Poli & Jo bags are the perfect mix of British heritage with a modern edge, creating #Heritedge. Their canvas totes are made from the same canvas as the roof material of the iconic Land Rover Defender. Featuring statement red trims, they are easily recognisable and if you’ve walked through Spitalfields you’ve probably spotted founder, Kenny surrounded by them.
Kenny has been selling his bags here at Spitalfields for a number of years now, but recently traded the hustle and bustle of London for the city streets of Manhattan where he showcased his latest collection as part of New York Fashion Week 2019 earlier this year. We caught up with Kenny to find out more about the new collection and his fashion week experience…
How did you come to be involved in NYFW?
We were invited to showcase our Defender collection at New York Fashion Week because of what it stands for – designed and made in England with a British heritage story, cool aesthetics, stylish and sustainable. It’s a product fit for a catwalk.
What was the highlight of your New York trip?
I feel the whole experience of NYFW was just incredible but there was a moment that was overwhelming. It’s called the finale – at the end of our part of the show, all of the models rolled down the catwalk altogether walking down the runway one after the other wearing Poli & Jo bags. It was the first time I saw it like that and it was pretty powerful.
Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind the Defender collection?
The Defender collection is our take on the cotton bag trend which came about at a time when we are much more aware of the amount of consuming and disposing we do.
We decided to smarten up the city folk and search for high-quality fabric different from the material high street use for their cotton totes. We found a highly resilient British canvas that has also been used by Land Rover for the roofs of their convertible models for over 70 years. This is the heritage canvas that we put into work to create our Defender collection. Robust design and shape of the car and the nature of the fabric dictated shapes and designs of Poli & Jo totes and backpacks.
Functionality, aesthetics and sustainability are the core ingredients of the brand makeup.
What’s next for Poli & Jo?
We are currently working on a new collection.
Stay tuned – this is just the beginning!
You can find Poli & Jo at Spitalfields Market on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, online at poliandjo.com or follow them on Instagram and Facebook for news, updates and behind the scenes exclusives.