What You Need To Know About Launer, Which Makes Bags For Queen Elizabeth II

What You Need To Know About Launer, Which Makes Bags For Queen Elizabeth II
What You Need To Know About Launer, Which Makes Bags For Queen Elizabeth II

Video: What You Need To Know About Launer, Which Makes Bags For Queen Elizabeth II

Video: Why the Queen's had the same handbag for 60 YEARS & What secrets are contained inside the bag 2022, November
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“I've never been as famous as I am now,” says Gerald Bodmer, CEO of UK brand Launer in a rare interview with The Telegraph. By the word "never" he means almost forty years of work in the company, where he came primarily as an anti-crisis manager, a kind of pill for troubles.

Created in the 1940s by Czechoslovak refugee Sam Launer and spotted by Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the brand lacked marketing skills and was unable to adapt to changes in the industry. The existence of Launer - a brand with an impeccable reputation, but a small audience - depended on the ability of existing customers to pay, as well as on the supply of high-quality leather to larger players in the fashion market, in particular Gucci. Gerald Bodmer, who at that time had more than a decade of experience with leather goods and knew the product perfectly, tried to rid Launer of its status as a niche brand and a subcontractor.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher with Launer Bag
Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher with Launer Bag

1 of 2 Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II with a Launer bag © instagram.com/itsoliviacolman Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher with a Launer bag © Screenshot

Watching other brands go overseas, severing all ties to the UK, Bodmer insisted on leaving Launer production at the Walsall plant. In addition, a new recruit in the brand's team ordered to expand the range of the brand with new models and colors, while preserving its historical characteristics. The main one is, of course, quality. When creating Launer bags, only thin calf leather or exotic animals - whether crocodile, lizard or ostrich - are used, as well as goat suede as a lining. Each of the 80 bag parts is cut and assembled separately from the finished canvas, which is crowned with a gold-plated detail, which takes up to eight hours of handmade work on average.

The accessory turns out to be laconic, soft, light and does not restrict movement, which was liked by the first lady of the state, who often have to shake hundreds of hands - Elizabeth II, who took over the habit of wearing Launer from her mother, and Margaret Thatcher, who turned to the brand's bags either for love, or by protocol.

Margaret Thatcher, 1987
Margaret Thatcher, 1987

Margaret Thatcher, 1987 © John Downing / Getty Images

The company has a special memory of the Iron Lady, which clearly shows the marketing strategy that Gerald Bodmer used to keep Launer alive. Once he saw a cartoon in which Thatcher literally hit Argentina with a bag (Great Britain was fighting with her in the Falklands War), then made a newspaper clipping, put it in a box with a Launer bag and sent it as a gift to the cabinet. “I didn't know what was going to happen,” Bodmer commented on his act, which Thatcher, by the way, appreciated. Since then, her assistant has either bought or ordered custom tailoring of the brand's products, without which the baroness practically never went out. Launer bags have become such an integral part of her style that Thatcher's daughter in 2016 rejected the statue, during the preparation of which the accessory could not be displayed. Boris Johnson,the then mayor of London, agreed with the former prime minister's family, instructing him to "attach a bronze purse, even though it is rather unusual."

Nostalgia for Margaret Thatcher's appearance after her death boosted Launer's sales by 53%. A greater effect was produced, perhaps, by the appearance of Elizabeth II with the brand's bag at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton; this event in the UK alone was followed by 24.5 million people. Then the brand's website, which opened in 2009 and was completely unprepared for the influx of buyers, collapsed, and sales grew up to 60% for several more weeks. Bodmer was happy and upset at the same time, because this wasn't the first time the Queen came out with a Launer bag.

According to media estimates, the collection of the British monarch has about 200 products of the brand, including different variations of her favorite items - Traviata and Turandot. However, in an interview with The Telegraph, Launer's CEO refutes these numbers for the first time: “The Queen doesn't have many of our bags, but they are all very good quality. Recently, I've made them even lighter to make them more comfortable. All of this, along with the fact that the bags are made in the UK, are of particular importance to them [Elizabeth II and her assistant Angela Kelly].”

Elizabeth II with Launer Traviata at the Royal British Legion Christmas Event 2019
Elizabeth II with Launer Traviata at the Royal British Legion Christmas Event 2019

1 of 10 Elizabeth II with a Launer bag before a vacation in Balmoral, 1947 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with a Launer bag at a meeting with Nelson Mandela, 1995 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with a Launer bag during a state visit to Durban, 1995 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer Traviata bag at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 2018 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer Turandot bag during a visit to the Science Museum, 2019 © instagram. com / theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer Traviata at an audience with Boris Johnson, 2019 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer Turandot at the opening of the Porton Down energy laboratory, 2020 © instagram.com / theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer bag at the Aga Khan Development Network dinner, 2018 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer Traviata bag at the 2019 NATO Leaders Convention Reception © instagram.com/theroyalfamily Elizabeth II with Launer Traviata at the Royal British Legion Christmas Event 2019 © instagram.com/theroyalfamily

Of particular importance to the British origin is also for Amy Roberts, costume designer for the TV series "Crown", who managed to achieve almost documentary accuracy in reproducing the characters of the characters. Olivia Coleman, who plays the role of Elizabeth II for the second season, does not let go of her hands (or rather, does not remove from the crook of her elbow) the model Launer Traviata in white, while Gillian Anderson, who made her debut as Margaret Thatcher, appears in the frame with a bag - tablet.

In total, according to Gerald Bodmer, the Crown team asked for four bags for shooting, so it is possible that other members of the royal family will appear with them in the series. Moreover, in real life, Launer was bailed out by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who, like Elizabeth II, visited the company's historic plant in Walsall in January.

Considering that the previous season of "Crown" was watched by 73 million people, and the new one, taking into account the appearance of Emma Corrin in the role of Princess Diana, even pretends to become a blockbuster, work at the plant will increase in the near future. Bodmer no longer needs to build marketing strategies. The main thing now is to develop the site.

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