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Designer Accessories with a Retro Edge

An Introduction to the Ally Capellino Fashion Label

Ally Capellino Accessories 01

Alison Lloyd, founder of British fashion label Ally Capellino, was interested in fashion from a very early age. By the time she had reached her teens (in the early 1970’s), she was remixing old Vogue patterns and sewing clothes for herself. By 1975, Lloyd had completed an art foundation course and enrolled at Middlesex University to study fashion and textiles.

In 1980, Lloyd launched her boutique fashion label, Ally Capellino, selling hats and jewellery, designed in conjunction with her then partner, Jono Platt. The same year, a womenswear line was accidentally created when the brand created a five-piece collection to commemorate the Moscow Olympics and the controversy surrounding 1980. The 1980 Games were controversial because they were the first Games to be staged in a country with a communist regime and they were the site of the largest boycott in Olympic history. Throughout the eighties, the Ally Capellino diffusion lines ‘ao’ and ‘Hearts of Oak’, gained the brand a reputation for clean, modern and timeless womenswear, menswear and childrenswear.

In the 1990’s, Ally Capellino entered into partnership with Coats Viyella, establishing a design consultancy and licensing agreement. This resulted in the Ally Capellino brand being among the first wave of British designers to achieve commercial success in Japan with the opening of several standalone stores.

At the dawn of the new millennium, the Ally Capellino brand went back to what they were known to do best, designing and creating luxury accessories. As of 2011, the fashion label produces two seasonal collections of covetable bags for both men and women, as well as the ongoing Classics Collection. The Ally Cappellino collections are available in the standalone flagship store in London’s Shoreditch, as well as through some of the world’s finest boutiques including, London’s Tonic and Folk stores, Tokyo’s Isetan, Madrid’s Marche and New York’s Red Lipstick.

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Recent Collaborations of the Ally Capellino Fashion Label

Over recent years the Ally Capellino brand has seen a surge in popularity, thanks in part to a range of prestigious collaborations. In 2006, Capellino created bag collections for Margaret Howell, Topshop and the Tate Gallery. In recent years high-profile collaborations have included:

  • Apple: In 2010, the accessories brand embarked on its most successful collaboration to date, with technology giant, Apple. The ‘AO’ range saw original Ally Capellino bags and sleeves for a variety of Apple products, from Mac to iPad. The aim of the collaboration was to create something different from the standard black nylon computer bags available and the result was a range of understated and relaxed bags with a retro feel that the Ally Capellino brand is known for. The collaboration between the two brands was so successful that it is still ongoing, with an extensive range of products on offer.

Ally Capellino for Apple

A selection of laptop bags created by Ally Capellino for Apple.

  • Liberty: In 2010, the Ally Capellino brand collaborated with Liberty, one of London’s most prestigious department stores. To mark 30 years in the fashion industry, Capellino re-designed the classic Frank Rucksack exclusively for Liberty – the standard waxed cotton was replaced with leather and lined with a Liberty of London printed fabric.

Ally Capellino for Liberty

The re-worked Ally Capellino Frank Rucksack for Liberty.

Ally Capellino – A Timeline Snapshot

  • 1980: The Ally Capellino fashion label is founded by Surrey-born designer Alison Lloyd and the first womenswear collection is launched.
  • 1983: Ally Capellino launches their diffusion range ‘Hearts of Oak’.
  • 1986: The Ally Capellino menswear and childrenswear lines are launched.
  • 1988: The first Alley Capellino standalone store opens in London’s Soho.
  • 1996: The ‘ao’ range is launched at the Serpentine Gallery, sponsoring the Basqujat Exhibition.
  • 1999: The brand designs the official uniforms for the Brownies and Girl Guides.
  • 2000: The Ally Capellino accessories collection is launched.
  • 2005: The Ally Capellino flagship standalone store opens in London’s Shoreditch and the brand also launches their e-commerce site.
  • 2006:The brand designs a range of artists’ bags for the Tate Gallery, as well as collaborating with British fashion labels, Topshop and Margaret Howell to create limited edition collections.
  • 2008: The Ally Capellino brand collaborates with technology giant Apple.
  • 2010: Ally Capellino celebrates 30 successful years in fashion with an exhibition at The Wrapping Project, which featured a wall of classic Capellino bags, many of which had been loaned from fans and collectors. The exhibition wall doubled as an entrance into a screening room where a series of films show how Ally Capellino bags have been used and worn by their owners over the years.
  • 2011: The Calvert Avenue store in London’s Shoreditch is re-launched for the Spring/Summer season after a refit in collaboration with top furniture designer Rupert Blanchard.

 Ally Capellino Shoreditch Store

The re-lanched Shoreditch store in collaboration with furniture designer, Rupert Blanchard.

Visit the official Ally Capellino website, here.

If you like the look of Ally Capellino, check out fellow British labels, Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch and Angel Jackson.



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