Whether it's fronting a campaign for a label such as AG or launching her own covetable collections from her eponymous brand, pretty much anything Alexa Chung touches or wears, we want a piece of. Today, Chung unveils her very first bag, in support of the annual charity initiative Amex Shop Small. Priced at just £25, the gorgeous gingham tote is significantly more affordable than other pieces from the Alexachung range but is just as playful, chic and current as we might expect from the beloved Brit style icon. "I was asked to create a canvas bag, and to be honest with you we had a couple of other versions in the works before this particular shape occurred to me. I wanted to make something unexpected and recently I have noticed a trend for micro bags," Chung explains. "This is the first bag we have created as a brand and I wanted it to reflect our goals as a company: to make things that are fun, classic, quirky but easy and cool. The gingham is a colour way we had applied to one of my favourite dresses in our second collection and I love it because it’s classic but fresh, and the mini sizing is an interesting play with proportion."
So why did Chung decide to launch her first ever bag with Amex Shop Small, an initiative that celebrates the local business owners who do big things for their communities every day? "Supporting small independent businesses has always been important to me because it was how I was brought up – shopping at the local Hampshire butcher or the village shop. Now that I’m an adult with a business of my own, I am acutely aware of how hard it can be to get something up and running. I wanted to make something in conjunction with Amex to celebrate the cornucopia of fantastic small businesses Britain has, in the hope that people will continue to support their local independent shops to keep the streets eclectic and alive."
The campaign, starring both Alexa and the gingham bag, was shot on Columbia Road, a stone's throw from the model, designer and muse's favourite pub, the Royal Oak. And just a bit further afield is another spot that Chung frequents: "One of my favourite independent retailers is a bit of a curveball – it’s called Fin and Flounder on Broadway Market. On a Saturday one of my favourite things to do is to go to Broadway Market, hang out, get some flowers and a coffee, and then pop in to Fin and Flounder, where I not only admire the fish but also their outfits. These dudes that work in their head to toe sick outfits – welly boots, an apron."
Despite being a firm fixture in the front row at Paris and Milan Fashion Week, Chung is pretty patriotic when it comes to style and shopping. "I am very passionate about British-made products because I myself am a British-made product! I also think Britain is cool, it’s where I grew up and I have always tried to support British designers. Living in New York made me romanticise home even more so now that I'm back living and working here, I am happy to do whatever I can to bring our diversity and promote how cool we are as a nation."
Retailing at £25, all profits from the limited edition canvas bag will go to The Sarabande Foundation, established by Alexander McQueen to support young British creatives. The bag is available exclusively at alexachung.com/amex from 15th November 2017.