I've Longed for This Affordable It Bag for 10 Years Now

I remember the London Fashion Week season when suddenly, almost out of nowhere, editors starting putting down their all-bells-and-whistles designer bags in favour of something far simpler and far more affordable. Sophie Hulme's big leather Albion totes practically demanded their own spots on the front row, they were that jumbo and that noticeable—and, as a result, that desirable.

This was around 2012, and at the time, London-based Sophie was a relative unknown with a small but perfectly formed collection of quality, midpriced leather goods to offer an eager set of insiders. Getting one of the tan totes with the metal hardware (and the matching, fun tchotchkes) was like striking gold, and the carefully crafted stock was in understandably short supply (from what I recall).

Sophie Hulme bags: Elena Perminova carrying a tan Albion tote

Photo:

Getty Images

Elena Perminova in 2012, Paris, with one of the Sophie Hulme bags of the earlier years.

These days, the contemporary handbag world is teeming with options, but back in the day, it was Hulme who broke the rules and helped steer the phenomenon. I was a junior at the time and just starting out in the industry (read: on a limited budget), and I recall the tan version being particularly well-documented by the early street style photographers. You can still buy the Albion in different sizes and colourways, which is further proof of how much staying power a truly good investment handbag can have.

As the designer approaches her eponymous brand's 10th birthday, there's much to celebrate—including many, many more popular handbag styles, as well as the fact she's created super-sharp outerwear to match. These two elements have been brought together to create an anniversary capsule collection, which you can see below. Keep scrolling to see who's wearing Sophie Hulme's bags now, and then shop them for yourself (before I do and we're in sold-out territory again).

Sophie Hulme bags: Cube bags

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Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: A bit like the original totes only more unusual in shape and lighter in their weight, sisters Cosima (a singer) and Nina Ehni (a designer at Sophie Hulme) are into the Cube bags.

Sophie Hulme bags: blue Knot handbag carried by Donna Wallace

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: Sophie's bags have been approved by Vogue's new fashion and accessories editor, Donna Wallace, so you know they're fab.

Sophie Hulme bags: cherry red Swing bucket bag

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: It's Sophie's sibling Anna in the peacoat and bucket bags of our dreams—both from her sister's current collection.

Sophie Hulme bags: Knot shoulder bag in black

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: Hi, Sophie's mum! Jane is carrying the Knot shoulder bag and looking amazing in this colour-blocked coat from her daughter's brand.

Sophie Hulme bags: Cocktail Stirrer cross-body bag in dark red

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: Designer Katie Davies's Cocktail Stirrer bag really highlights the fun details Sophie always puts into her pieces.

Sophie Hulme bags: Sophie Hulme carrying the large Swing bag in tan

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: It's the super-chic Sophie herself, and she's carrying a large Swing bag and wearing the Sunday coat in tan.

Sophie Hulme bags: the large Knot bag in navy

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: Designer Natalie Frost also has the Knot bag, which is fast becoming my new favourite…

Sophie Hulme bags: small Knot shoulder bag in black

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: Another bold cold with a true everyday bag set against it—here's Sophie's other stylish sister, Kate.

Sophie Hulme bags: Nano Swing bag in khaki green

Photo:

Courtesy of Sophie Hulme/Jason Lloyd-Evans

Style Notes: Makeup artist Zoe Taylor has the most Instagrammable Nano Swing bag. Want.

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