"K" Avery-Stallion born in London, studied contemporary Textiles at Nottingham Polytechnic.
To design well-proportioned, pared down, beautifully designed products for stylish men and women the globe over. Heavily influenced by the pleasing '70s proportions of bag brands like COACH and the timeless understated elegance of MaxMara, "K" wants her products look great but work effortlessly.
St Leonards was born after years of working for other brands gaining experience in buying, range building design and development for accessories."K" had had several false starts in 2000 and 2006 trying to create accessory brands whilst holding down a full time job but they never gained traction, despite one style being ordered by Paul Smith. Having sold her beloved Figaro convertible to fund the first prototypes, she started selling bags to friends and family, getting them manufactured using contacts she'd made during her time as an accessories buyer/developer for East Ltd.
As this seemed to go well, the profit from these sale was used to trial and research better quality materials and fittings, and she decided to manufacture in the UK, not only to support the then languishing industry, but to enable a more hands-on approach to the samples development and simplify the whole manufacturing process. A more carbon conscious and eco friendly approach appealed too. Having found a London based workshop to manufacture small batches I launched Nov 2010 as St Leonards.
St Leonards and its location:
The brand is deep-rooted in its surroundings. St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex was the model town for the reowned Regency architect Decimus Burton. His elegant streets with far-reaching views of the sea created in the early 1800's was once one of the most elegant seaside towns in England. Much of that elegance can still be seen today but now it's very much mixed up with a bohemian rough-and-ready artistic community, many of whom left London like myself to enjoy a more relaxed pace and spectacular seaside living. 10 years later there's now a burgeoning creative scene and St Leonards is proud to be part of the growth.
St Leonards is older than its years. It's been a sub-concious work in progress for more than 10 years and finally it's managed to reveal itself. Many of the products are named after streets or events that occur in its immediate vicinity, and it even has heraldic symbols full of precious meaning for the brand and its founder.
It's also rather poignant that St Leonards' grandfather, Robert Leonard Avery was trained by the Royal Legion in leather craft when he was invalided out of the army.During his convalesence Robert honed his skills and then started selling his collection of small leather goods at local markets in Hampshire. he was then selling his products nationally through the British Legion until the mid 1950's when he was recognised for his high quality products at a fair in Olympia, London. Little did he know that years later his grand daughter was to follow in his footsteps.
St Leonards is not about style over substance. It's all about substance and forging your own sense of style whether you're 8 or 88. It hates fads and loves longevity. It loves products that are androgynous too. Many of the designs are for men AND women. It expects you to fight over them. Often.
St Leonards hopes you'll grown alongside this plucky British brand and return again and again, enjoying the products, the off-beat branding and of course the high quality customer service too.
The Shop:In July 2016 "K" appealed to her loyal customers, friends and family with a rapid crowdfunding campaign. She had just 3 weeks to raise the lease deposit to secure the ideal space on Norman Road. The shop opened and began trading on the 1st August 2016 as St Leonards Modern Goods at 70 Norman Road - it's a modern lifestyle store for men and women of all ages; not only does it provide the town with contemporary, well designed clothing, gifts and items for the home but it's the studio hub and production space for the online brand.