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Smythson appoints first ever design director

Smythson, the luxury handbag and leather goods firm, has appointed its first ever design director, hiring former Coach vice president to fill the role.

Rory O’Hanlon will start his job with immediate effect and is responsible for design across all product categories.

O’Hanlon, who was most recently divisional vice president for women’s leather goods at luxury accessories brand Coach, has also had experience at luxury labels including Celine, Jil Sander, Burberry and Gucci according to reports.

O’Hanlon said: “It is an amazing opportunity to join such an iconic brand, to have such exceptional skill and craftsmanship at our disposal with our three in-house factories. It will be really exciting to delve into Smythson’s heritage, to interpret the brand’s history and produce the exquisite product that will truly speak to the men and women of today.”

Smythson chief executive Andy Janowski said: “The new position of design director will be instrumental in fulfilling our strategic objectives and supporting long-term growth for the brand. Rory’s creativity and vast experience in the luxury accessories industry will be critical to unleashing the brand’s innate potential and consolidating Smythson as the iconic British luxury leather goods brand.”

He added: “Samantha Cameron [creative consultant at the brand] will continue to support me in building the brand image and raising global awareness of Smythson. She will also focus on the brand’s 125 year heritage - an exceptionally rich resource that we have only just begun to tap into.”

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