It sounds a curious name at first: but ‘Troubadour’ could not be a more apposite one for the London-based luxury luggage maker founded in 2009 by Canadian former professional cyclist Samuel Bail and his friend and compatriot Abel Samet, who met working in mergers and acquisitions for the London offices of financial advisory company Lazard Frères.
Troubadours, as most readers will know, were travelling storytellers in the Middle Ages: how this relates to the brand is two-fold. Firstly, when Bail and Samet went on a quest to create a discreet, versatile, high-quality bag that owners could take straight from an office meeting to a weekend break without it looking ex situ in either setting, they encountered a wealth of rich narratives from the various tanneries and artisans they dealt with; secondly, they want the receptacles in question to last owners a lifetime, carrying not only their owners’ possessions but also the stories of their adventures, accumulated over the decades.
Fellow British brand Sunspel goes back way further, to 1860, when it was founded as a textile factory in Nottingham, and made its name first by creating amongst the very first t-shirts ever made, then by introducing boxer shorts to the UK in the 1940s.
This three-piece collection – the Pathfinder Briefcase (£375), the Troubadour Tote (£245)and the Slipstream Rucksack (£375), all limited to 30 pieces each – sees the exceptional technical performance of Troubadour’s bags married to Sunspel’s long heritage of producing beautiful natural cotton fabrics. The deep navy fabric from which they’re made contrasts pleasingly with the bags’ brushed silver hardware, while all pieces have super-smooth zippers, pockets including a padded one for a 16-inch laptop, comfortable shoulder straps and handles made from vegetable-tanned Italian leather.
“Our exciting collaboration has led to the creation of a premium waterproof fabric that combines comfort, performance and durability,” says Bail . “This fabric is perfect for making bags that offer refinement and versatility on every occasion, whether you’re heading for the boardroom or the beach.”
Nicholas Brooke, Sunspel CEO, adds: “Troubadour’s clean designs, functionality and exceptional build quality speak volumes
to me and I’ve personally been a customer for over 5 years, long before I first met Samuel and Abel. Sunspel and Troubadour share a great many values and we’re delighted with this collaboration with another respected and dynamic British company. The Sunspel customer loves to travel and the Troubadour customer loves timeless style – and this collection brings those elements together perfectly.”