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Vanity cases have risen to prominence as fashion’s most attractive bag trend, but Princess Diana carried a pleasingly formed boxy container long before Gigi Hadid stowed her personals in a polished Loro Piana piece and Irina Shayk clutched a sleek Hunting Season version. Indeed, she carried her Tanner Krolle top-handle beauty box to Annabel’s, one of London’s most prestigious members’ clubs.
As a result, when Tabitha Simmons, the newly appointed creative director of the British vintage baggage brand, joined Tanner Krolle, it was a no-brainer for her to reinvent the model for modern-day Diana style enthusiasts. The outcome is nothing short of perfection: a 1960s-inspired design based on a Tanner Krolle set originally created for Aston Martin. Each stylish version of the design classic is uniquely numbered to provide the royal favorite a sense of formality, while the additional amenities, such as a mirror for perfect lipstick application, bring the aptly called Annabel purse into the modern-day.
“I lowered the proportions of the vanity case from Tanner Krolle’s library and updated it by adding a shoulder strap and a top handle,” Simmons explains to Vogue about Annabel’s day-to-night utility. “It’s also spacious enough to accommodate your phone and cosmetics without sacrificing elegance.”
For Simmons, it is the dexterity behind the charming carry-case and its delicate pink Alcantara lining that lends the ode to Princess Diana its inherent gloss, not its iPhone-compatible size. “Each item is molded by highly trained specialists using time-honored techniques,” she says of the craftsmen carrying on the heritage of the company’s founder, German saddlemaker Fredrich Krolle, in 1856.
Indeed, the Princess of Wales’ love for “excellent workmanship” extended beyond her portable members’ club companion to the label’s luggage, which she most likely discovered through Prince Charles. Princess Margaret commissioned many practical-chic pieces from the company, including presents for her sister, Queen Elizabeth, and the sophisticated luggage quickly became a Windsor family favorite. (Tanner Krolle, incidentally, recently had a call-in from The Crown’s costume department.)
Perhaps this is only the beginning of Simmons’s investigation into Tanner Krolle’s illustrious past, but what a beautiful place to begin.