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Cambridge Satchel Company founder awarded a CBE

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

14 Jun 2021


courtesy of The Cambridge Satchel Co, Julie Deane

Julie Deane founder of The Cambridge Satchel Co has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

CBE is the highest-ranking of the Order of the British Empire awards, excluding a knighthood and damehood and was awarded to Deane for her services to Entrepreneurship and British Manufacturing.

The Welsh-born entrepreneur started The Cambridge Satchel Co with 600 pounds and one vision to send her children to a better school. With no borrowing, Deane has created a brand based around its now-iconic satchel and within the first five years, the company was valued at 40 million pounds.

From the outset, The Cambridge Satchel Co. has been committed to British manufacturing with all its products crafted at its factory in Syston, Leicester. The brand produces 8,000 bags per month, and has four UK stores and sells in 40 countries across the globe.

Julie Deane founder of Cambridge Satchel Company honoured by the Queen

Commenting on the honour, Deane said in a statement: “Supporting British manufacturing has always been at the heart of our business, so being given this honour is truly humbling. I believe the UK still has a huge wealth of untapped traditional craftsmanship and I hope we can inspire other brands to invest in UK manufacturing.”

Deane started the company with no business contacts or fashion credentials, working from the ground up to create a globally recognised brand, and has worked with Comme des Garcons, Vivienne Westwood, as well as producing bags for Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones and Buckingham Palace.

Alongside the classic satchel, the Cambridge Satchel Company has been developing its brand to include high-end designs including The Doctor’s Bag, inspired by an old-fashion doctor’s bag, the vintage-inspired Poppy, and its most recent addition, The Bowl’s Bag, a cylindrical shape design based on the original bowls bag. The brand also has a complete menswear collection with work and weekend bags.

This isn’t Deane’s first honour from the Queen in 2014, she was awarded an OBE for her services to entrepreneurship

Fashion names recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Alongside Deane on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List is Kent-based Kresse Ann-Marie Wesling, one half of sustainable accessories brand, Elvis and Kresse, who has also been awarded a CBE.

Wesling, co-founder and chief executive officer at Elvis and Kresse has been recognised for her services to sustainable business.

Since 2005, Elvis and Kresse have been rescuing raw materials that would otherwise go to landfill, such as fire-hoses from the London Fire Brigade and transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories and donating 50 percent of profits back to charities.

In addition, Andrew Jennings, former group president and chief operating officer at Saks Fifth Avenue and president and chief executive officer at Holt Renfrew, has been awarded an OBE. The global retail advisor has been honoured for his services to international trade, fashion and retail.

Image: courtesy of The Cambridge Satchel Co, Julie Deane

Andrew Jennings
Cambridge Satchel Company
Elvis and Kresse
Julie Deane
Queen’s birthday honours