LFW diary: Backseat Q&A with Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed


Imran Amed, expat dynamo behind the Business of Fashion blog, has created a bag and named it after his hometown. The “Calgary” is a collaboration with Bill Amberg, whose little shop of leathers is around the corner from Amed’s Notting Hill flat, and comes in six limited-edition styles (black pony, orange patent…) for £950 (about $1,500 CAD). There’s also a “crowdsourced” version: you can go to the BoF site to vote for black cowhide, grey patent or brown cowhide. The winning style will sell for £495 (about $785 CAD). It might not be quite “the Carine,” as seen in yesterday’s Tom Ford show, but the “Calgary” certainly has an it-ness all its own.

I ran into Amed toting his brand-new bag after the Topshop show, and he kindly shared a cab with me as well as answering a few of my questions.

Tell me how this idea came to pass. There are a lot of bags—even for men. What made you feel like you could do something that hadn’t been done before?

It wasn’t like that at all. Basically, I did a segment for CNN on my favourite luxury brands of 2010, and Bill Amberg was on the top of my list. His bags are all handmade in the UK. They’re great because they’re not fashion-y; they’re beautiful and timeless and will look appropriate in five years. Anyway, after we filmed the interview, Bill asked me if I wanted to do a bag.

I’ve noticed that you’re careful not to call yourself a designer.

No, I’m not a designer nor do I fancy myself a designer. It’s not called the “Imran.” The role that I played was more of a consumer’s role: someone who’s young and mobile and lives a really busy life. Like many young people in big cities, I start really early and end really late. So what do I need? I need a bag that holds a lot of things but doesn’t look big.

What’s in there now?

Well, this is unusual because it’s fashion week and it’s filled with fashion stuff. But usually I go to the gym three times a week and I leave my trainers there, but I can easily put a t-shirt, socks, in here. There’s a mesh pocket so the sweat doesn’t stain the leather. It’s all padded with neoprene. One time I had a laptop in my bag and the hard drive got bumped and I lost everything, so I wanted it to be protective.

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