interviewed by Calum Donoghue, 11 June 2015
The fight to stay stylish whilst travelling has just got easier thanks to British luxury travel and lifestyle accessories designer Otis Batterbee. We caught up with the man behind the London based brand...
Fashion is very much part of your family heritage, how did this impact your career in creating travel accessories?
I learned every part of the family business from a very early age, by the time I was 13 I could design and pattern cut and this fuelled my interest in fashion. I went to St Martins in 1999 and then went on to work for a number of luxury brands. However, I was always more interested in the accessories.
Your designs are inspired by your travels, where have been your favourite places to visit?
I have been visiting the Island of Mykonos since the early 2000’s. It’s such a magical place. May is a very peaceful time on Mykonos, the weather is fantastic but it’s not party central. July and August are the packed months and it’s a lot of fun, you can party if you want until dawn but I’m always in bed by 1am.
You manufacture your goods in the UK, why is it so important to you to make your items here?
We manufacture what we can in UK. It’s great to produce here although we are realistic, there are some things you just can’t get in the UK and therefore we have to go a little further afield. Our new range of travel bags have been produced by skilled artisans in Italy, their craftsmanship when it comes to leather goods is second to none.
You are based in Hampstead, London, where is your favourite place to relax in the area after a long day at the studio?
The Holly Bush is great for a pint after work, or we go to XO in Belsize Park for Dim Sum and Asahi.
What essential items do you always pack when travelling?
Having a travel accessories brand most people think I would pack the kitchen sink when travelling. Not true, I can’t bare travelling with lots of luggage and those washing machine suitcases are beyond ugly. I’m much happier with a holdall, some crisp white shirts and a selection of shorts. If I’m travelling economy then my eye mask helps to block out the surroundings.
You have a large line of wash bags, but what grooming products do you fill your wash bag with?
I use Tom Ford Skin Revitalising Concentrate, Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream and at night Rosa Arctica by Kiehl’s. Retardex Toothpaste is just the best, Lancaster Sublime Tan if I’m off somewhere hot and Trumpers Almond Oil Shaving Cream.
How would you describe your personal style?
Relaxed, informal, preppy, timeless.
What is next for the brand?
My women’s collection launches next month which I’m very excited about. We’re also moving in to apparel for AW16. Watch this space.