If ever there’s a brand that warrants plenty of female attention …. it is Wilbur & Gussie. Design duo, Brett Tyne and Lucy Lyons, combine stunning vibrant fabrics and prints with vintage inspired brooches to create beautiful, elegant clutch bags – and also accessories.
You may have spotted their pieces being worn recently by Kate and Pippa Middleton, Tulisa, Alesha Dixon, Mollie King and in dozens of publications including Grazia, Marie Claire, The Guardian… and worn by Pippa Middleton,
What I really love about Wilbur & Gussie is that they create such chic, timeless handbags that last a lifetime, and yet you don’t have to pay the earth to own one.
I’ve been a fan of Brett and Lucy’s brand for some time now, so am very pleased to be sharing todays Wilbur & Gussie ‘Inspire Me’ interview with you…
How did you two meet ?
We met at school and have remained close friends over the years.
Did you both train in design ?
Neither one of us has actually had any formal training but we are both creative people. We have always had a mutual interest in art, design and fashion, namely accessories.
How do you make a business work as a duo ?
We have different styles but we like one another’s taste in everything. Although we are instinctively drawn to different materials, we agree on every collection. Patience and compromise are important. We don’t always see eye to eye but this can be seen as a positive to a working relationship as we are constantly challenging one another.
Your bags are clearly inspired by vintage – do you have a favourite era and why ?
We tend to be drawn to the late 1920’s – early 40’s. The 1930’s was the decade of the clutch. Women’s accessories were incredibly elegant and beautifully crafted. Bags were worn, not carried, and this is something we love. We believe evening bags should be show-stoppingly beautiful, just like a piece of jewellery.
I love that you have named each character after your childhood pets and also notice that you support The Tusk Charity – Are you both animal lovers ?
Yes, we are both huge animal lovers. We chose to support Tusk Trust because elephants feature so strongly in our collections.
Personally, I could study your clutch bags all day, they are so gorgeous – how did you come up with such a winning combination formula ? :)…
We saw a niche in the market for affordable clutch bags that won’t break the bank. The fabrics are inspired by our love of prints, and the jewelled brooches are from our love of vintage jewellery.
Is there a particular material that you like to work with the most ?
We are currently working with velvet and loving it! We started off using only 100% silks but have diversified over the years.
Do you have a current best seller ?
Our signature “Charlie” bag is always a best seller and is what we launched the brand with. The ‘Edith’ is the slightly larger version and is rapidly catching up with the Charlie.
What have been your biggest highs so far for Wilbur & Gussie ?
We get a high every season when the new collection comes in from the factory. Taking on new wholesale customers is always a big excitement, and every online order we receive is a little thrill. It is very rewarding to know that people want to buy the bags.
You have some lovely belts and cuffs on your site – are you moving into designing lots of accessories too ?
We are currently concentrating on developing a leather range for next season, but accessories is next in line !
Could you offer a few words of advice and some inspiration for any new designers reading this ?
Believe in your product, work hard and get as much advice from people in business as possible.
What is happening for Wilbur & Gussie in the near future?
We are continuing to develop our evening bag line and preparing to launch our first day bag collection next year. We’re working on expanding the brand internationally and hopefully our own shop is in the not too distant future !
Thanks very much to Brett and Lucy for sharing their inspirations. Do you love their designs too ?
Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx
All images copyright Wilbur & Gussie 2012.