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Kolin Ekeocha


Kolin & William, a company with a focus on beautiful execution, heritage design, uncompromising quality of materials, and British workmanship. Each bag is handmade by craftsmen in workshops tucked away in the mews of London’s East End. Drinking at a bar one night in 2011, a Londoner in New York looked up to find he’d come across a familiar, friendly face. Across time and far-flung paths that had led them to different continents, at that moment, two friends were reunited.

Kolin and William never set out to become creators of fine handmade bags, but they definitely share a passion for them. So in a downtown Manhattan bar, together, they sketched designs inspired by favorite things and favourite bags they’d seen working and living in London and traveling the world over. When they got home, they sought out the best workshops in England to make them. And so Kolin and William was born.

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Kolin & William designs will focus on beautiful execution, heritage design, uncompromising quality of materials, and British workmanship. Each bag is handmade by craftsmen in workshops tucked away in the mews of London’s East End. The founders, Kolin Ekeocha and Jason William are two friends who found each other while drinking in a bar in Brooklyn after years apart. Each having a passion for luxury and beautiful accessories they set out on a journey to define and refine a concept for Kolin and William encapsulating their own brand of London cool together with a timelessness, combining with this the qualities of fine British workmanship admired the world over. This is the brand’s debut collection.

"Being a natural designer I have been searching for a new fashion accessory that will enable me put my creative skills to a practical use. Back in 2011 I started creating bags that work for both men and women. Experimenting with leather skins, soft trimmings and easy to wear bags and combining both styles helped me to develop an innovative new accessory that is practical for both sexes as a range of unisex bags. The bags are designed to last with a timeless classic touch and are not seasonal.

I saw the commercial potential for this product and have developed several prototypes which I test traded in Autumn/Winter ’12. when I sold a total of 5 of my bags to various customers. Initial feedback from consumers has been positive, and encouraging, leading me to be confident that there is a market for this innovative accessory. Initially I test traded under the name of Coco Ekeocha branding but following feedback from customers I am now in the process of re-branding and trading in the name of Kolin and William. Now, we wanted to bring back heritage designs, uncompromising quality of materials, and British workmanship. we feel that designers are not really paying much attentions to beautiful handmade and affordable handbags and accessories."

Kolin’s playful approach and impeccable originality help inform the basis of the Kolin and William aesthetic. He is the proud owner of a wicked taste for colour which will help set the mood for Kolin and William collections to come. His collection of fine shoes and bags has been handpicked with a well-heeled eye. And his bold, yet classical style compliments perfectly the fact he wears London on his sleeve while exhibiting plumy shades of purple on his ankles.

And so it all began for Kolin, while training at the London College of Fashion, the spring board for a long and winding career working as designer for Alexander McQueen, Preen,and Nicola Formichetti amongst many others, who embarked on an adventure working as a designer abroad in places like New York for Armani.

William has a love of mid-century furniture and sits on a Charles Eames chair at his Danish desk while sketching designs in his London apartment by night, his office drafting contracts in the City by day. He seeks a sense of fun in his style teamed with fine workmanship in his clothes. It means his shirts are made in Italy and his shoes are made in England. His ties are bright and his jackets sharp. His bags are well cut and proportioned and perfectly made. It is this taste for the good stuff, which you will see in each Kolin and William to come out of our workshop.

Together they believe in the principles of fine workmanship and profound quality over mindless quantity and greed. Working on Kolin and William they have created a collection made with enduringly beautiful materials, and that show proudly Kolin’s originality and William’s obsession with quality in every English work-shop stitch.

"I am in charge of all aspect of making and selling my bags. My first step is to come up with a solid concept for that season. I then do research based on my concept and once I am happy with the research, I then start to design bags based on the research. From the designs I will choose materials and trimmings to use. The next step is putting my designs and materials together just to make sure everything is cohesive. Meetings are arranged with my production manager, where they will create a mock up for our first fitting. We usually try and do fittings twice, and from that the first samples are made. Samples are photographed perfectly. I am an avid supporter of British Industry, only choosing suppliers and factories within the UK."

Designed with an attention to detail rare today, each Kolin & William bag pays homage to another time when things were made and designed to last. There is a classic, timeless aesthetic throughout the range that references the past with a contemporary British twist. Kolin & William bags feature British Millerain wax cotton pockets and accents, solid brass fittings, the smoothest vegetable tanned leathers, and rich and luxuriant drill cotton linings: ingredients that mean every Kolin & William bag will weather well and mature with age.