love and passion for whimsical, bespoke bags that elicit quality in their design and detail. Started by self-taught designer, Emily Cheetham, the label has grown from being a kitchen table hobby to an under-the-radar Brit brand that is cherished by stores and individuals the world. If you are looking for a handbag that transcends seasons and fads but is rich in craftsmanship and clever detailing then look no further than an Elyse & i bag.
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It all started with designer Emily Cheetham’s discovery of a 1930s antique Singer sewing machine, left to her by her Great-Aunt Sylvie. Inspired by the beauty of the machine, and of days gone by where women made their own things, Emily’s inherent flair for creativity was ignited. She tried her hand at making bags, DIY style to begin with, in between her full-time day job in PR. Her passion for this new found creative expression soon took over her life, and she embarked on a full-time venture to design, create, and produce artisan-style bags, under the brand Cheet. Cheet and Emily met with quick success, especially in Japan and Paris, and the bags have been sold worldwide at iconic stores such as Galeries Lafayette, HP France, United Arrows and Baycrews. From Hollywood to pop stars, fans of the brands include Natashca McElhone, Emma Thompson, The Saturdays, Jenni Falconer amongst others.

For a self-taught designer with a background in languages and the arts, Emily has achieved a great deal. Winning reams of press coverage in style bibles including Grazia, In Style, Sunday Times’ Style and Marie Claire, she has also been lauded by Vogue.com as “A hot new name in bag design’. Named Best Accessories Designer by the London Fashion Forum, she then collaborated with a limited edition collection for mega brand, HOBBS and went on to design a successful men’s diffusion accessory range for Designers at Debenhams.

Emily gained an official seal of approval from the industry’s toughest critics, having been a finalist twice for the New York Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, for the category Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design.

Emily now lives in Singapore with her husband and children, Rufus and Elyse - the littlest member of the family inspiring a fresh look for the brand and cementing yet further heritage with the dawn of the Elyse & i by Cheet London label.

Emily is a self-taught handbag designer - whilst following a language and arts degree, she knew her destiny would ultimately lead her to working in the creative arts. She just took an unconventional path - via a kitchen table hobby rather than the Design school route.

“When I look back through ten year’s of my work I see a clear evolution of my style, a distinct hand-writing that gets stronger with each season, but one that has been consistent from the outset - to appreciate detailing, femininity and good design. From the earliest days of hand-sewing the bags myself to today’s process of designing and using skilled craftsmen to translate my bag dreams, I have been inspired by the challenge to create individual handbags;- bags that are rich in sculptural-esque embellishments, distinct in their hand-crafted components or details and that can ultimately hold up on their own as anchor to an outfit rather than just being worn to compliment a look. “

"Whilst I have evolved into having brand signatures - styles that are synonymous with the label such as the Nell , that are updated for each new season in different materials and colours - each new season will also have a new identity and new silhouettes. The process tends to start by amassing a mood board of ideas - a collection of ideas, sketches, paper clippings, patterns, swatches, materials - that I will then drill down into embellishments, motifs and bag shapes. The Art Deco era has always held a great fascination for me, especially in architecture and furniture design - equally I am often drawn back to knots and ways of weaving materials. I like to create embellishments from the material of the bag so that the adornment is integral to the bag - not a ‘stuck on’ emblem."

With an Elyse & i bag, we want you to experience unimagined accessory happiness. By clutching our bags you are accessing a niche, under-the-radar British brand. Our collections transcend seasons and fads, crafted with clever detailing and craftsmanship. We think as much about practicality as we do detail - most bags come with multiple strap options, considered compartments and pockets and secure fastenings.

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