OSPREY LONDON is the principal brand name of GRAEME ELLISDON Ltd, the independently owned luxury leather, lifestyle and retail company.
Our story begins in 1980 with a belt, handcut and handstitched in a hayloft in Hertfordshire that the then 25 year old Graeme Ellisdon had rented for just £2 a week. Having invested £500 of his own money into launching his fledgling brand, OSPREY LONDON quickly became all the rage with the UK's leading retailers and both rock and real royalty snapping up his beautiful handcrafted leather belts.
Foreseeing that fashion's focus was sure to move away from the waist, Graeme used his love of leather and traditional skills to create the first of many gorgeous and practical bags and small leather goods for men and women, earning OSPREY LONDON a worldwide reputation as an affordable luxury leather brand with a spirited take on British style.
Today, OSPREY LONDON products are made by highly skilled craftsmen in the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal and India, working to Graeme & Alex Ellisdon's design briefs. No matter where each product is made, it then undergoes rigorous quality control checks at the company's UK headquarters to ensure it is worthy of the OSPREY LONDON name.
Having always envisaged OSPREY LONDON as a lifestyle brand, today’s online collection not only continues to grow with seasonal new injections of leather bags and accessories, but also to diversify with the successful introduction scarves, silk ties, clothing, a home fragrance range, precious jewellery, gifting and sunglasses. However, our online store is just the tip of the iceberg and for a full sensory experience of the brand, it's worth paying a visit to one of our stores.
With an innovative approach to retail, in 2002 the company opened OSPREY HOME, the exciting contemporary lifestyle store in a picturesque rural location outside St Albans, which in more recent times has become something of a rural retail destination. Today the location houses one of the brand’s sixteen outlet stores while OSPREY HOME showcases not only branded leather accessories, clothing and gifting but also furniture, lighting, art and sculpture. These are all personally sourced by Graeme and Alex on their travels from companies which share the same values, using traditional techniques and natural materials to create special products that stand out from the crowd. Rowan, the designer knitting company has also opened its UK flagship within the OSPREY HOME premises, while the Francesca Beauty Studio is another recent addition to the site. All can be enjoyed over drinks, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner in the brand's popular Saddlery Cafe, now managed by JJAM, the company founded and run by Jack Ellisdon and Scott Martin.
The brand’s London flagship store opened in 2014 at 27 Regent Street St James's in a Grade II listed two storey building owned by The Crown Estate. Formerly home to a bank, the store interior was designed by Graeme and Alex, working with a team of local British craftsmen to re-energise the space in a spirit true to the building itself. With a new reconfiguration planned for the flagship in 2021, the new layout features a cafe-bar on the ground floor with outdoor seating and gallery-style retail around the perimeter inside, to showcase the brand's leather collections as well as jewellery, art, furniture and homewares. The lower ground floor is pegged for events spotlighting the brand's collaborations with fellow companies on new product categories such as footwear, and with artists such as Grayson Perry.
Inspired by the development of the outlet sector in the USA, the first OSPREY LONDON outlet store opened at York Designer Outlet in 2009. "I was convinced that the right product in a beautiful store with great service at outlet prices was going to be a winner," Graeme said. In 2010 OSPREY LONDON was awarded best newcomer in the industry ORDA Awards and now has a chain of UK outlet stores with the first overseas franchised store in Finland. "The opportunities for expansion are exciting," says Alex.
Editing together the best of our outlet offers with new season leather collections and homewares, the brand now operates a popular new hybrid retail concept at locations in Ringwood, Radlett and Hitchin, the latter of which echoes OSPREY HOME in that it also has likeminded tenants and a great cafe to boot!
"When I founded the company back in 1980, our products then sold exclusively through wholesale accounts and collaborations with other designers," says Graeme. "Today we are establishing new wholesale accounts, but this time with first class online retailers such as Next, which gives us a great opportunity to expand the brand's reach to a wider demographic."