British designer Alice Horlick is the creative director of women’s accessories brand, AEVHA London. George R Vaughan caught up with fashion’s latest trendsetter at The Walrus Room, a Victorian themed bar in Battersea, which she imagined herself.
As I sit in the newest “place to be” in Battersea Rise, a little overcome by the atmosphere of a room clearly inspired by Victorian England, I turn to the eminently approachable Alice Horlick who is sitting opposite me sipping on a magnificent looking cocktail.
Although she has carved a career for herself that couldn’t be any further from the path her respected mother took, there’s no mistaking whose daughter this is. It isn’t just the slender looks and soft smile behind the brunette bob that connects her to the city investor once dubbed “Superwoman” by the media. Horlick is no less ambitious and equally keen to make her mark in her chosen career.
“The real thing that interested me about handbags is the idea of creating a luxury product that is also multi-functional. The handbag is probably THE essential item in any women’s wardrobe and something that can be used almost all year round.”
She takes another sip on her cocktail made exclusively in The Walrus Room and I follow her lead and indulge myself on something called “A Bitter Tear”, as I succumb to the ambience of the quaint retreat.
“Every drink has been inspired by Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus And The Carpenter, “ Horlick explains. “That’s also how we came up with the name for this place.
“I wanted to create something that my AEVHA customers would enjoy coming to for fine drinks in a rather unique setting, whilst still retaining an identity outside of my fashion brand. They are two very different businesses that have their own unique style and personality but share a common, bohemian theme.
“As a little bonus, anyone coming in with an AEVHA bag will get their first drink free!”
For someone still relatively young Horlick has a keen eye for nostalgia and whether it’s handbags or cocktail bars, she knows how to get the aesthetics just right.
But then what else would one expect from a graduate of The London College Of Fashion.
“I love working with fabrics and materials – especially leather – so I guess it was a natural progression for me.”
AEVHA London has been receiving a lot of deserved attention from the fashion elite of late. The luxury handbag and accessory company makes all its handbags from the finest leathers and employs brand specific colours and textures, which Horlick hopes will strengthen the brands aim to establish itself as a cult label.
“We want to reflect our London roots as well as the edgy but timeless elegance that makes our capital so unique.”
So who is she aiming her brand at specifically?
“Anyone really but particularly those who want to make a strong design statement. We produce a luxury product but it has to be fun and practical too. Of course there will be a select few limited edition items too.”
Finally, where does she the future of the business going?
“AEVHA handbags We want to be hitting with the big boys. This isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan fashion exercise. We are working to get notice and whilst the products will go a long way towards achieving that, brand exposure in whatever positive form is always welcome.
“The aim is to have our handbags nestled on the arms of as many A-Listers as we can target.
George R Vaughan