Anya Hindmarch unveils Imperial Leather-inspired handbag

By Julia Wray | Published: 20-Dec-2022

The British accessories designer’s crossbody bag and charm is based on Imperial Leather’s Original Bar Soap

Providing a new twist on the soap bag, British accessories designer Anya Hindmarch has launched a crossbody handbag and charm based on Imperial Leather’s classic bar soap.

The PZ Cussons-owned brand’s Original Bar Soap is one of several instantly-recognisable products that have been immortalised in handbag form by the brand, alongside those from Heinz, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola. 

Imperial Leather dates to 1921 when PZ Cussons acquired perfumer Bayley’s & Co of Bond Street and with it the Imperial Leather Original Bar Soap fragrance, called Eau de Cologne Imperiale Russe; the scent combines woodsy patchouli and frankincense.

Imperial Leather was one of the first brands to heavily invest in TV advertising.

Its bar soap became a household name by sponsoring popular British TV dramas, leading to the dramas themseves being dubbed ‘soaps operas’ and then ‘soaps’. 

The bag is available at and in-store for £450, while the the £175 Imperial Leather charm is available to purchase online.

“This exciting partnership with Anya Hindmarch cements Imperial Leather as an iconic brand from British history which is well-loved by many,” said Megan Harrison, Head of Marketing for PZ Cussons.

“The Imperial Leather Original Bar Soap has been used by generations, and it is exciting to see this classic product handpicked to be celebrated through the design, bringing back nostalgic memories for many.

“It comes at an exciting time for the brand as we have modernised the existing range with new designs and formulations to bring a fresh new look across our products. 

“As a brand, Imperial Leather hopes to create everyday indulgent experiences for its consumers, and this collaboration with Anya Hindmarch helps to bring that little bit of luxury to your every day, just like Imperial Leather.”

The collaboration follows a range and bottle design revamp by the brand. 

The new bottles include revived formulations and new fragrances, while the Original Bar Soap has been revised to include a new formula with a rich and creamy lather that is claimed to be even gentler on hands.

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