Radley x RHS collection includes leather handbags, purses and tote bags and features designs inspired by artwork from the RHS Lindley Collections. License Global speaks exclusively with Cathy Snow, licensing manager, RHS, to learn more about the collaboration.

Ian Hart, Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA

February 26, 2024

5 Min Read
Bag from the Radley x RHS spring/summer Collection, Radley, Royal Horticultural Society
Bag from the Radley x RHS spring/summer CollectionRadley, Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced a collaboration with Radley, known for its leather handbags and accessories, that will bring horticulture-inspired designs to a new collection launching in the spring.

The Radley x RHS collection includes handbags, purses and tote bags and features designs inspired by artwork from the RHS Lindley Collections of botanical art, as well as the RHS Gardens themselves.

In particular, the designs are based on the work of admired female artists, Caroline Maria Applebee (1787-1854), whose 300 or more elegant drawings are a fascinating record of social and horticultural history in her time, and Gertrude Jekyll (1843–1932), whose highly influential work laid the basis for modern garden design.

The result is a collaboration abloom with flora and fauna in horticulture-inspired shades of Hosta, Cactus, Lavender, Wisteria and Mimosa. The designs feature color and foil-embossed details using leather printed and appliquéd onto signature shapes. The RHS name will appear on swing tickets and sewn-in seam labels and on POS material in stores.

“There is something about a beautiful botanical image that appeals regardless of the product type,” says Cathy Snow, licensing manager, RHS. “From designer clothes and accessories, to bedding and homeware, gardening equipment, chocolates, drinks, stationery, greetings cards, calendars, quilts and so much more, a design inspired by the natural world genuinely works.”

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The collaboration has been in the works since 2022, with a view to launching at RHS Chelsea Flower show 2023 but was delayed by the King’s coronation.

“Throughout 2023, we worked quietly away, supplying Radley with artwork ideas, approving Radley’s excellent design ideas and signing off on product and packaging,” says Snow. “Over the past few weeks, the launch and supporting marketing campaign have started to take shape. Radley is a perfect partner for RHS. It’s a brand that takes care creating beautifully designed product with great attention to detail and we complement each other in other ways. In fact, garden design and fashion design have long had strong associations. The fact that one of Radley’s inspirations was a drawing from our Gertrude Jekyll sketch books held exclusively in the RHS Lindley Collections is no coincidence. Jekyll was an inspirational garden designer, but she also had an eye for textile and jewelry designs.”

For this launch the RHS is partnering with a company known for creativity, craftsmanship, attention to detail and amazing design. Born in the heart of London in 1998, Radley combines fashion and function in all its products.

“It was a privilege to be given access to the RHS Lindley Collections to create this one-of-a-kind collection,” says Zizi Hill, creative director, Radley. “Radley’s blend of creative design, quality materials and immaculate craftsmanship has combined with the much-loved RHS brand and its unique design assets in a truly unique offering that we are certain our customers will adore.”

Bag from the Radley x RHS spring/summer Collection, Radley, Royal Horticultural Society

Brand Recognition

The collaboration aims to bring gardening, the beauty of nature and the artwork held in RHS collections to the attention of the catwalk and the fashion world in general.

“It is a real coup for us to be working with Radley, a company known for creativity, craftsmanship, attention to detail and amazing design,” adds Snow. “But Radley is equally thrilled to be working with us. Radley and the RHS both enjoy great brand recognition, something that will underpin the joint marketing planned around the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.”

Planning and Design Phase

Radley was keen that some of its most popular bag designs were included in the collection. “It was important to launch with a comprehensive collection with a range of price points,” says Snow. “But we both agreed it was also important that these should be designs that would have great appeal across a wide spectrum of ages. Who wouldn’t want to be seen with a beautiful bag when they are out and about visiting RHS shows and gardens?”

Bag from the Radley x RHS spring/summer Collection, Radley, Royal Horticultural Society

Retail Activations

The Radley x RHS special-edition collection will be available beginning March 11 at Radley’s London and Glasgow flagship stores, online and at various retailers.

“Radley has already done a lot of work to support the launch,” says Snow. “Its team has visited and filmed at the RHS Lindley Library in Vincent Square, London. The Radley team viewed some of the original artworks and interviewed one of our expert librarians to talk about the works that inspired the designs.

“During February, Radley visited RHS Garden Wisley to interview and film four of our gardeners to highlight the role of women in gardening. Underlining the link with fashion, two of the four gardeners had previously trained or worked in the fashion industry.”

The work will support the strong marketing activity planned for March, which includes a competition – hosted by Radley – to win tickets to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which takes place May 21-25.

“The campaign will continue in May when Radley will take special guests to RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Press Day,” concludes Snow. “All these varied activities are being strongly supported by the RHS Licensing Team. After the unforeseen delays it’s wonderful to be able to make some real noise about this truly thrilling partnership.

“This gorgeous collection not only highlights the plants and flowers that help wildlife thrive but is highly desirable in its own right. It’s a perfect partnership of skilled craftsmanship and gorgeous designs from some of the U.K.’s greatest horticultural artists, that I have no doubt will receive an enthusiastic reception.”

About the Author(s)

Ian Hart

Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA, License Global

Ian joined the License Global editorial team in May 2022 as digital editor for the U.K. and EMEA, becoming Senior Digital Editor in April 2023.

Ian is a huge fan of sports and entertainment brands and, as a father, toys and kids' brands are a large part of his life!

He has been at Informa (formerly UBM) since 2018, where he was previously the editor of SHP, a B2B digital publication aimed at health & safety professionals.

Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in B2B trade print media, in the automotive sector, working on various publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

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