The first OUGHTON bag grew out of a specific need... I was shipping horses from my farm to a nearby trainers… and wanted something to carry and keep organized everything I needed… my traditional show trunk was too unwieldy. I was looking for something I could carry to the tack stall and ‘work out of’ once I got there. Nothing really existed in the marketplace that would work.
So I had a bag made and loved it. It worked exactly as planned, making my life so much easier. I was able to stay so much more organized. Finally there was a place for everything. I believe ‘A GREAT TRIP BEGINS WITH THE RIGHT BAG’… that I can relax and have fun (or focus on the job at hand if needed) if I feel well prepared and have everything I need. In the ring and outside of it, too.
My bespoke bag went to horse shows too, several people wanted one… and so it began… with no idea how to get it affordably made, I had several ‘sold’.
I was tremendously excited by the materials I found. Waxed canvas seemed to be the perfect material for bags and luggage: lightweight, water resistant, tremendously strong and tear-resistant and really good-looking. I loved the patina it acquired, and the history of the material… a classic American waxed canvas, it was originally designed for the US Army as ponchos that convert to tents at night… Soon after I found the waxed canvas material, the iconography of the halter square hardware developed… I was helping a friend foal her mares… while sitting vigil at night, waiting for the mares to foal, we would cut the brass halter squares off old [rotten/broken/torn] halters that were to be thrown away. Before we knew it we had 2 huge trashcans full of brass halter squares of every size, from foal halters to heavyweight turnout halters. They turned out to be PERFECT hardware for my bags!
The aesthetics resonated within the horse world… it is a world steeped in tradition and history. Quality is defined by the craftsmanship, performance, by how well something works and how long it lasts. Heirlooms, meticulously cared for through the generations, are a point of pride.
It struck me how different the general consumer world had become, where the idea of provenance had been totally lost… and supplanted by flash and trend, things bought for months rather than years. In retrospect I think this became the opportunity for the company… to offer a different viewpoint, to offer classic, timeless pieces (much in the way the ultimate luxury houses such as Hermes have done for centuries) that will be heirlooms for the next generation…. who will wear the patina of their ancestors travels with pride. I wanted to create a line that was the antithesis of the waste and self-consciousness that had reached epic proportions….
Thus evolved the line and its aesthetic… waxed canvas trimmed in leather and an iconography of halter squares and halter plates. It is inspired by a life lived with horses and the ‘quiet’ classic chic of country life… an aesthetic sense of long-lasting utility and timelessness over trend.