While most new mums are adapting to their changed life, Rebecca Maguire created Harry & Co as well as adjusting to life with baby. Harry & Co bags are handmade with the finest luxury leather from New Zealand and Europe and are as functional as they are beautiful.
We spoke to Maguire about her latest collection, sustainability, and what she sees as the importance of craftsmanship.
What was the journey for you to become a handbag designer?
I have always been interested in clothing and accessories and have had a particular obsession and developed a wee collection of bags over the years. I completed a BA in Fashion at AUT and designed clothing for a long time until making the decision to concentrate solely on accessories five years ago.
What’s the story behind the name Harry & Co?
My eldest son is named Harry, I started the business six years ago when he was a young baby right by my side!
What makes Harry & Co unique in the marketplace?
Harry & Co was created to offer timeless leather pieces which are everyday functional and get better with age! We strive to use only the best leather and materials.
Tell us about the craftsmanship of a typical Harry & Co piece.
We take great care and time to directly source all of our raw materials, using premium New Zealand and Italian leathers for all our product. Our hardware is solid brass and sourced through an American company. We strive to produce a premium product that our customers will love to wear and will become a timeless piece.
Tell us about your latest collection.
Our winter ’19 collection introduces our new tan ostrich embossed leather which has such great texture. All the favourite shapes and some new styles are featured, the Eva clutch is my favourite for the season, in the tan ostrich material.
What inspires you to continue with being a New Zealand designer?
NZ is home for me and my family, I love having a business here. It’s also a great market to launch a small business.
Do you have any design heroes?
The late Alexander McQueen and Hedi Slimane for Celine would be at the top of my list.
What’s your career highlight?
It was a highlight to see a picture of Julia Stone wearing a Harry & Co suede fringe bag a couple of years back!
What’s your best advice for someone wanting to follow a similar career path?
Do it! Get as much work experience learning from others first. [Fashion] is a great industry with some really creative people.
How important are sustainable practices to you in the current eco-conscious climate?
Very important. We use leather that is a by-product of the industry, recycle all packing and minimise as much waste as possible. We work with one small factory to ensure their practices are in line with ours.
What don’t you leave the house without?
I’m always forgetting something when I leave the house between myself and my two young boys! However, I generally always have a Harry & Co bag with me.
Shop the latest Harry & Co collection at the online store.