William Scott Forshaw is Handbag Designer; he was born in Yorkshire, in the North of England. As a child his mother took him and his brother on holidays to Italy where she purchased many leather handbags and he first experienced the workmanship of the Italian leather industry. Years later, whilst working in an advertising agency in London he noticed how shabby looking the business bags of his colleagues were. He then started thinking about the Italian leather industry he encountered as a child and, from that, he went on to found Maxwell-Scott and designs his very first briefcase, the Paolo 2-section classic briefcase. Today I have a nice interview about how he started his business.
How has your mother influenced your business?
My mother always had a keen interest in the Italian leather industry and it is due to the holidays that she took me on that I got exposed to the artistry of the traditional Italian leather industry. When I began Maxwell-Scott, I worked closely with my mother as we built the brand together. We spent years in London selling in corporate environments and increasing brand awareness. In the end she decided to allow me to take centre stage but, even now, I love to run new designs past her. After all, she has always had a keen eye for leather goods and impeccable taste.
When did you know you wanted to be a handbag designer?
I have always had a keen interest in fashion however I never thought I would become a bag designer. It’s really something that I grew into which means that it has been a learning process. Nevertheless, I immensely enjoy brainstorming new designs with my team and I’m excited to launch our newest women’s collection later this year. This will be the first time that we have launched such a collection and I am looking forward to our customers experiencing the pieces that we have put so much time and thought into.
What is the fashion industry in England like?
England has always been a very fashion conscious country. From our love of the classic tweed flat cap to Gareth Southgate’s waistcoat in last year’s World Cup, we are defined by fashion. It is fair to say that English fashion is an interesting mix of traditional pieces and innovative design. London Fashion Week has always been the place to discover new talent and yet, British style is so iconic that it remains our foundation. I think over the past couple of years in particular there has been a growing focus on quality and sustainability. As such, it seems that more consumers are purchasing timeless clothing and accessories that they will have in their wardrobe for many more years to come. It is not surprising, therefore, that the UK has always been our strongest country for sales.
Talk about the changes in your life since you’ve owned your own Brand?
I initially started Maxwell-Scott when I was living in London. About 7 years ago, when my wife and I were expecting our first child, we decided to move the whole brand back to Yorkshire as I felt that it was a better place to raise kids. This provided both with a slightly slower pace of life and a headquarters close to where I grew up. So, in a way, my brand has brought me back to my roots.
How do you choose your inspiration?
Initially I got the inspiration for my first briefcase from the needs of my previous colleagues. It was very important to me that I designed a briefcase that is both smart and timeless as well as practical. Nowadays, I have a design team that I work with to help me to create bags that will be loved for decades to come.
Tell us about your latest Handbag collection.
We are going to launch a new women’s collection mid-August this year. This collection encapsulates the lifestyle of the Maxwell-Scott woman; from business handbags for weeks in the city to casual saddlebags for a weekend in the countryside. Handcrafted in Italy by expert leather artisans, the collection embraces the rise of the slow fashion movement. Made from the finest leathers in Europe, from bridle to nubuck suede, we offer a 25-year warranty on all designs as a testament to the impeccable quality and craftsmanship.
In one word: how would you define yourself as a handbag designer?
To know more about Maxwell Scott, please visit: Maxwell Scott