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Back & Forward

Back & Forward

A Letter From Isabel

This title could be a description of guidelines for business and travel in the light of Government recommendations… but it’s about the significance of history and how something nearly 100 years old can be made modern and relevant. Our new yellow canvas bags come with so much back story… the early days of the Connolly family automotive business and the latest Connolly premises at 4, Clifford Street.

Back & Forward

Coming in three sizes, from mini to maxi, the new canvas totes are designed by Couli, our amazing bag designer and whose experience at both Margiela and Hermès always brings a rare simplicity and class to all she creates for us. 'The colour I chose,' says Couli, 'is the near mythical Connolly yellow; the grained canvas is inspired by the all weather leather found on the hoods of the first motor cars, and the ready for the road shape in three sizes makes for a travellers best companion... whether your adventure is in the city or on the beach.'

The new signature canvas is based on a very old, expensive, Connolly leather upholstery finish called Vaumol Luxan, and first dates from 1928. Connolly Vaumol covered the interiors of the great marques from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and Aston Martin, as well as upholstery in some of the most famous buildings like the Houses of Parliament: government sits on Connolly leather benches in the two chambers. We are still producing Vaumol today with its unique patina; for special orders and project cars like the James Bond Aston Martin. To get the unique look, the patina is rubbed into the surface grain by hand to give depth and to enhance the colour and the richness, this became known as Luxan… the very top of the top range.

When I was at the restorers with Jonathan Connolly the other day, there was a very rare Ferrari being restored with a vinyl luxan style upholstery  - not leather because it was an open top racing beast and as such this vinyl was just the ticket... I realised I was in pretty good company.  It was for this very same reason we decided to launch the canvas with its vinyl all weather leather finish; in homage to those stylists of the 1950's and to the roots of Connolly automotive history. The new Connolly beach bag, boat bag, torrential rain bag, and mini bag are made in this very special canvas in homage to Vaumol Luxan.  

It has taken nearly 2 years to get the colour, the grain size, the rubbed in patina and the  weight and tone of the canvas interior: spot on. Patience and artistry from the world famous canvas printers in Italy, along with rigorous sustainability checks... and then the final trim in veg tanned leather made  by our leather workshops in Ubrique  -  I hope you like it as much as we do and that it will last as long and prove as much fun as that Ferrari interior. 

And the colour? Well it is the colour of our yellow room at 4 Clifford Street, as well as the original colour reference 3998 from the Connolly Archive Leather swatch book that started the whole journey… I just wonder who originally chose that colour for their upholstery and I really hope after reading this someone calls up Jonathan Connolly and asks us to recreate it for them again.