A Lesson in Handbag Curation
We sneak a rare peek inside the well-stocked (and much-treasured) bags of team Liberty.
Catch a glimpse inside a woman’s bag and you’ll learn a lot about the inner workings of her mind. The long-forgotten to-do list, the paper diary she can’t bear to digitise, the lip balm tube that’s been squeezed into oblivion; every item hints at the type of life she leads.
But no matter the woman, there is a specific set of handbag essentials every bag ought to house; a curated and concise list of beauty must-haves that make life run a little smoother whenever they’re kept to hand. We asked a handful of Liberty staff to let us rummage inside their carefully (or not so carefully) curated bags. Here’s what we found.
Head of Buying Accessories
“I have a love/hate relationship with handbags. I love the act of finding The One, a bag that makes your heart skip a beat, occupying your thoughts for weeks and months until you finally take the plunge and buy it. I love the new bag smell and the thrill of the first wear. However, I long for a day when I can go out without one. To live hands free. But until that day comes, a crossbody strap is a key bag requirement.
“Inside, you’ll find my diary (no one uses paper diaries anymore, but I love mine), my ditzy print card holder, a pair of sunglasses and a few of my everyday beauty essentials, most importantly: hand sanitizer. I’ve become so reliant on it.”
Chief Marketing Officer
“My handbag contains my essentials. When I change handbags (which I do frequently!) I do a full dump from one to the other, or I would have no idea how to keep track of my life admin. I keep a smaller bag in a large tote for dash and run between meetings and to fulfil laptop/gym kit needs. Inside, you'll find my notebook and pen (I live by ‘to do’ lists old school style), eyewear for sun and screen, hand cream, lip balm and lip stain, a hair tie, my work pass, a face mask and always my Liberty scarf."
Head of Retail Marketing
“As bizarre as it sounds, my Loewe Luna Leather Shoulder Bag is like my second brain. If I’ve missed something off my to-do list, there will be something in my bag to remind me of what I need to crack on with, often in the form of a crumpled note – I’m still pretty old school. You might find a toddlers' sock in there too (a cute way of reminding me of the endless things that I need to buy for my tiny person) as well as a Liberty print coin purse for loose change, Byredo’s hand sanitiser, multiple notebooks and a lip crayon – Rose Inc’s are the best.”
Global Head of Content
“My handbag used to be a calm and ordered place. Then I had a child and it quickly became a chaotic black hole, sucking in everything I need to stash quickly in order to free up my hands. As such, I often turn up for work and pull out a dummy when I need my airpods, and if there is a very handy side pocket like this bag has, it will invariably house a disgustingly soggy tissue. I need to reclaim my calm and ordered safe space again, it’s time!”
Head of Audience Development
“I like to think I’m not tied to my handbag but that’s not really true. So to feel as hands-free as possible, I always opt for a crossbody bag like the Sarah bag by APC. It's big enough to fit in daily essentials, but doesn’t require constant shoulder swapping. Inside, there’s always a notebook for work, a card case for my pass and at least two Lele Sadoughi x Liberty scrunchies; I feel like I can be more productive with my hair up. As for makeup, I’ve managed to whittle it down to this one lip gloss by Westman Atelier.”
Photography: Jessica Gates