Gear up in style

The Zella Ash backpack is made from fine leather
New U.K. brand Zella Ash elevates the utilitarian backpack with luxe leather

Anyone who’s ever done a mad dash through an airport—tote bag slipping off your shoulder as you weave between bewildered travellers while wildly scanning for your gate number—has also silently vowed: never again.

Wearing a backpack when travelling lets you roam a little less encumbered, freeing up your hands for the essential passport and smartphone. Such sturdy pack-it-all-in gear doesn’t have to be made of masculine canvas and riddled with clunky zippers. Stylish case in point: the leather backpack from new U.K. brand, Zella Ash. Hands-free meets luxury. The slim straps keep the compact backpack in place, while easy-access outer pockets are ideal for stashing items such as the de rigueur eye mask and earbuds. Gold-toned metal hardware complements the top-quality leather, effectively transforming utilitarian to elegant.  

The craftsmanship should be meticulous  —Florence Ashman

Zella Ash was founded in 2015 by Florence Ashman, who named her Manchester-based company after her daughter, Gizella. All the leather used in the line of backpacks, wallets, cross-body bags, footwear and more has been handpicked by Ashman. A former nurse, she developed her exacting standards when researching suppliers in Italy, Portugal and India and studying their production processes. Says Ashman, “The craftsmanship should be meticulous.” Φ

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