Mariya Dykalo – Day 1

I love the early hours of the day – my four-month-old daughter Safiya normally wakes me at 6am. We have beautiful mornings in our country house in West Sussex, which is part of a stunning National Trust park. The sun comes up over a misty field and my head is full of ideas when I wake. I love this time of day; it’s still very quiet and through my sliding window doors I watch baby deer in our English garden. It’s not long before the peace is interrupted by Daisy, my miniature schnauzer, who is chasing rabbits around the garden. Daisy usually wakes my seven-year-old son Jack, along with the rest of the family.


I am always in the office by 9am, and today is a big day, as all the managers of our UK stores and concessions are visiting our West Sussex headquarters. By 9.30am I am presenting our autumn/winter 2014 season, which is inspired by CS Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. Our huge showroom has been transformed into the world of Narnia, and a polar bear walks around greeting everybody on arrival.

At the event, it’s a joy to talk about my favourite pieces in the new handbag collection. Unsurprisingly, our Marylebone Tech Tote is still a favourite with customers. But the best part of the day is when we break for coffee and chat with key management. We always have a cameraman filming each store manager describing what bags they love from the autumn/winter collection. It’s great listening to their feedback later and understanding what styles work and why. Then we have a fun shoot outside with all the managers and head office staff modelling their favourite bags. It’s always great seeing our store managers so excited about a new collection.

After the break, the head of merchandising and product training gives a commercial review. Our CEO also presents the global expansion and engagement plans.

In the evening we have a big dinner and masquerade party, set in the local, medieval-style Spread Eagle Hotel. Everybody dresses up beautifully and carries their favourite Aspinal clutch. I take lots of selfies on Instagram and Twitter, making sure, of course, that Aspinal clutches are in every picture.